Questions tagged [approximation-hardness]

Hardness of approximation, aka inapproximability.

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APX-hardness of Max-3-SAT(5)

Max-3-SAT($k$) for a natural number $k$ is the task of finding the maximum number of satisfiable clauses in a Boolean formula in CNF, where every clause contains at most 3 literals and every variable ...
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Is finding a very large clique NP-hard?

We know that, unless P=NP, for any $\epsilon$ we can't distinguish in polynomial time between the two cases: There exists a clique of size at least $n^{1-\epsilon}$ All cliques have size at most $n^\...
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Hashing-based vs almost uniform sampling-based approximate counting

Corollary 3.6 in the UniqueSAT paper by Valiant and Vazirani [1] states: For any $\varepsilon > 0$ there is a randomized polynomial-time TM with a SAT oracle, which given a SAT formula $f$ outputs ...
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Analogue of Chow-Liu tree for $L_1$

Say $\Omega$ is a finite set and $f$ a probability mass function (pmf) over $\Omega^d$. Now let $T$ be a spanning tree on the set $V=\{1,2,\ldots,d\}$, and consider a collection of one- and two- ...
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Large CLIQUE approximation

I am interested in algorithms to identify large cliques in graphs where the largest clique is a large fraction (definitely greater than half, perhaps as great as 4/5) of the total number of vertices. ...
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$\#$P hardness of computing weighted sum of degree $2$ polynomials

Consider polynomials $f: \{0, 1\}^{n} \rightarrow \{0, 1\}$ over $\mathbb{F}_2$ (addition and multiplication are taken modulo $2$.) Consider integers $x \in \{0,1\}^{n}$, written in binary. Let $\...
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Set cover where consecutive sets differ by at most one item [closed]

First I define my version of the set cover problem: We have a collection of sets such as $S_1, \dots, S_m$ where each $S_i$ is a subset of $M=\{1,\dots, m\}$. The goal is to find the minimum number of ...
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Do there exist two equivalent objective functions one of which can be approximated but another one cannot?

I have two equivalent problems A and B, meaning that the optimal solution of one must be the optimal solution of another one. However, it seems that problem A can be approximated but B cannot. Below ...
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Computational complexity of minimum distance of rate $\frac{1}{2}$ codes

We know from Berlekamp, McEliece and Van Tilborg [On the inherent intractability of certain coding problems, IEEE Trans. Information Theory, 24 (1978)] that computing minimum distance of a (binary) ...
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Incorrect Lower Bound of k-Means++ Algorithm

The $k$-means++ algorithm is composed of two parts: Initialization part: the initial $k$ centers are chosen based on $D^2$ sampling. Expectation maximization part: the standard $k$-means algorithm (...
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Approximating Independent Dominating set on bipartite graphs

I'm interested in the following problem: given a bipartite graph, find the smallest independent set of vertices which dominate all other vertices. My question is: are there any positive results in the ...
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Improving the approximation in Stockmeyer's counting theorem

Given a $\#P$ function $f(x)$, we can use Stockmeyer's counting theorem to get an approximation $g(x)$ such that \begin{equation} \left(1 - \frac{1}{\text{poly}(n)} \right) f(x) \le g(x) \le \left(...
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Consequences of an $o(\log n)$-approximation algorithm for a $\mathsf{\log\text{-}APX}$ hard problem

In [1], Feige proves that if there is a polynomial algorithm with approximation ratio in $o(\log n)$ for any $\mathsf{log\textit{-}APX}$ hard problem (say Minimum Dominating Set), then $\mathsf{NP}\...
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Hardness of Approximation of Continuous Metric k-Median

First let me describe the metric $k$-median problem. Definition (Metric $k$-Median): Given a set $C$ of clients and a set $L$ of facility locations defined over a distance metric $d$. Open a set $F$ ...
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Why does Dinur's proof of the PCP theorem fail to work for unique games?

What is the critical step where things go wrong if one attempts to use Dinur's proof the PCP theorem to prove the unique games conjecture by starting from a unique label cover instance and doing gap ...
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What does it mean by the statement: "a problem is hard to approximate "?

