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# Questions tagged [optimization]

general questions about selecting a best element from some set of available alternatives.

182 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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### How good is greedy in average?

Given a family ${\cal F}\subset 2^E$ of (feasible solutions), the maximization problem on ${\cal F}$ is, for every weighting $x:E\to \{0,1,\ldots\}$ of ground elements, to compute the maximum weight ...
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### the largest element of a matrix product

Given two matrices, I'm interested in finding the largest element of their product. I wonder if it's possible to do it significantly faster than the matrix multiplication the solution seems to require?...
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### Expected length of a self-avoiding random walk

We're given an arbitrary graph $G=(V,E)$. A self-avoiding random walk is a random walk such that in each step, a random neighbour which was not previously visited is chosen, if such one exists. ...
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### Complexity of cycle cancellation with integral capacities and irrational costs

Cycle cancellation is a standard textbook algorithm for computing minimum-cost circulations: As long as the residual graph of the current circulation contains a negative cycle, push as much flow along ...
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### Shortest string in the intersection of regular languages

Inspired by https://codegolf.stackexchange.com/questions/53310/shortest-universal-maze-exit-string Each of the 138,172 valid mazes can be represented as a DFA with 9 states (including starting and ...
151 views

### What is the least compressible probability distribution? (under entropy constraint, for an expected squared error metric)

Consider a distribution $\mathcal D$ over the reals, a real parameter $H\in\mathbb R^+$, and an integer parameter $k\in\mathbb N$. The Entropy-Constrained Quantization problem asks what is the best ...
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### NP-hardness of approximation for unconstrained submodular maximization

The problem of unconstrained submodular maximization can be phrased as follows: Given a non-negative submodular function $f$ on a domain $D$ find a set $S \subseteq D$ maximizing $f(S)$. Here a ...
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### Optimal point placement on integer lattice

What is known about the following point placement problem? For positive integers $N$, $n<N^2$, and $N\times N$ grid $\mathcal{G}$, compute \begin{eqnarray*} \mu_1(N,n)\triangleq\min_{\mathcal{P}\...
179 views

### Which well-known algorithmic problem is this an instance of?

Consider that you have n counters initialised with numbers $M_1 \dots M_n$. In each round you decrement exactly $k$ out of these counters. Keep doing this until at least $n-k+1$ counters are zero, so ...
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### Completing a matrix (over the reals) to be singular

Consider the following problem: you are given a matrix (say, with rational entries) some of whose entries are actually left blank; can these blanks be filled in with real numbers so that the resulting ...
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### Hardness of Approximation for Three Matroid Intersection

I am searching for the best known hardness of approximation bound for three matroid intersection. The input is three matroids on the same ground set which are accessible using three different ...
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### Solving MDPs with polytope action spaces

A (finite) Markov Decision Process (MDP) consists of a finite set of states $S$, a finite set of actions $A_s$ which we will allow to depend on the state $s\in S$, an initial state $s_0\in S$ (the ...
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### Bin packing where each item must occur in $k$ bins

I am looking for information on a generalization of bin-packing in which each item should appear in exactly $k$ different bins, for some positive integer $k$. The standard bin packing problem ...
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