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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 287, 15th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2024)

This paper considers elections in which voters choose one candidate each, independently according to known probability distributions. A candidate receiving a strict majority (absolute or relative, depending on the version) wins. After the voters have made their choices, each vote can be inspected to determine which candidate received that vote. The time (or cost) to inspect each of the votes is known in advance. The task is to (possibly adaptively) determine the order in which to inspect the votes, so as to minimize the expected time to determine which candidate has won the election. We design polynomial-time constant-factor approximation algorithms for both the absolute-majority and the relative-majority version. Both algorithms are based on a two-phase approach. In the first phase, the algorithms reduce the number of relevant candidates to O(1), and in the second phase they utilize techniques from the literature on stochastic function evaluation to handle the remaining candidates. In the case of absolute majority, we show that the same can be achieved with only two rounds of adaptivity.

Lisa Hellerstein, Naifeng Liu, and Kevin Schewior. Quickly Determining Who Won an Election. In 15th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2024). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 287, pp. 61:1-61:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2024)

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@InProceedings{hellerstein_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2024.61, author = {Hellerstein, Lisa and Liu, Naifeng and Schewior, Kevin}, title = {{Quickly Determining Who Won an Election}}, booktitle = {15th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2024)}, pages = {61:1--61:14}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-309-6}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2024}, volume = {287}, editor = {Guruswami, Venkatesan}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2024.61}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-195890}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2024.61}, annote = {Keywords: stochastic function evaluation, voting, approximation algorithms} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 248, 33rd International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2022)

We consider the problem of solving the Min-Sum Submodular Cover problem using local search. The Min-Sum Submodular Cover problem generalizes the NP-complete Min-Sum Set Cover problem, replacing the input set cover instance with a monotone submodular set function. A simple greedy algorithm achieves an approximation factor of 4, which is tight unless P=NP [Streeter and Golovin, NeurIPS, 2008]. We complement the greedy algorithm with analysis of a local search algorithm. Building on work of Munagala et al. [ICDT, 2005], we show that, using simple initialization, a straightforward local search algorithm achieves a (4+ε)-approximate solution in time O(n³log(n/ε)), provided that the monotone submodular set function is also second-order supermodular. Second-order supermodularity has been shown to hold for a number of submodular functions of practical interest, including functions associated with set cover, matching, and facility location. We present experiments on two special cases of Min-Sum Submodular Cover and find that the local search algorithm can outperform the greedy algorithm on small data sets.

Lisa Hellerstein, Thomas Lidbetter, and R. Teal Witter. A Local Search Algorithm for the Min-Sum Submodular Cover Problem. In 33rd International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 248, pp. 3:1-3:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{hellerstein_et_al:LIPIcs.ISAAC.2022.3, author = {Hellerstein, Lisa and Lidbetter, Thomas and Witter, R. Teal}, title = {{A Local Search Algorithm for the Min-Sum Submodular Cover Problem}}, booktitle = {33rd International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2022)}, pages = {3:1--3:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-258-7}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {248}, editor = {Bae, Sang Won and Park, Heejin}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ISAAC.2022.3}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-172880}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ISAAC.2022.3}, annote = {Keywords: Local search, submodularity, second-order supermodularity, min-sum set cover} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 112, 26th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2018)

Consider the following Stochastic Score Classification Problem. A doctor is assessing a patient's risk of developing a certain disease, and can perform n tests on the patient. Each test has a binary outcome, positive or negative. A positive result is an indication of risk, and a patient's score is the total number of positive test results. Test results are accurate. The doctor needs to classify the patient into one of B risk classes, depending on the score (e.g., LOW, MEDIUM, and HIGH risk). Each of these classes corresponds to a contiguous range of scores. Test i has probability p_i of being positive, and it costs c_i to perform. To reduce costs, instead of performing all tests, the doctor will perform them sequentially and stop testing when it is possible to determine the patient's risk category. The problem is to determine the order in which the doctor should perform the tests, so as to minimize expected testing cost. We provide approximation algorithms for adaptive and non-adaptive versions of this problem, and pose a number of open questions.

Dimitrios Gkenosis, Nathaniel Grammel, Lisa Hellerstein, and Devorah Kletenik. The Stochastic Score Classification Problem. In 26th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 112, pp. 36:1-36:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{gkenosis_et_al:LIPIcs.ESA.2018.36, author = {Gkenosis, Dimitrios and Grammel, Nathaniel and Hellerstein, Lisa and Kletenik, Devorah}, title = {{The Stochastic Score Classification Problem}}, booktitle = {26th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2018)}, pages = {36:1--36:14}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-081-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2018}, volume = {112}, editor = {Azar, Yossi and Bast, Hannah and Herman, Grzegorz}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ESA.2018.36}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-94990}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ESA.2018.36}, annote = {Keywords: approximation algorithms, symmetric Boolean functions, stochastic probing, sequential testing, adaptivity} }

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