Faster Submodular Maximization for Several Classes of Matroids

Authors Monika Henzinger, Paul Liu , Jan Vondrák , Da Wei Zheng

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Monika Henzinger
  • Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA), Klosterneuburg, Austria
Paul Liu
  • Stanford University, CA, USA
Jan Vondrák
  • Stanford University, CA, USA
Da Wei Zheng
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA

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Monika Henzinger, Paul Liu, Jan Vondrák, and Da Wei Zheng. Faster Submodular Maximization for Several Classes of Matroids. In 50th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 261, pp. 74:1-74:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)


The maximization of submodular functions have found widespread application in areas such as machine learning, combinatorial optimization, and economics, where practitioners often wish to enforce various constraints; the matroid constraint has been investigated extensively due to its algorithmic properties and expressive power. Though tight approximation algorithms for general matroid constraints exist in theory, the running times of such algorithms typically scale quadratically, and are not practical for truly large scale settings. Recent progress has focused on fast algorithms for important classes of matroids given in explicit form. Currently, nearly-linear time algorithms only exist for graphic and partition matroids [Alina Ene and Huy L. Nguyen, 2019]. In this work, we develop algorithms for monotone submodular maximization constrained by graphic, transversal matroids, or laminar matroids in time near-linear in the size of their representation. Our algorithms achieve an optimal approximation of 1-1/e-ε and both generalize and accelerate the results of Ene and Nguyen [Alina Ene and Huy L. Nguyen, 2019]. In fact, the running time of our algorithm cannot be improved within the fast continuous greedy framework of Badanidiyuru and Vondrák [Ashwinkumar Badanidiyuru and Jan Vondrák, 2014]. To achieve near-linear running time, we make use of dynamic data structures that maintain bases with approximate maximum cardinality and weight under certain element updates. These data structures need to support a weight decrease operation and a novel Freeze operation that allows the algorithm to freeze elements (i.e. force to be contained) in its basis regardless of future data structure operations. For the laminar matroid, we present a new dynamic data structure using the top tree interface of Alstrup, Holm, de Lichtenberg, and Thorup [Stephen Alstrup et al., 2005] that maintains the maximum weight basis under insertions and deletions of elements in O(log n) time. This data structure needs to support certain subtree query and path update operations that are performed every insertion and deletion that are non-trivial to handle in conjunction. For the transversal matroid the Freeze operation corresponds to requiring the data structure to keep a certain set S of vertices matched, a property that we call S-stability. While there is a large body of work on dynamic matching algorithms, none are S-stable and maintain an approximate maximum weight matching under vertex updates. We give the first such algorithm for bipartite graphs with total running time linear (up to log factors) in the number of edges.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Data structures design and analysis
  • Mathematics of computing → Submodular optimization and polymatroids
  • Theory of computation → Dynamic graph algorithms
  • submodular optimization
  • dynamic data structures
  • matching algorithms


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