Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 304, 5th Conference on Information-Theoretic Cryptography (ITC 2024)

We obtain a new protocol for binary counting in the ε-DP_shuffle model with error O(1/ε) and expected communication Õ((log n)/ε) messages per user. Previous protocols incur either an error of O(1/ε^1.5) with O_ε(log n) messages per user (Ghazi et al., ITC 2020) or an error of O(1/ε) with O_ε(n²) messages per user (Cheu and Yan, TPDP 2022). Using the new protocol, we obtained improved ε-DP_shuffle protocols for real summation and histograms.

Badih Ghazi, Ravi Kumar, and Pasin Manurangsi. Pure-DP Aggregation in the Shuffle Model: Error-Optimal and Communication-Efficient. In 5th Conference on Information-Theoretic Cryptography (ITC 2024). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 304, pp. 4:1-4:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2024)

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@InProceedings{ghazi_et_al:LIPIcs.ITC.2024.4, author = {Ghazi, Badih and Kumar, Ravi and Manurangsi, Pasin}, title = {{Pure-DP Aggregation in the Shuffle Model: Error-Optimal and Communication-Efficient}}, booktitle = {5th Conference on Information-Theoretic Cryptography (ITC 2024)}, pages = {4:1--4:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-333-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2024}, volume = {304}, editor = {Aggarwal, Divesh}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITC.2024.4}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-205127}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITC.2024.4}, annote = {Keywords: Differential Privacy, Shuffle Model, Aggregation, Pure Differential Privacy} }

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

We consider the question of approximating Max 2-CSP where each variable appears in at most d constraints (but with possibly arbitrarily large alphabet). There is a simple ((d+1)/2)-approximation algorithm for the problem. We prove the following results for any sufficiently large d:
- Assuming the Unique Games Conjecture (UGC), it is NP-hard (under randomized reduction) to approximate this problem to within a factor of (d/2 - o(d)).
- It is NP-hard (under randomized reduction) to approximate the problem to within a factor of (d/3 - o(d)). Thanks to a known connection [Pavel Dvorák et al., 2023], we establish the following hardness results for approximating Maximum Independent Set on k-claw-free graphs:
- Assuming the Unique Games Conjecture (UGC), it is NP-hard (under randomized reduction) to approximate this problem to within a factor of (k/4 - o(k)).
- It is NP-hard (under randomized reduction) to approximate the problem to within a factor of (k/(3 + 2√2) - o(k)) ≥ (k/(5.829) - o(k)).
In comparison, known approximation algorithms achieve (k/2 - o(k))-approximation in polynomial time [Meike Neuwohner, 2021; Theophile Thiery and Justin Ward, 2023] and (k/3 + o(k))-approximation in quasi-polynomial time [Marek Cygan et al., 2013].

Euiwoong Lee and Pasin Manurangsi. Hardness of Approximating Bounded-Degree Max 2-CSP and Independent Set on k-Claw-Free Graphs. In 15th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2024). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 287, pp. 71:1-71:17, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2024)

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@InProceedings{lee_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2024.71, author = {Lee, Euiwoong and Manurangsi, Pasin}, title = {{Hardness of Approximating Bounded-Degree Max 2-CSP and Independent Set on k-Claw-Free Graphs}}, booktitle = {15th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2024)}, pages = {71:1--71:17}, 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.2024.71}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-195996}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2024.71}, annote = {Keywords: Hardness of Approximation, Bounded Degree, Constraint Satisfaction Problems, Independent Set} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 267, 4th Conference on Information-Theoretic Cryptography (ITC 2023)

In this paper, we introduce the imperfect shuffle differential privacy model, where messages sent from users are shuffled in an almost uniform manner before being observed by a curator for private aggregation. We then consider the private summation problem. We show that the standard split-and-mix protocol by Ishai et. al. [FOCS 2006] can be adapted to achieve near-optimal utility bounds in the imperfect shuffle model. Specifically, we show that surprisingly, there is no additional error overhead necessary in the imperfect shuffle model.

Badih Ghazi, Ravi Kumar, Pasin Manurangsi, Jelani Nelson, and Samson Zhou. Differentially Private Aggregation via Imperfect Shuffling. In 4th Conference on Information-Theoretic Cryptography (ITC 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 267, pp. 17:1-17:22, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{ghazi_et_al:LIPIcs.ITC.2023.17, author = {Ghazi, Badih and Kumar, Ravi and Manurangsi, Pasin and Nelson, Jelani and Zhou, Samson}, title = {{Differentially Private Aggregation via Imperfect Shuffling}}, booktitle = {4th Conference on Information-Theoretic Cryptography (ITC 2023)}, pages = {17:1--17:22}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-271-6}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {267}, editor = {Chung, Kai-Min}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITC.2023.17}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-183453}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITC.2023.17}, annote = {Keywords: Differential privacy, private summation, shuffle model} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 261, 50th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2023)

We study the problem of performing counting queries at different levels in hierarchical structures while preserving individuals' privacy. Motivated by applications, we propose a new error measure for this problem by considering a combination of multiplicative and additive approximation to the query results. We examine known mechanisms in differential privacy (DP) and prove their optimality, under this measure, in the pure-DP setting. In the approximate-DP setting, we design new algorithms achieving significant improvements over known ones.

Badih Ghazi, Pritish Kamath, Ravi Kumar, Pasin Manurangsi, and Kewen Wu. On Differentially Private Counting on Trees. In 50th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 261, pp. 66:1-66:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{ghazi_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2023.66, author = {Ghazi, Badih and Kamath, Pritish and Kumar, Ravi and Manurangsi, Pasin and Wu, Kewen}, title = {{On Differentially Private Counting on Trees}}, booktitle = {50th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2023)}, pages = {66:1--66:18}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-278-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {261}, editor = {Etessami, Kousha and Feige, Uriel and Puppis, Gabriele}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2023.66}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-181186}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2023.66}, annote = {Keywords: Differential Privacy, Algorithms, Trees, Hierarchies} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 251, 14th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2023)

Differential privacy is often applied with a privacy parameter that is larger than the theory suggests is ideal; various informal justifications for tolerating large privacy parameters have been proposed. In this work, we consider partial differential privacy (DP), which allows quantifying the privacy guarantee on a per-attribute basis. We study several basic data analysis and learning tasks in this framework, and design algorithms whose per-attribute privacy parameter is smaller that the best possible privacy parameter for the entire record of a person (i.e., all the attributes).