In most of the research papers that I have read so far, I often come across the statement of the following form: "the problem is hard to approximate within any factor smaller than some constant&...
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Best approximations of Minimum Dominating Sets in chordal graphs

I am searching results and papers related to the (in)approximability of the Minimum Dominating Set problem in chordal graphs. In particular, what is the best approximation ratio achievable in polytime ...
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polytime approximability of directed multicut

Does anyone know how well directed multicut can be approximated in planar and minor free graphs? Also any survey of approximability of directed multicut and multicut in various graph classes would be ...
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Where to find info on (polytime) approximability of various discrete optimization problems?

Where to find info on (polytime) approximability of various discrete optimization problems? Sorry if this is stupid,but is there a site or reference that keeps up to date info on approximability of ...
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1 answer
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Good Survey paper for k-means/k-median/k-center/facility-location

I have stated 4 problems in the Question title. All these problems are closely related and are studied in various variations. For example: Space: Euclidean/metric/discrete/continuous/non-metric/2-...
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Is the following graph optimization problem approximable within a constant factor?

Let $G=(V,E)$ be an undirected graph, and let $\pi$ be a permutation of the vertices in $V$. For a node $v\in V$, we denote by $\text{pred}_{\pi}(v)$ (respectively $\text{succ}_{\pi}(v)$) the set of ...
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Different version of approximation complexity and algorithm for densest-k-subgraph problem

In the densest-k-subgraph problem, we are given a graph $G =(V,E)$ and $k$, and we are asked to find a set $S \in V$ of vertices to maximize the number of edges in the induced graph of $S$, i.e. $|Ind[...
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Is it possible to approximate the solution of NP-Hard problems in polynomial time using linear programming? [closed]

Suppose we have a NP-Hard problem such as the k-col, which is meant to determine if a graph may be colored using at most ...
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Optimization problems with same optimal value, but different approximation behavior

Context: related to this answer. I would like to see an example to emphasize that approximation behavior depends not only on the optimal value but also the set of solutions. This makes sense ...
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Complexity of a scheduling problem with a fixed left bound of jobs

Consider the following scheduling problem. We have a finite set of jobs $\mathcal{J}= \{j_1, j_2, ..., j_n\}$ to do. Every job $j_i$ has its own value $c_i$ (the amount of money we are paid for ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Hardness of approximating acyclic chromatic number

I have some doubts on the inapproximability result for acyclic coloring presented in the paper New acyclic and star coloring algorithms with application to computing Hessians. They claim that there ...
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Problems that are NP-hard to approximate even when the input graph is regular

Are there graph problems which are NP-hard to approximate even when the input graph is regular? For instance, are there optimization problems that are NP-hard to approximate within $O(n^\epsilon)$ ...
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1 answer
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the shorstest cycle containing two given points

I am given a edge-weighted (multi)graph $G$ and two of its vertices, $u, v\in V(G)$. I want to find two edge-disjoint paths that connects $u$ and $v$ while minimizing the sum of the lengths of the ...
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How hard is it to approximate distance of linear code

I'm trying to figure out what is the current knowledge about how hard it is, given a generating matrix of a linear code over a field $F_{q}$, approximate it's distance. I of course found that ...
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Sherali-Adams lowerbound instance of Unique Games constructed via CLT

The question comes from the following paper I have been reading: [1] Integrality Gaps for Sherali–Adams Relaxations. SODA'09. Moses Charikar, Konstantin Makarychev, Yury Makarychev. Theorem 6.1 of [...
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How hard is it to determine ex(n,G)?

Define the extremal Turán function $ex(n,G)$ of a graph $G$ as the most edges a graph on $n$ vertices can have without having a subgraph that is isomorphic to $G$. This function is known ...
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Example of a hardness-of-approximation proof which improves the approximation factor?

