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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 254, 40th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2023)

Given n elements, an integer k ≤ n/2 and a parameter ε ≥ 1/n, we study the problem of selecting an element with rank in (k-nε, k+nε] using unreliable comparisons where the outcome of each comparison is incorrect independently with a constant error probability, and multiple comparisons between the same pair of elements are independent. In this fault model, the fundamental problems of finding the minimum, selecting the k-th smallest element and sorting have been shown to require Θ(n log 1/Q), Θ(n log k/Q) and Θ(n log n/Q) comparisons, respectively, to achieve success probability 1-Q [Uriel Feige et al., 1994]. Considering the increasing complexity of modern computing, it is of great interest to develop approximation algorithms that enable a trade-off between the solution quality and the number of comparisons. In particular, approximation algorithms would even be able to attain a sublinear number of comparisons. Very recently, Leucci and Liu [Stefano Leucci and Chih-Hung Liu, 2022] proved that the approximate minimum selection problem, which covers the case that k ≤ nε, requires expected Θ(ε^{-1} log 1/Q) comparisons, but the general case, i.e., for nε < k ≤ n/2, is still open.
We develop a randomized algorithm that performs expected O(k/n ε^{-2} log 1/Q) comparisons to achieve success probability at least 1-Q. For k = n ε, the number of comparisons is O(ε^{-1} log 1/Q), matching Leucci and Liu’s result [Stefano Leucci and Chih-Hung Liu, 2022], whereas for k = n/2 (i.e., approximating the median), the number of comparisons is O(ε^{-2} log 1/Q). We also prove that even in the absence of comparison faults, any randomized algorithm with success probability at least 1-Q performs expected Ω(min{n, k/n ε^{-2} log 1/Q}) comparisons. As long as n is large enough, i.e., when n = Ω(k/n ε^{-2} log 1/Q), our lower bound demonstrates the optimality of our algorithm, which covers the possible range of attaining a sublinear number of comparisons. Surprisingly, for constant Q, our algorithm performs expected O(k/n ε^{-2}) comparisons, matching the best possible approximation algorithm in the absence of computation faults. In contrast, for the exact selection problem, the expected number of comparisons is Θ(n log k) with faults versus Θ(n) without faults. Our results also indicate a clear distinction between approximating the minimum and approximating the k-th smallest element, which holds even for the high probability guarantee, e.g., if k = n/2, Q = 1/n and ε = n^{-α} for α ∈ (0, 1/2), the asymptotic difference is almost quadratic, i.e., Θ̃(n^α) versus Θ̃(n^{2α}).

Shengyu Huang, Chih-Hung Liu, and Daniel Rutschmann. Approximate Selection with Unreliable Comparisons in Optimal Expected Time. In 40th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 254, pp. 37:1-37:23, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{huang_et_al:LIPIcs.STACS.2023.37, author = {Huang, Shengyu and Liu, Chih-Hung and Rutschmann, Daniel}, title = {{Approximate Selection with Unreliable Comparisons in Optimal Expected Time}}, booktitle = {40th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2023)}, pages = {37:1--37:23}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-266-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {254}, editor = {Berenbrink, Petra and Bouyer, Patricia and Dawar, Anuj and Kant\'{e}, Mamadou Moustapha}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2023.37}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-176898}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2023.37}, annote = {Keywords: Approximate Selection, Unreliable Comparisons, Independent Faults} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 224, 38th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2022)

We introduce the abstract notion of a chain, which is a sequence of n points in the plane, ordered by x-coordinates, so that the edge between any two consecutive points is unavoidable as far as triangulations are concerned. A general theory of the structural properties of chains is developed, alongside a general understanding of their number of triangulations.
We also describe an intriguing new and concrete configuration, which we call the Koch chain due to its similarities to the Koch curve. A specific construction based on Koch chains is then shown to have Ω(9.08ⁿ) triangulations. This is a significant improvement over the previous and long-standing lower bound of Ω(8.65ⁿ) for the maximum number of triangulations of planar point sets.

Daniel Rutschmann and Manuel Wettstein. Chains, Koch Chains, and Point Sets with Many Triangulations. In 38th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 224, pp. 59:1-59:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{rutschmann_et_al:LIPIcs.SoCG.2022.59, author = {Rutschmann, Daniel and Wettstein, Manuel}, title = {{Chains, Koch Chains, and Point Sets with Many Triangulations}}, booktitle = {38th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2022)}, pages = {59:1--59:18}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-227-3}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {224}, editor = {Goaoc, Xavier and Kerber, Michael}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2022.59}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-160678}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2022.59}, annote = {Keywords: Planar Point Set, Chain, Koch Chain, Triangulation, Maximum Number of Triangulations, Lower Bound} }

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