Badih Ghazi, Ravi Kumar, Pasin Manurangsi, and Thomas Steinke. Algorithms with More Granular Differential Privacy Guarantees. In 14th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 251, pp. 54:1-54:24, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{ghazi_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2023.54, author = {Ghazi, Badih and Kumar, Ravi and Manurangsi, Pasin and Steinke, Thomas}, title = {{Algorithms with More Granular Differential Privacy Guarantees}}, booktitle = {14th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2023)}, pages = {54:1--54:24}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-263-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {251}, editor = {Tauman Kalai, Yael}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2023.54}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-175574}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2023.54}, annote = {Keywords: Differential Privacy, Algorithms, Per-Attribute Privacy} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 251, 14th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2023)

In this work, we study the task of estimating the numbers of distinct and k-occurring items in a time window under the constraint of differential privacy (DP). We consider several variants depending on whether the queries are on general time windows (between times t₁ and t₂), or are restricted to being cumulative (between times 1 and t₂), and depending on whether the DP neighboring relation is event-level or the more stringent item-level. We obtain nearly tight upper and lower bounds on the errors of DP algorithms for these problems. En route, we obtain an event-level DP algorithm for estimating, at each time step, the number of distinct items seen over the last W updates with error polylogarithmic in W; this answers an open question of Bolot et al. (ICDT 2013).

Badih Ghazi, Ravi Kumar, Jelani Nelson, and Pasin Manurangsi. Private Counting of Distinct and k-Occurring Items in Time Windows. In 14th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 251, pp. 55:1-55:24, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{ghazi_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2023.55, author = {Ghazi, Badih and Kumar, Ravi and Nelson, Jelani and Manurangsi, Pasin}, title = {{Private Counting of Distinct and k-Occurring Items in Time Windows}}, booktitle = {14th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2023)}, pages = {55:1--55:24}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-263-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {251}, editor = {Tauman Kalai, Yael}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2023.55}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-175580}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2023.55}, annote = {Keywords: Differential Privacy, Algorithms, Distinct Elements, Time Windows} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 251, 14th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2023)

We study the complexity of computing (and approximating) VC Dimension and Littlestone’s Dimension when we are given the concept class explicitly. We give a simple reduction from Maximum (Unbalanced) Biclique problem to approximating VC Dimension and Littlestone’s Dimension. With this connection, we derive a range of hardness of approximation results and running time lower bounds. For example, under the (randomized) Gap-Exponential Time Hypothesis or the Strongish Planted Clique Hypothesis, we show a tight inapproximability result: both dimensions are hard to approximate to within a factor of o(log n) in polynomial-time. These improve upon constant-factor inapproximability results from [Pasin Manurangsi and Aviad Rubinstein, 2017].

Pasin Manurangsi. Improved Inapproximability of VC Dimension and Littlestone’s Dimension via (Unbalanced) Biclique. In 14th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 251, pp. 85:1-85:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{manurangsi:LIPIcs.ITCS.2023.85, author = {Manurangsi, Pasin}, title = {{Improved Inapproximability of VC Dimension and Littlestone’s Dimension via (Unbalanced) Biclique}}, booktitle = {14th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2023)}, pages = {85:1--85:18}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-263-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {251}, editor = {Tauman Kalai, Yael}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2023.85}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-175884}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2023.85}, annote = {Keywords: VC Dimension, Littlestone’s Dimension, Maximum Biclique, Hardness of Approximation, Fine-Grained Complexity} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 229, 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)

We study several questions related to diversifying search results. We give improved approximation algorithms in each of the following problems, together with some lower bounds.
1) We give a polynomial-time approximation scheme (PTAS) for a diversified search ranking problem [Nikhil Bansal et al., 2010] whose objective is to minimizes the discounted cumulative gain. Our PTAS runs in time n^{2^O(log(1/ε)/ε)} ⋅ m^O(1) where n denotes the number of elements in the databases and m denotes the number of constraints. Complementing this result, we show that no PTAS can run in time f(ε) ⋅ (nm)^{2^o(1/ε)} assuming Gap-ETH and therefore our running time is nearly tight. Both our upper and lower bounds answer open questions from [Nikhil Bansal et al., 2010].
2) We next consider the Max-Sum Dispersion problem, whose objective is to select k out of n elements from a database that maximizes the dispersion, which is defined as the sum of the pairwise distances under a given metric. We give a quasipolynomial-time approximation scheme (QPTAS) for the problem which runs in time n^{O_ε(log n)}. This improves upon previously known polynomial-time algorithms with approximate ratios 0.5 [Refael Hassin et al., 1997; Allan Borodin et al., 2017]. Furthermore, we observe that reductions from previous work rule out approximation schemes that run in n^õ_ε(log n) time assuming ETH.
3) Finally, we consider a generalization of Max-Sum Dispersion called Max-Sum Diversification. In addition to the sum of pairwise distance, the objective also includes another function f. For monotone submodular function f, we give a quasipolynomial-time algorithm with approximation ratio arbitrarily close to (1-1/e). This improves upon the best polynomial-time algorithm which has approximation ratio 0.5 [Allan Borodin et al., 2017]. Furthermore, the (1-1/e) factor is also tight as achieving better-than-(1-1/e) approximation is NP-hard [Uriel Feige, 1998].

Amir Abboud, Vincent Cohen-Addad, Euiwoong Lee, and Pasin Manurangsi. Improved Approximation Algorithms and Lower Bounds for Search-Diversification Problems. In 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 229, pp. 7:1-7:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{abboud_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.7, author = {Abboud, Amir and Cohen-Addad, Vincent and Lee, Euiwoong and Manurangsi, Pasin}, title = {{Improved Approximation Algorithms and Lower Bounds for Search-Diversification Problems}}, booktitle = {49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)}, pages = {7:1--7:18}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-235-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {229}, editor = {Boja\'{n}czyk, Miko{\l}aj and Merelli, Emanuela and Woodruff, David P.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.7}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-163481}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.7}, annote = {Keywords: Approximation Algorithms, Complexity, Data Mining, Diversification} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 185, 12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021)

We consider a game of persuasion with evidence between a sender and a receiver. The sender has private information. By presenting evidence on the information, the sender wishes to persuade the receiver to take a single action (e.g., hire a job candidate, or convict a defendant). The sender’s utility depends solely on whether or not the receiver takes the action. The receiver’s utility depends on both the action as well as the sender’s private information. We study three natural variations. First, we consider sequential equilibria of the game without commitment power. Second, we consider a persuasion variant, where the sender commits to a signaling scheme and then the receiver, after seeing the evidence, takes the action or not. Third, we study a delegation variant, where the receiver first commits to taking the action if being presented certain evidence, and then the sender presents evidence to maximize the probability the action is taken. We study these variants through the computational lens, and give hardness results, optimal approximation algorithms, as well as polynomial-time algorithms for special cases. Among our results is an approximation algorithm that rounds a semidefinite program that might be of independent interest, since, to the best of our knowledge, it is the first such approximation algorithm for a natural problem in algorithmic economics.

