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Approximating Approximate Distance Oracles

Authors Michael Dinitz, Zeyu Zhang



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Michael Dinitz
Zeyu Zhang

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Michael Dinitz and Zeyu Zhang. Approximating Approximate Distance Oracles. In 8th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 67, pp. 52:1-52:14, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)
https://doi.org/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2017.52

Abstract

Given a finite metric space (V,d), an approximate distance oracle is a data structure which, when queried on two points u,v \in V, returns an approximation to the the actual distance between u and v which is within some bounded stretch factor of the true distance. There has been significant work on the tradeoff between the important parameters of approximate distance oracles (and in particular between the size, stretch, and query time), but in this paper we take a different point of view, that of per-instance optimization. If we are given an particular input metric space and stretch bound, can we find the smallest possible approximate distance oracle for that particular input? Since this question is not even well-defined, we restrict our attention to well-known classes of approximate distance oracles, and study whether we can optimize over those classes. In particular, we give an O(\log n)-approximation to the problem of finding the smallest stretch 3 Thorup-Zwick distance oracle, as well as the problem of finding the smallest P\v{a}tra\c{s}cu-Roditty distance oracle. We also prove a matching \Omega(\log n) lower bound for both problems, and an \Omega(n^{\frac{1}{k}-\frac{1}{2^{k-1}}}) integrality gap for the more general stretch (2k-1) Thorup-Zwick distance oracle. We also consider the problem of approximating the best TZ or PR approximate distance oracle with outliers, and show that more advanced techniques (SDP relaxations in particular) allow us to optimize even in the presence of outliers.
Keywords
  • distance oracles
  • approximation algorithms

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