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Density Independent Algorithms for Sparsifying k-Step Random Walks

Authors Gorav Jindal, Pavel Kolev, Richard Peng, Saurabh Sawlani

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Gorav Jindal
Pavel Kolev
Richard Peng
Saurabh Sawlani

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Gorav Jindal, Pavel Kolev, Richard Peng, and Saurabh Sawlani. Density Independent Algorithms for Sparsifying k-Step Random Walks. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 81, pp. 14:1-14:17, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


We give faster algorithms for producing sparse approximations of the transition matrices of k-step random walks on undirected and weighted graphs. These transition matrices also form graphs, and arise as intermediate objects in a variety of graph algorithms. Our improvements are based on a better understanding of processes that sample such walks, as well as tighter bounds on key weights underlying these sampling processes. On a graph with n vertices and m edges, our algorithm produces a graph with about nlog(n) edges that approximates the k-step random walk graph in about m + k^2 nlog^4(n) time. In order to obtain this runtime bound, we also revisit "density independent" algorithms for sparsifying graphs whose runtime overhead is expressed only in terms of the number of vertices.
  • random walks
  • graph sparsification
  • spectral graph theory
  • effective resistances


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