Martin Hoefer, Pasin Manurangsi, and Alexandros Psomas. Algorithmic Persuasion with Evidence. In 12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 185, pp. 3:1-3:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{hoefer_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.3, author = {Hoefer, Martin and Manurangsi, Pasin and Psomas, Alexandros}, title = {{Algorithmic Persuasion with Evidence}}, booktitle = {12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021)}, pages = {3:1--3:20}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-177-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {185}, editor = {Lee, James R.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.3}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-135420}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.3}, annote = {Keywords: Bayesian Persuasion, Semidefinite Programming, Approximation Algorithms} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 185, 12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021)

We formulate a new hardness assumption, the Strongish Planted Clique Hypothesis (SPCH), which postulates that any algorithm for planted clique must run in time n^Ω(log n) (so that the state-of-the-art running time of n^O(log n) is optimal up to a constant in the exponent).
We provide two sets of applications of the new hypothesis. First, we show that SPCH implies (nearly) tight inapproximability results for the following well-studied problems in terms of the parameter k: Densest k-Subgraph, Smallest k-Edge Subgraph, Densest k-Subhypergraph, Steiner k-Forest, and Directed Steiner Network with k terminal pairs. For example, we show, under SPCH, that no polynomial time algorithm achieves o(k)-approximation for Densest k-Subgraph. This inapproximability ratio improves upon the previous best k^o(1) factor from (Chalermsook et al., FOCS 2017). Furthermore, our lower bounds hold even against fixed-parameter tractable algorithms with parameter k.
Our second application focuses on the complexity of graph pattern detection. For both induced and non-induced graph pattern detection, we prove hardness results under SPCH, improving the running time lower bounds obtained by (Dalirrooyfard et al., STOC 2019) under the Exponential Time Hypothesis.

Pasin Manurangsi, Aviad Rubinstein, and Tselil Schramm. The Strongish Planted Clique Hypothesis and Its Consequences. In 12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 185, pp. 10:1-10:21, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{manurangsi_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.10, author = {Manurangsi, Pasin and Rubinstein, Aviad and Schramm, Tselil}, title = {{The Strongish Planted Clique Hypothesis and Its Consequences}}, booktitle = {12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021)}, pages = {10:1--10:21}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-177-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {185}, editor = {Lee, James R.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.10}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-135491}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.10}, annote = {Keywords: Planted Clique, Densest k-Subgraph, Hardness of Approximation} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 185, 12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021)

We prove several hardness results for training depth-2 neural networks with the ReLU activation function; these networks are simply weighted sums (that may include negative coefficients) of ReLUs. Our goal is to output a depth-2 neural network that minimizes the square loss with respect to a given training set. We prove that this problem is NP-hard already for a network with a single ReLU. We also prove NP-hardness for outputting a weighted sum of k ReLUs minimizing the squared error (for k > 1) even in the realizable setting (i.e., when the labels are consistent with an unknown depth-2 ReLU network). We are also able to obtain lower bounds on the running time in terms of the desired additive error ε. To obtain our lower bounds, we use the Gap Exponential Time Hypothesis (Gap-ETH) as well as a new hypothesis regarding the hardness of approximating the well known Densest κ-Subgraph problem in subexponential time (these hypotheses are used separately in proving different lower bounds). For example, we prove that under reasonable hardness assumptions, any proper learning algorithm for finding the best fitting ReLU must run in time exponential in 1/ε². Together with a previous work regarding improperly learning a ReLU [Surbhi Goel et al., 2017], this implies the first separation between proper and improper algorithms for learning a ReLU. We also study the problem of properly learning a depth-2 network of ReLUs with bounded weights giving new (worst-case) upper bounds on the running time needed to learn such networks both in the realizable and agnostic settings. Our upper bounds on the running time essentially matches our lower bounds in terms of the dependency on ε.

Surbhi Goel, Adam Klivans, Pasin Manurangsi, and Daniel Reichman. Tight Hardness Results for Training Depth-2 ReLU Networks. In 12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 185, pp. 22:1-22:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{goel_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.22, author = {Goel, Surbhi and Klivans, Adam and Manurangsi, Pasin and Reichman, Daniel}, title = {{Tight Hardness Results for Training Depth-2 ReLU Networks}}, booktitle = {12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021)}, pages = {22:1--22:14}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-177-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {185}, editor = {Lee, James R.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.22}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-135611}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.22}, annote = {Keywords: ReLU, Learning Algorithm, Running Time Lower Bound} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 185, 12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021)

We study the setup where each of n users holds an element from a discrete set, and the goal is to count the number of distinct elements across all users, under the constraint of (ε,δ)-differentially privacy:
- In the non-interactive local setting, we prove that the additive error of any protocol is Ω(n) for any constant ε and for any δ inverse polynomial in n.
- In the single-message shuffle setting, we prove a lower bound of Ω̃(n) on the error for any constant ε and for some δ inverse quasi-polynomial in n. We do so by building on the moment-matching method from the literature on distribution estimation.
- In the multi-message shuffle setting, we give a protocol with at most one message per user in expectation and with an error of Õ(√n) for any constant ε and for any δ inverse polynomial in n. Our protocol is also robustly shuffle private, and our error of √n matches a known lower bound for such protocols. Our proof technique relies on a new notion, that we call dominated protocols, and which can also be used to obtain the first non-trivial lower bounds against multi-message shuffle protocols for the well-studied problems of selection and learning parity.
Our first lower bound for estimating the number of distinct elements provides the first ω(√n) separation between global sensitivity and error in local differential privacy, thus answering an open question of Vadhan (2017). We also provide a simple construction that gives Ω̃(n) separation between global sensitivity and error in two-party differential privacy, thereby answering an open question of McGregor et al. (2011).

