Weighted capacitated, priority, and geometric set cover via improved quasi-uniform sampling

Timothy M. Chan, Elyot Grant, Jochen Könemann, Malcolm Sharpe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The minimum-weight set cover problem is widely known to be O(log n)-approximable, with no improvement possible in the general case. We take the approach of exploiting problem structure to achieve better results, by providing a geometry-inspired algorithm whose approximation guarantee depends solely on an instance-specific combinatorial property known as shallow cell complexity (SCC). Roughly speaking, a set cover instance has low SCC if any column-induced submatrix of the corresponding element-set incidence matrix has few distinct rows. By adapting and improving Varadarajan's recent quasi-uniform random sampling method for weighted geometric covering problems, we obtain strong approximation algorithms for a structurally rich class of weighted covering problems with low SCC. We also show how to derandomize our algorithm. Our main result has several immediate consequences. Among them, we settle an open question of Chakrabarty et al. [8] by showing that weighted instances of the capacitated covering problem with underlying network structure have O(1)-approximations. Additionally, our improvements to Varadarajan's sampling framework yield several new results for weighted geometric set cover, hitting set, and dominating set problems. In particular, for weighted covering problems exhibiting linear (or near-linear) union complexity, we obtain approximability results agreeing with those known for the unweighted case. For example, we obtain a constant approximation for the weighted disk cover problem, improving upon the 2O(log* n)-approximation known prior to our work and matching the O(1)-approximation known for the unweighted variant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms, SODA 2012
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages1576-1585
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781611972108
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event23rd Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms, SODA 2012 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: Jan 17 2012Jan 19 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms

Other

Other23rd Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms, SODA 2012
CountryJapan
CityKyoto
Period1/17/121/19/12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Mathematics(all)

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