# Questions tagged [optimization]

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

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9 votes
1 answer
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### Is the complexity of this covering problem known?

Let $G=(V,E)$ be a graph. A vertex set $X\subseteq V$ is called critical if $X\neq\emptyset$ and no vertex in $V\setminus X$ is adjacent to exactly one vertex in $X$. The problem is to find a vertex ...
• 1,026
28 votes
5 answers
5k views

### Is it a rule that discrete problems are NP-hard and continuous problems are not?

In my computer science education, I increasingly notice that most discrete problems are NP-complete (at least), whereas optimizing continuous problems is almost always easily achievable, usually ...
• 391
13 votes
2 answers
615 views

### Numerical precision in sum-of-squares method?

I have been reading a bit about the sum-of-squares method (SOS) from the survey of Barak & Steurer and the lecture notes of Barak. In both cases they sweep issues of numerical accuracy under the ...
• 1,318
12 votes
4 answers
817 views

### Reordering data (set of strings) to optimize for compression?

Are there any algorithms for reordering data to optimize for compression? I understand this is specific to the data and the compression algorithm, but is there a word for this topic? Where can I ...
• 252
5 votes
0 answers
121 views

0 votes
0 answers
233 views

### Steiner Tree and minimum spanning tree

If I must connect: $$2^k$$ terminals in a Steiner Tree choosen randomly and connect them with the cheapest component; "loss - contracting algorithm" is a good way? Or is an "Iterative Randomized ...
• 11
4 votes
1 answer
299 views

### minimal finite automata given in-words and out-words

this seems an interesting FSM optimization problem; have not seen it studied, wondering if it has been and/ or looking for other insight. given: two finite sets of words $S_{in}$ and $S_{out}$. ...
• 10.9k
0 votes
0 answers
88 views

### Approximation Algorithm for TSP-like problem

Suppose we are given a graph with distances for each of the edges and merit for each of the nodes. What are the best (approximation) algorithms for computing the the most meritorious simple path with ...
• 441
2 votes
1 answer
457 views

### Follow the Perturbed Leader for nonlinear cost functions

The famous FTPL algorithm [1] is analyzing linear cost function. Is there any generalized proof for nonlinear functions known? Note that in the last paragraph of [1] it says "It would be great to ...
• 749
1 vote
1 answer
420 views

### direct connection between gradient descent and follow the (perturbed) leader algorithm or weighted majority?

Is there a direct conversion between gradient descent ([1], Alg 1 ) and any of the following algorithms? 1) Weighted Majority: http://onlineprediction.net/?n=Main.WeightedMajorityAlgorithm 2) ...
• 749
1 vote
2 answers
146 views

### Finding the paths through a graph that reuse as many of the nodes as possible

I'm implementing an encryption algorithm which does a bunch xor operations to mix up the columns. Because I want to find the lower bound of the number of ...
• 113
17 votes
2 answers
408 views

### Minimal cumulative set sum

Consider this problem: Given a list of finite sets, find an ordering $s_1, s_2, s_3, \ldots$ that minimizes $|s_1| + |s_1 \cup s_2| + |s_1 \cup s_2 \cup s_3| + \ldots$. Are there known algorithms ...
• 907
14 votes
1 answer
404 views

### What is the state of the art in cache algorithm theory?

I recently became interested in the general problem of optimizing memory usage in a situation where there is more than one kind of memory available, and there is a trade-off between the capacity of a ...
• 241
4 votes
1 answer
381 views

### Approximation algorithms for min vector subset-sum over GF(2)

In this question vzn asked about the following problem, which I'll call Vector-Subset-Sum. Given a set of vectors $v_i$ over GF(2) and a target vector $y$, is there a subset of the $v_i$ summing to ...
• 1,318
0 votes
1 answer
173 views

### Finding optimal subset for quadratic function

Given a set of $n$ elements $e_1,...e_n$ where each element $i$ is associated with two positive integers $\alpha_i$ and $\beta_i$. Given another integer $\lambda$, the goal is to find a set $S$ of ...
• 11
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

### What is this variant of set cover problem known as?

Input is a universe $U$ and a family of subsets of $U$, say, ${\cal F} \subseteq 2^U$. We assume that the subsets in ${\cal F}$ can cover $U$, i.e., $\bigcup_{E\in {\cal F}}E=U$. An incremental ...
• 221
5 votes
0 answers
467 views

• 75
10 votes
1 answer
218 views

### Program Minimization

Circuit Minimization is the problem to minimize the size of a given circuit. Is there anything similar for general programs? In particular my question is - Do there exist algorithms to minimize the ...
• 1,301
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

### Knapsack with dependent profits (pairs of items)

I'm working on a problem which MAY be reduced to the following version of Knapsack: Suppose two items $e_i$ and $e_j$ have profit $p_i$ and $p_j$ respectively. However, if both items are present in ...
• 157
4 votes
1 answer
158 views

### Is it possible to create an algorithm-aware optimizer?

I've recently implemented a physics system where each object has to interact with eachother. It consisted of, pretty much, the following algorithm: ...
• 3,045
2 votes
1 answer
236 views

### Proof-techniques for the hardness of optimization problems (esp. Polynomial time)

I've given an optimization problem for which I want to show that it is solvable in polynomial time. Now, I have two questions: Can this be done by formulating a mixed-integer linear program such ...
• 345