Lijie Chen, Badih Ghazi, Ravi Kumar, and Pasin Manurangsi. On Distributed Differential Privacy and Counting Distinct Elements. In 12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 185, pp. 56:1-56:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{chen_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.56, author = {Chen, Lijie and Ghazi, Badih and Kumar, Ravi and Manurangsi, Pasin}, title = {{On Distributed Differential Privacy and Counting Distinct Elements}}, booktitle = {12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021)}, pages = {56:1--56:18}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-177-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {185}, editor = {Lee, James R.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.56}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-135953}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.56}, annote = {Keywords: Differential Privacy, Shuffle Model} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 163, 1st Conference on Information-Theoretic Cryptography (ITC 2020)

The shuffled (aka anonymous) model has recently generated significant interest as a candidate distributed privacy framework with trust assumptions better than the central model but with achievable error rates smaller than the local model. In this paper, we study pure differentially private protocols in the shuffled model for summation, a very basic and widely used primitive. Specifically:
- For the binary summation problem where each of n users holds a bit as an input, we give a pure ε-differentially private protocol for estimating the number of ones held by the users up to an absolute error of O_{ε}(1), and where each user sends O_{ε}(log n) one-bit messages. This is the first pure protocol in the shuffled model with error o(√n) for constant values of ε.
Using our binary summation protocol as a building block, we give a pure ε-differentially private protocol that performs summation of real numbers in [0, 1] up to an absolute error of O_{ε}(1), and where each user sends O_{ε}(log³ n) messages each consisting of O(log log n) bits.
- In contrast, we show that for any pure ε-differentially private protocol for binary summation in the shuffled model having absolute error n^{0.5-Ω(1)}, the per user communication has to be at least Ω_{ε}(√{log n}) bits. This implies (i) the first separation between the (bounded-communication) multi-message shuffled model and the central model, and (ii) the first separation between pure and approximate differentially private protocols in the shuffled model. Interestingly, over the course of proving our lower bound, we have to consider (a generalization of) the following question that might be of independent interest: given γ ∈ (0, 1), what is the smallest positive integer m for which there exist two random variables X⁰ and X^1 supported on {0, … , m} such that (i) the total variation distance between X⁰ and X^1 is at least 1 - γ, and (ii) the moment generating functions of X⁰ and X^1 are within a constant factor of each other everywhere? We show that the answer to this question is m = Θ(√{log(1/γ)}).

Badih Ghazi, Noah Golowich, Ravi Kumar, Pasin Manurangsi, Rasmus Pagh, and Ameya Velingker. Pure Differentially Private Summation from Anonymous Messages. In 1st Conference on Information-Theoretic Cryptography (ITC 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 163, pp. 15:1-15:23, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{ghazi_et_al:LIPIcs.ITC.2020.15, author = {Ghazi, Badih and Golowich, Noah and Kumar, Ravi and Manurangsi, Pasin and Pagh, Rasmus and Velingker, Ameya}, title = {{Pure Differentially Private Summation from Anonymous Messages}}, booktitle = {1st Conference on Information-Theoretic Cryptography (ITC 2020)}, pages = {15:1--15:23}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-151-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2020}, volume = {163}, editor = {Tauman Kalai, Yael and Smith, Adam D. and Wichs, Daniel}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITC.2020.15}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-121208}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITC.2020.15}, annote = {Keywords: Pure differential privacy, Shuffled model, Anonymous messages, Summation, Communication bounds} }

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**Published in:** OASIcs, Volume 69, 2nd Symposium on Simplicity in Algorithms (SOSA 2019)

In Maximum k-Vertex Cover (Max k-VC), the input is an edge-weighted graph G and an integer k, and the goal is to find a subset S of k vertices that maximizes the total weight of edges covered by S. Here we say that an edge is covered by S iff at least one of its endpoints lies in S.
We present an FPT approximation scheme (FPT-AS) that runs in (1/epsilon)^{O(k)} poly(n) time for the problem, which improves upon Gupta, Lee and Li's (k/epsilon)^{O(k)} poly(n)-time FPT-AS [Anupam Gupta and, 2018; Anupam Gupta et al., 2018]. Our algorithm is simple: just use brute force to find the best k-vertex subset among the O(k/epsilon) vertices with maximum weighted degrees.
Our algorithm naturally yields an (efficient) approximate kernelization scheme of O(k/epsilon) vertices; previously, an O(k^5/epsilon^2)-vertex approximate kernel is only known for the unweighted version of Max k-VC [Daniel Lokshtanov and, 2017]. Interestingly, this also has an application outside of parameterized complexity: using our approximate kernelization as a preprocessing step, we can directly apply Raghavendra and Tan's SDP-based algorithm for 2SAT with cardinality constraint [Prasad Raghavendra and, 2012] to give an 0.92-approximation algorithm for Max k-VC in polynomial time. This improves upon the best known polynomial time approximation algorithm of Feige and Langberg [Uriel Feige and, 2001] which yields (0.75 + delta)-approximation for some (small and unspecified) constant delta > 0.
We also consider the minimization version of the problem (called Min k-VC), where the goal is to find a set S of k vertices that minimizes the total weight of edges covered by S. We provide a FPT-AS for Min k-VC with similar running time of (1/epsilon)^{O(k)} poly(n). Once again, this improves on a (k/epsilon)^{O(k)} poly(n)-time FPT-AS of Gupta et al. On the other hand, we show, assuming a variant of the Small Set Expansion Hypothesis [Raghavendra and Steurer, 2010] and NP !subseteq coNP/poly, that there is no polynomial size approximate kernelization for Min k-VC for any factor less than two.

