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When quoting this document, please refer to the following
DOI: 10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.23
URN: urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-94276
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Santiago, Richard ; Shepherd, F. Bruce

Multi-Agent Submodular Optimization

LIPIcs-APPROX-RANDOM-2018-23.pdf (0.6 MB)


Recent years have seen many algorithmic advances in the area of submodular optimization: (SO) min/max~f(S): S in F, where F is a given family of feasible sets over a ground set V and f:2^V - > R is submodular. This progress has been coupled with a wealth of new applications for these models. Our focus is on a more general class of multi-agent submodular optimization (MASO) min/max Sum_{i=1}^{k} f_i(S_i): S_1 u+ S_2 u+ ... u+ S_k in F. Here we use u+ to denote disjoint union and hence this model is attractive where resources are being allocated across k agents, each with its own submodular cost function f_i(). This was introduced in the minimization setting by Goel et al. In this paper we explore the extent to which the approximability of the multi-agent problems are linked to their single-agent versions, referred to informally as the multi-agent gap.
We present different reductions that transform a multi-agent problem into a single-agent one. For minimization, we show that (MASO) has an O(alpha * min{k, log^2 (n)})-approximation whenever (SO) admits an alpha-approximation over the convex formulation. In addition, we discuss the class of "bounded blocker" families where there is a provably tight O(log n) multi-agent gap between (MASO) and (SO). For maximization, we show that monotone (resp. nonmonotone) (MASO) admits an alpha (1-1/e) (resp. alpha * 0.385) approximation whenever monotone (resp. nonmonotone) (SO) admits an alpha-approximation over the multilinear formulation; and the 1-1/e multi-agent gap for monotone objectives is tight. We also discuss several families (such as spanning trees, matroids, and p-systems) that have an (optimal) multi-agent gap of 1. These results substantially expand the family of tractable models for submodular maximization.

BibTeX - Entry

  author =	{Richard Santiago and F. Bruce Shepherd},
  title =	{{Multi-Agent Submodular Optimization}},
  booktitle =	{Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial  Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018)},
  pages =	{23:1--23:20},
  series =	{Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)},
  ISBN =	{978-3-95977-085-9},
  ISSN =	{1868-8969},
  year =	{2018},
  volume =	{116},
  editor =	{Eric Blais and Klaus Jansen and Jos{\'e} D. P. Rolim and David Steurer},
  publisher =	{Schloss Dagstuhl--Leibniz-Zentrum fuer Informatik},
  address =	{Dagstuhl, Germany},
  URL =		{},
  URN =		{urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-94276},
  doi =		{10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.23},
  annote =	{Keywords: submodular optimization, multi-agent, approximation algorithms}

Keywords: submodular optimization, multi-agent, approximation algorithms
Collection: Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018)
Issue Date: 2018
Date of publication: 13.08.2018

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