Are there any examples of hardness-of-approximation reductions where we get a better hardness bound for the problem we've reduced to than the problem we've reduced from? In the examples I've seen so ...
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Hard family for degree-$D$ MAX-3LIN

Max 3LIN is the problem where one is given a linear system of equations $C$ over $\mathbb{F}_2$ with $3$ variables per equation, and needs to determine the maximum number of equations that can be ...
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Maximum Positive Negative Set Cover Problem

I am considering the following problem. Input: Given two disjoint subsets $A$ and $B$ and a collection $C$ of $k$ sets $S_1,S_2,\ldots,S_k$ where $S_i \subseteq A \cup B$ for all $i=1\ldots k$. ...
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Hardness of Approximation of Set Cover with Growing Size Bound

I'm considering the minimum set cover problem with the constraint that each set contains at most $k$ elements. Here, $k$ depends on the size of the universe. For example, $k$ may equal $\log n,\sqrt ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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NP-intermediate approximation regimes for natural problems within the MAX-k-CSP family

I would like to know whether there are any examples of natural problems within the MAX-$k$-CSP family for which (under standard/reasonable conjectures) we believe the following: There is a value $\...
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Is monotone 1-in-3 MAXSAT known to be APX hard?

Monotone 1-in-3 SAT is the problem where each clause of the SAT problem contains exactly 3 positive variables. The goal is to find an assignment such that exactly one variable is true in each clause ...
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Is #PP2DNF hard to approximate?

The problem #PP2DNF asks to count the number of satisfying assignments of a positive partitioned 2-DNF Boolean formula, i.e., a formula $\phi$ on variables $X_1, \ldots, X_n, Y_1, \ldots, Y_m$ of the ...
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Minimum relevant variables in linear system - additive approximation

In the problem Minimum Relevant Variables in Linear System (Min-RVLS), the input is a linear system, e.g.: $$ A x = b $$ and the goal is to find a solution $x$ with as few nonzero variables as ...
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2 votes
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Best polynomial-time approximation factor for NP-optimization problems

Let us say that a function $f(n)$ is the best approximation factor for an NP-optimization problem, if both of the following hold: There exist a polynomial-time algorithm $A,$ and an integer $n_0$, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Distinguising between the cases of low or high cover number

Is there a known result saying that for some constants $0 < a < b < 1$, it is NP-hard to distinguish a graph having vertex cover number at most $a \cdot n$ from a graph having vertex cover ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Does Max Planar 3-SAT admit a PTAS?

Suppose we are given a formula $\phi$ of 3-SAT, with variables $x_1,\dots, x_n$ and clauses $C_1,\dots, C_m$. Consider the graph $G_\phi$ where there is one node for each clause $C_i$, for each ...
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Reasoning about NP hardness of optimization problems with closed form functions as input

(This may not be a research level question per se. I can delete this question if the community thinks this way too) I am trying to understand how to reason about hardness of optimization problems ...
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Inapproximability Results for APX-hard Geometric Optimization Problems

A lot of Geometric Optimization problems are NP-hard and APX-hard to approximate (No PTAS unless P=NP). One example of the geometric set cover problem can be found here. However, it is not easy to ...
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9 votes
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Which version of KAKUTANI does lie in PPAD?

The seminal paper of Papadimitriou [1] claims that the computational search problem KAKUTANI is $\mathbf{PPAD}$-complete. Unfortunately, there are very few details. Many other papers and surveys cite ...
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1 answer
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Is there any better than (2/k)-approximation algorithm for Independent Set in Coloring graph?

I would like to know any results in terms of approximation algorithm about Maximum weight Independent Set problem in coloring graph. Input: Given a graph G with non-negative vertex weights and valid ...
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Hardness of Approximation for minimum path cover in an undirected graph?

Given an undirected graph $G = (V,E)$, a path cover is a set of disjoint paths such that every vertex $v\in V$ belongs to exactly one path. The minimum path cover problem consists of finding a path ...
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Approximating a monotone submodular function using a concrete coverage function

Is it possible to approximate a monotone submodular function using a concrete coverage function, i.e. Given a ground set $U$ and a monotone submodular function, $f:2^U\to \mathbb{R}$, the goal is to ...
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Approximately counting paths and cycles in a graph

Counting cycles, and paths in graphs is a hard problem, see questions here, and related question for cycles for a given length $k$, here. The question is about the approximability of these graph ...
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Does the NP-hardness of finding any valid solution imply NPO-hardness?

Suppose we have an NP optimization problem $A$ such that the problem of finding any valid solution, regardless of whether it is good or bad, is NP-hard (as it happens in NPO-complete problems such as ...
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