Pasin Manurangsi. A Note on Max k-Vertex Cover: Faster FPT-AS, Smaller Approximate Kernel and Improved Approximation. In 2nd Symposium on Simplicity in Algorithms (SOSA 2019). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 69, pp. 15:1-15:21, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{manurangsi:OASIcs.SOSA.2019.15, author = {Manurangsi, Pasin}, title = {{A Note on Max k-Vertex Cover: Faster FPT-AS, Smaller Approximate Kernel and Improved Approximation}}, booktitle = {2nd Symposium on Simplicity in Algorithms (SOSA 2019)}, pages = {15:1--15:21}, series = {Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-099-6}, ISSN = {2190-6807}, year = {2019}, volume = {69}, editor = {Fineman, Jeremy T. and Mitzenmacher, Michael}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/OASIcs.SOSA.2019.15}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-100417}, doi = {10.4230/OASIcs.SOSA.2019.15}, annote = {Keywords: Maximum k-Vertex Cover, Minimum k-Vertex Cover, Approximation Algorithms, Fixed Parameter Algorithms, Approximate Kernelization} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 124, 10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019)

Given a set of n points in R^d, the (monochromatic) Closest Pair problem asks to find a pair of distinct points in the set that are closest in the l_p-metric. Closest Pair is a fundamental problem in Computational Geometry and understanding its fine-grained complexity in the Euclidean metric when d=omega(log n) was raised as an open question in recent works (Abboud-Rubinstein-Williams [FOCS'17], Williams [SODA'18], David-Karthik-Laekhanukit [SoCG'18]).
In this paper, we show that for every p in R_{>= 1} cup {0}, under the Strong Exponential Time Hypothesis (SETH), for every epsilon>0, the following holds:
- No algorithm running in time O(n^{2-epsilon}) can solve the Closest Pair problem in d=(log n)^{Omega_{epsilon}(1)} dimensions in the l_p-metric.
- There exists delta = delta(epsilon)>0 and c = c(epsilon)>= 1 such that no algorithm running in time O(n^{1.5-epsilon}) can approximate Closest Pair problem to a factor of (1+delta) in d >= c log n dimensions in the l_p-metric.
In particular, our first result is shown by establishing the computational equivalence of the bichromatic Closest Pair problem and the (monochromatic) Closest Pair problem (up to n^{epsilon} factor in the running time) for d=(log n)^{Omega_epsilon(1)} dimensions.
Additionally, under SETH, we rule out nearly-polynomial factor approximation algorithms running in subquadratic time for the (monochromatic) Maximum Inner Product problem where we are given a set of n points in n^{o(1)}-dimensional Euclidean space and are required to find a pair of distinct points in the set that maximize the inner product.
At the heart of all our proofs is the construction of a dense bipartite graph with low contact dimension, i.e., we construct a balanced bipartite graph on n vertices with n^{2-epsilon} edges whose vertices can be realized as points in a (log n)^{Omega_epsilon(1)}-dimensional Euclidean space such that every pair of vertices which have an edge in the graph are at distance exactly 1 and every other pair of vertices are at distance greater than 1. This graph construction is inspired by the construction of locally dense codes introduced by Dumer-Miccancio-Sudan [IEEE Trans. Inf. Theory'03].

Karthik C. S. and Pasin Manurangsi. On Closest Pair in Euclidean Metric: Monochromatic is as Hard as Bichromatic. In 10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 124, pp. 17:1-17:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{c.s._et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.17, author = {C. S., Karthik and Manurangsi, Pasin}, title = {{On Closest Pair in Euclidean Metric: Monochromatic is as Hard as Bichromatic}}, booktitle = {10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019)}, pages = {17:1--17:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-095-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {124}, editor = {Blum, Avrim}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.17}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-101100}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.17}, annote = {Keywords: Closest Pair, Bichromatic Closest Pair, Contact Dimension, Fine-Grained Complexity} }

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

Consider the following asynchronous, opportunistic communication model over a graph G: in each round, one edge is activated uniformly and independently at random and (only) its two endpoints can exchange messages and perform local computations. Under this model, we study the following random process: The first time a vertex is an endpoint of an active edge, it chooses a random number, say +/- 1 with probability 1/2; then, in each round, the two endpoints of the currently active edge update their values to their average.
We provide a rigorous analysis of the above process showing that, if G exhibits a two-community structure (for example, two expanders connected by a sparse cut), the values held by the nodes will collectively reflect the underlying community structure over a suitable phase of the above process. Our analysis requires new concentration bounds on the product of certain random matrices that are technically challenging and possibly of independent interest.
We then exploit our analysis to design the first opportunistic protocols that approximately recover community structure using only logarithmic (or polylogarithmic, depending on the sparsity of the cut) work per node.

Luca Becchetti, Andrea Clementi, Pasin Manurangsi, Emanuele Natale, Francesco Pasquale, Prasad Raghavendra, and Luca Trevisan. Average Whenever You Meet: Opportunistic Protocols for Community Detection. In 26th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 112, pp. 7:1-7:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{becchetti_et_al:LIPIcs.ESA.2018.7, author = {Becchetti, Luca and Clementi, Andrea and Manurangsi, Pasin and Natale, Emanuele and Pasquale, Francesco and Raghavendra, Prasad and Trevisan, Luca}, title = {{Average Whenever You Meet: Opportunistic Protocols for Community Detection}}, booktitle = {26th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2018)}, pages = {7:1--7:13}, 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.2018.7}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-94705}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ESA.2018.7}, annote = {Keywords: Community Detection, Random Processes, Spectral Analysis} }

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

The Directed Steiner Network (DSN) problem takes as input a directed edge-weighted graph G=(V,E) and a set {D}subseteq V x V of k demand pairs. The aim is to compute the cheapest network N subseteq G for which there is an s -> t path for each (s,t)in {D}. It is known that this problem is notoriously hard as there is no k^{1/4-o(1)}-approximation algorithm under Gap-ETH, even when parameterizing the runtime by k [Dinur & Manurangsi, ITCS 2018]. In light of this, we systematically study several special cases of DSN and determine their parameterized approximability for the parameter k.
For the bi-DSN_Planar problem, the aim is to compute a planar optimum solution N subseteq G in a bidirected graph G, i.e. for every edge uv of G the reverse edge vu exists and has the same weight. This problem is a generalization of several well-studied special cases. Our main result is that this problem admits a parameterized approximation scheme (PAS) for k. We also prove that our result is tight in the sense that (a) the runtime of our PAS cannot be significantly improved, and (b) it is unlikely that a PAS exists for any generalization of bi-DSN_Planar, unless FPT=W[1]. Additionally we study several generalizations of bi-DSN_Planar and obtain upper and lower bounds on obtainable runtimes parameterized by k.
One important special case of DSN is the Strongly Connected Steiner Subgraph (SCSS) problem, for which the solution network N subseteq G needs to strongly connect a given set of k terminals. It has been observed before that for SCSS a parameterized 2-approximation exists when parameterized by k [Chitnis et al., IPEC 2013]. We show a tight inapproximability result: under Gap-ETH there is no (2-{epsilon})-approximation algorithm parameterized by k (for any epsilon>0). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of a W[1]-hard problem admitting a non-trivial parameterized approximation factor which is also known to be tight! Additionally we show that when restricting the input of SCSS to bidirected graphs, the problem remains NP-hard but becomes FPT for k.

Rajesh Chitnis, Andreas Emil Feldmann, and Pasin Manurangsi. Parameterized Approximation Algorithms for Bidirected Steiner Network Problems. In 26th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 112, pp. 20:1-20:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{chitnis_et_al:LIPIcs.ESA.2018.20, author = {Chitnis, Rajesh and Feldmann, Andreas Emil and Manurangsi, Pasin}, title = {{Parameterized Approximation Algorithms for Bidirected Steiner Network Problems}}, booktitle = {26th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2018)}, pages = {20:1--20:16}, 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.2018.20}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-94833}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ESA.2018.20}, annote = {Keywords: Directed Steiner Network, Strongly Connected Steiner Subgraph, Parameterized Approximations, Bidirected Graphs, Planar Graphs} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 116, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018)

The log-density method is a powerful algorithmic framework which in recent years has given rise to the best-known approximations for a variety of problems, including Densest-k-Subgraph and Small Set Bipartite Vertex Expansion. These approximations have been conjectured to be optimal based on various instantiations of a general conjecture: that it is hard to distinguish a fully random combinatorial structure from one which contains a similar planted sub-structure with the same "log-density".
We bolster this conjecture by showing that in a random hypergraph with edge probability n^{-alpha}, Omega(log n) rounds of Sherali-Adams cannot rule out the existence of a k-subhypergraph with edge density k^{-alpha-o(1)}, for any k and alpha. This holds even when the bound on the objective function is lifted. This gives strong integrality gaps which exactly match the gap in the above distinguishing problems, as well as the best-known approximations, for Densest k-Subgraph, Smallest p-Edge Subgraph, their hypergraph extensions, and Small Set Bipartite Vertex Expansion (or equivalently, Minimum p-Union). Previously, such integrality gaps were known only for Densest k-Subgraph for one specific parameter setting.

Eden Chlamtác and Pasin Manurangsi. Sherali-Adams Integrality Gaps Matching the Log-Density Threshold. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 116, pp. 10:1-10:19, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{chlamtac_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.10, author = {Chlamt\'{a}c, Eden and Manurangsi, Pasin}, title = {{Sherali-Adams Integrality Gaps Matching the Log-Density Threshold}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018)}, pages = {10:1--10:19}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-085-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2018}, volume = {116}, editor = {Blais, Eric and Jansen, Klaus and D. P. Rolim, Jos\'{e} and Steurer, David}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.10}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-94142}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.10}, annote = {Keywords: Approximation algorithms, integrality gaps, lift-and-project, log-density, Densest k-Subgraph} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 116, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018)

In this work, we study the trade-off between the running time of approximation algorithms and their approximation guarantees. By leveraging a structure of the "hard" instances of the Arora-Rao-Vazirani lemma [Sanjeev Arora et al., 2009; James R. Lee, 2005], we show that the Sum-of-Squares hierarchy can be adapted to provide "fast", but still exponential time, approximation algorithms for several problems in the regime where they are believed to be NP-hard. Specifically, our framework yields the following algorithms; here n denote the number of vertices of the graph and r can be any positive real number greater than 1 (possibly depending on n).
- A (2 - 1/(O(r)))-approximation algorithm for Vertex Cover that runs in exp (n/(2^{r^2)})n^{O(1)} time.
- An O(r)-approximation algorithms for Uniform Sparsest Cut and Balanced Separator that runs in exp (n/(2^{r^2)})n^{O(1)} time.
Our algorithm for Vertex Cover improves upon Bansal et al.'s algorithm [Nikhil Bansal et al., 2017] which achieves (2 - 1/(O(r)))-approximation in time exp (n/(r^r))n^{O(1)}. For Uniform Sparsest Cut and Balanced Separator, our algorithms improve upon O(r)-approximation exp (n/(2^r))n^{O(1)}-time algorithms that follow from a work of Charikar et al. [Moses Charikar et al., 2010].

Pasin Manurangsi and Luca Trevisan. Mildly Exponential Time Approximation Algorithms for Vertex Cover, Balanced Separator and Uniform Sparsest Cut. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 116, pp. 20:1-20:17, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{manurangsi_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.20, author = {Manurangsi, Pasin and Trevisan, Luca}, title = {{Mildly Exponential Time Approximation Algorithms for Vertex Cover, Balanced Separator and Uniform Sparsest Cut}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018)}, pages = {20:1--20:17}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-085-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2018}, volume = {116}, editor = {Blais, Eric and Jansen, Klaus and D. P. Rolim, Jos\'{e} and Steurer, David}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.20}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-94241}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.20}, annote = {Keywords: Approximation algorithms, Exponential-time algorithms, Vertex Cover, Sparsest Cut, Balanced Separator} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 107, 45th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2018)

The k-Even Set problem is a parameterized variant of the Minimum Distance Problem of linear codes over F_2, which can be stated as follows: given a generator matrix A and an integer k, determine whether the code generated by A has distance at most k. Here, k is the parameter of the problem. The question of whether k-Even Set is fixed parameter tractable (FPT) has been repeatedly raised in literature and has earned its place in Downey and Fellows' book (2013) as one of the "most infamous" open problems in the field of Parameterized Complexity.
In this work, we show that k-Even Set does not admit FPT algorithms under the (randomized) Gap Exponential Time Hypothesis (Gap-ETH) [Dinur'16, Manurangsi-Raghavendra'16]. In fact, our result rules out not only exact FPT algorithms, but also any constant factor FPT approximation algorithms for the problem. Furthermore, our result holds even under the following weaker assumption, which is also known as the Parameterized Inapproximability Hypothesis (PIH) [Lokshtanov et al.'17]: no (randomized) FPT algorithm can distinguish a satisfiable 2CSP instance from one which is only 0.99-satisfiable (where the parameter is the number of variables).
We also consider the parameterized k-Shortest Vector Problem (SVP), in which we are given a lattice whose basis vectors are integral and an integer k, and the goal is to determine whether the norm of the shortest vector (in the l_p norm for some fixed p) is at most k. Similar to k-Even Set, this problem is also a long-standing open problem in the field of Parameterized Complexity. We show that, for any p > 1, k-SVP is hard to approximate (in FPT time) to some constant factor, assuming PIH. Furthermore, for the case of p = 2, the inapproximability factor can be amplified to any constant.

Arnab Bhattacharyya, Suprovat Ghoshal, Karthik C. S., and Pasin Manurangsi. Parameterized Intractability of Even Set and Shortest Vector Problem from Gap-ETH. In 45th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 107, pp. 17:1-17:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{bhattacharyya_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2018.17, author = {Bhattacharyya, Arnab and Ghoshal, Suprovat and C. S., Karthik and Manurangsi, Pasin}, title = {{Parameterized Intractability of Even Set and Shortest Vector Problem from Gap-ETH}}, booktitle = {45th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2018)}, pages = {17:1--17:15}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-076-7}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2018}, volume = {107}, editor = {Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Kaklamanis, Christos and Marx, D\'{a}niel and Sannella, Donald}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2018.17}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-90214}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2018.17}, annote = {Keywords: Parameterized Complexity, Inapproximability, Even Set, Minimum Distance Problem, Shortest Vector Problem, Gap-ETH} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 94, 9th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2018)

We study 2-ary constraint satisfaction problems (2-CSPs), which can be stated as follows: given a constraint graph G = (V,E), an alphabet set Sigma and, for each edge {u, v}, a constraint C_uv, the goal is to find an assignment sigma from V to Sigma that satisfies as many constraints as possible, where a constraint C_uv is said to be satisfied by sigma if C_uv contains (sigma(u),sigma(v)).
While the approximability of 2-CSPs is quite well understood when the alphabet size |Sigma| is constant (see e.g. [37]), many problems are still open when |Sigma| becomes super constant. One open problem that has received significant attention in the literature is whether it is hard to approximate 2-CSPs to within a polynomial factor of both |Sigma| and |V| (i.e. (|Sigma||V|)^Omega(1) factor). As a special case of the so-called Sliding Scale Conjecture, Bellare et al. [5] suggested that the answer to this question might be positive. Alas, despite many efforts by researchers to resolve this conjecture (e.g. [39, 4, 20, 21, 35]), it still remains open to this day.
In this work, we separate |V| and |Sigma| and ask a closely related but weaker question: is it hard to approximate 2-CSPs to within a polynomial factor of |V| (while |Sigma| may be super-polynomial in |Sigma|)? Assuming the exponential time hypothesis (ETH), we answer this question positively: unless ETH fails, no polynomial time algorithm can approximate 2-CSPs to within a factor of |V|^{1-o(1)}. Note that our ratio is not only polynomial but also almost linear. This is almost optimal since a trivial algorithm yields an O(|V|)-approximation for 2-CSPs.
Thanks to a known reduction [25, 16] from 2-CSPs to the Directed Steiner Network (DSN) problem, our result implies an inapproximability result for the latter with polynomial ratio in terms of the number of demand pairs. Specifically, assuming ETH, no polynomial time algorithm can approximate DSN to within a factor of k^{1/4 - o(1)} where k is the number of demand pairs. The ratio is roughly the square root of the approximation ratios achieved by best known polynomial time algorithms [15, 26], which yield O(k^{1/2 + epsilon})-approximation for every constant epsilon > 0.
Additionally, under Gap-ETH, our reduction for 2-CSPs not only rules out polynomial time algorithms, but also fixed parameter tractable (FPT) algorithms parameterized by the number of variables |V|. These are algorithms with running time g(|V|)·|Sigma|^O(1) for some function g. Similar improvements apply for DSN parameterized by the number of demand pairs k.

Irit Dinur and Pasin Manurangsi. ETH-Hardness of Approximating 2-CSPs and Directed Steiner Network. In 9th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 94, pp. 36:1-36:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{dinur_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2018.36, author = {Dinur, Irit and Manurangsi, Pasin}, title = {{ETH-Hardness of Approximating 2-CSPs and Directed Steiner Network}}, booktitle = {9th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2018)}, pages = {36:1--36:20}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-060-6}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2018}, volume = {94}, editor = {Karlin, Anna R.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2018.36}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-83670}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2018.36}, annote = {Keywords: Hardness of Approximation, Constraint Satisfaction Problems, Directed Steiner Network, Parameterized Complexity} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 80, 44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017)

A (k x l)-birthday repetition G^{k x l} of a two-prover game G is a game in which the two provers are sent random sets of questions from G of sizes k and l respectively. These two sets are sampled independently uniformly among all sets of questions of those particular sizes. We prove the following birthday repetition theorem: when G satisfies some mild conditions, val(G^{k x l}) decreases exponentially in Omega(kl/n) where n is the total number of questions. Our result positively resolves an open question posted by Aaronson, Impagliazzo and Moshkovitz [Aaronson et al., CCC, 2014].
As an application of our birthday repetition theorem, we obtain new fine-grained inapproximability results for dense CSPs. Specifically, we establish a tight trade-off between running time and approximation ratio by showing conditional lower bounds, integrality gaps and approximation algorithms; in particular, for any sufficiently large i and for every k >= 2, we show the following:
- We exhibit an O(q^{1/i})-approximation algorithm for dense Max k-CSPs with alphabet size q via O_k(i)-level of Sherali-Adams relaxation.
- Through our birthday repetition theorem, we obtain an integrality gap of q^{1/i} for Omega_k(i / polylog i)-level Lasserre relaxation for fully-dense Max k-CSP.
- Assuming that there is a constant epsilon > 0 such that Max 3SAT cannot be approximated to within (1 - epsilon) of the optimal in sub-exponential time, our birthday repetition theorem implies that any algorithm that approximates fully-dense Max k-CSP to within a q^{1/i} factor takes (nq)^{Omega_k(i / polylog i)} time, almost tightly matching our algorithmic result.
As a corollary of our algorithm for dense Max k-CSP, we give a new approximation algorithm for Densest k-Subhypergraph, a generalization of Densest k-Subgraph to hypergraphs. When the input hypergraph is O(1)-uniform and the optimal k-subhypergraph has constant density, our algorithm finds a k-subhypergraph of density Omega(n^{−1/i}) in time n^{O(i)} for any integer i > 0.

Pasin Manurangsi and Prasad Raghavendra. A Birthday Repetition Theorem and Complexity of Approximating Dense CSPs. In 44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 80, pp. 78:1-78:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{manurangsi_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.78, author = {Manurangsi, Pasin and Raghavendra, Prasad}, title = {{A Birthday Repetition Theorem and Complexity of Approximating Dense CSPs}}, booktitle = {44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017)}, pages = {78:1--78:15}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-041-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {80}, editor = {Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Indyk, Piotr and Kuhn, Fabian and Muscholl, Anca}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.78}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-74638}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.78}, annote = {Keywords: Birthday Repetition, Constraint Satisfaction Problems, Linear Program} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 80, 44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017)

The Small Set Expansion Hypothesis (SSEH) is a conjecture which roughly states that it is NP-hard to distinguish between a graph with a small set of vertices whose expansion is almost zero and one in which all small sets of vertices have expansion almost one. In this work, we prove conditional inapproximability results for the following graph problems based on this hypothesis:
- Maximum Edge Biclique (MEB): given a bipartite graph G, find a complete bipartite subgraph of G with maximum number of edges. We show that, assuming SSEH and that NP != BPP, no polynomial time algorithm gives n^{1 - epsilon}-approximation for MEB for every constant epsilon > 0.
- Maximum Balanced Biclique (MBB): given a bipartite graph G, find a balanced complete bipartite subgraph of G with maximum number of vertices. Similar to MEB, we prove n^{1 - epsilon} ratio inapproximability for MBB for every epsilon > 0, assuming SSEH and that NP != BPP.
- Minimum k-Cut: given a weighted graph G, find a set of edges with minimum total weight whose removal splits the graph into k components. We prove that this problem is NP-hard to approximate to within (2 - epsilon) factor of the optimum for every epsilon > 0, assuming SSEH.
The ratios in our results are essentially tight since trivial algorithms give n-approximation to both MEB and MBB and 2-approximation algorithms are known for Minimum k-Cut [Saran and Vazirani, SIAM J. Comput., 1995].
Our first two results are proved by combining a technique developed by Raghavendra, Steurer and Tulsiani [Raghavendra et al., CCC, 2012] to avoid locality of gadget reductions with a generalization of Bansal and Khot's long code test [Bansal and Khot, FOCS, 2009] whereas our last result is shown via an elementary reduction.

Pasin Manurangsi. Inapproximability of Maximum Edge Biclique, Maximum Balanced Biclique and Minimum k-Cut from the Small Set Expansion Hypothesis. In 44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 80, pp. 79:1-79:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{manurangsi:LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.79, author = {Manurangsi, Pasin}, title = {{Inapproximability of Maximum Edge Biclique, Maximum Balanced Biclique and Minimum k-Cut from the Small Set Expansion Hypothesis}}, booktitle = {44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017)}, pages = {79:1--79:14}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-041-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {80}, editor = {Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Indyk, Piotr and Kuhn, Fabian and Muscholl, Anca}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.79}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-75004}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.79}, annote = {Keywords: Hardness of Approximation, Small Set Expansion Hypothesis} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 60, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2016)

In this paper, we prove an almost-optimal hardness for Max k-CSP_R based on Khot's Unique Games Conjecture (UGC). In Max k-CSP_R, we are given a set of predicates each of which depends on exactly k variables. Each variable can take any value from 1, 2, ..., R. The goal is to find an assignment to variables that maximizes the number of satisfied predicates.
Assuming the Unique Games Conjecture, we show that it is NP-hard to approximate Max k-CSP_R to within factor 2^{O(k log k)}(log R)^{k/2}/R^{k - 1} for any k, R.
To the best of our knowledge, this result improves on all the known hardness of approximation results when 3 <= k = o(log R/log log R). In this case, the previous best hardness result was NP-hardness of approximating within a factor O(k/R^{k-2}) by Chan. When k = 2, our result matches the best known UGC-hardness result of Khot, Kindler, Mossel and O'Donnell.
In addition, by extending an algorithm for Max 2-CSP_R by Kindler, Kolla and Trevisan, we provide an Omega(log R/R^{k - 1})-approximation algorithm for Max k-CSP_R. This algorithm implies that our inapproximability result is tight up to a factor of 2^{O(k \log k)}(\log R)^{k/2 - 1}. In comparison, when 3 <= k is a constant, the previously known gap was $O(R)$, which is significantly larger than our gap of O(polylog R).
Finally, we show that we can replace the Unique Games Conjecture assumption with Khot's d-to-1 Conjecture and still get asymptotically the same hardness of approximation.

Pasin Manurangsi, Preetum Nakkiran, and Luca Trevisan. Near-Optimal UGC-hardness of Approximating Max k-CSP_R. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 60, pp. 15:1-15:28, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)

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@InProceedings{manurangsi_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2016.15, author = {Manurangsi, Pasin and Nakkiran, Preetum and Trevisan, Luca}, title = {{Near-Optimal UGC-hardness of Approximating Max k-CSP\underlineR}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2016)}, pages = {15:1--15:28}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-018-7}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2016}, volume = {60}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Mathieu, Claire and Rolim, Jos\'{e} D. P. and Umans, Chris}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2016.15}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-66388}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2016.15}, annote = {Keywords: inapproximability, unique games conjecture, constraint satisfaction problem, invariance principle} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 40, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015)

In this paper, we present a polynomial-time algorithm that approximates sufficiently high-value Max 2-CSPs on sufficiently dense graphs to within O(N^epsilon) approximation ratio for any constant epsilon > 0. Using this algorithm, we also achieve similar results for free games, projection games on sufficiently dense random graphs, and the Densest k-Subgraph problem with sufficiently dense optimal solution. Note, however, that algorithms with similar guarantees to the last algorithm were in fact discovered prior to our work by Feige et al. and Suzuki and Tokuyama.
In addition, our idea for the above algorithms yields the following by-product: a quasi-polynomial time approximation scheme (QPTAS) for satisfiable dense Max 2-CSPs with better running time than the known algorithms.

Pasin Manurangsi and Dana Moshkovitz. Approximating Dense Max 2-CSPs. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 40, pp. 396-415, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2015)

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@InProceedings{manurangsi_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.396, author = {Manurangsi, Pasin and Moshkovitz, Dana}, title = {{Approximating Dense Max 2-CSPs}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015)}, pages = {396--415}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-939897-89-7}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2015}, volume = {40}, editor = {Garg, Naveen and Jansen, Klaus and Rao, Anup and Rolim, Jos\'{e} D. P.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.396}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-53149}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.396}, annote = {Keywords: Max 2-CSP, Dense Graphs, Densest k-Subgraph, QPTAS, Free Games, Projection Games} }

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