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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 294, 19th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2024)

In this paper, we present approximation algorithms for the airport and railway problem (AR) on several classes of graphs. The AR problem, introduced by [Anna Adamaszek et al., 2016], is a combination of the Capacitated Facility Location problem (CFL) and the network design problem. An AR instance consists of a set of points (cities) V in a metric d(.,.), each of which is associated with a non-negative cost f_v and a number k, which represent respectively the cost of establishing an airport (facility) in the corresponding point, and the universal airport capacity. A feasible solution is a network of airports and railways providing services to all cities without violating any capacity, where railways are edges connecting pairs of points, with their costs equivalent to the distance between the respective points. The objective is to find such a network with the least cost. In other words, find a forest, each component having at most k points and one open facility, minimizing the total cost of edges and airport opening costs. Adamaszek et al. [Anna Adamaszek et al., 2016] presented a PTAS for AR in the two-dimensional Euclidean metric ℝ² with a uniform opening cost. In subsequent work [Anna Adamaszek et al., 2018] presented a bicriteria 4/3 (2+1/α)-approximation algorithm for AR with non-uniform opening costs but violating the airport capacity by a factor of 1+α, i.e. (1+α)k capacity where 0 < α ≤ 1, a (2+k/(k-1)+ε)-approximation algorithm and a bicriteria Quasi-Polynomial Time Approximation Scheme (QPTAS) for the same problem in the Euclidean plane ℝ². In this work, we give a 2-approximation for AR with a uniform opening cost for general metrics and an O(log n)-approximation for non-uniform opening costs. We also give a QPTAS for AR with a uniform opening cost in graphs of bounded treewidth and a QPTAS for a slightly relaxed version in the non-uniform setting. The latter implies O(1)-approximation on graphs of bounded doubling dimensions, graphs of bounded highway dimensions and planar graphs in quasi-polynomial time.

Mohammad R. Salavatipour and Lijiangnan Tian. Approximation Algorithms for the Airport and Railway Problem. In 19th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2024). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 294, pp. 40:1-40:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2024)

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@InProceedings{salavatipour_et_al:LIPIcs.SWAT.2024.40, author = {Salavatipour, Mohammad R. and Tian, Lijiangnan}, title = {{Approximation Algorithms for the Airport and Railway Problem}}, booktitle = {19th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2024)}, pages = {40:1--40:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-318-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2024}, volume = {294}, editor = {Bodlaender, Hans L.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.SWAT.2024.40}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-200806}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.SWAT.2024.40}, annote = {Keywords: Facility Location, Approximation Algorithms, Dynamic Programming} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 274, 31st Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2023)

We consider the Min-Sum k-Clustering (k-MSC) problem. Given a set of points in a metric which is represented by an edge-weighted graph G = (V, E) and a parameter k, the goal is to partition the points V into k clusters such that the sum of distances between all pairs of the points within the same cluster is minimized.
The k-MSC problem is known to be APX-hard on general metrics. The best known approximation algorithms for the problem obtained by Behsaz, Friggstad, Salavatipour and Sivakumar [Algorithmica 2019] achieve an approximation ratio of O(log |V|) in polynomial time for general metrics and an approximation ratio 2+ε in quasi-polynomial time for metrics with bounded doubling dimension. No approximation schemes for k-MSC (when k is part of the input) is known for any non-trivial metrics prior to our work. In fact, most of the previous works rely on the simple fact that there is a 2-approximate reduction from k-MSC to the balanced k-median problem and design approximation algorithms for the latter to obtain an approximation for k-MSC.
In this paper, we obtain the first Quasi-Polynomial Time Approximation Schemes (QPTAS) for the problem on metrics induced by graphs of bounded treewidth, graphs of bounded highway dimension, graphs of bounded doubling dimensions (including fixed dimensional Euclidean metrics), and planar and minor-free graphs. We bypass the barrier of 2 for k-MSC by introducing a new clustering problem, which we call min-hub clustering, which is a generalization of balanced k-median and is a trade off between center-based clustering problems (such as balanced k-median) and pair-wise clustering (such as Min-Sum k-clustering). We then show how one can find approximation schemes for Min-hub clustering on certain classes of metrics.

Ismail Naderi, Mohsen Rezapour, and Mohammad R. Salavatipour. Approximation Schemes for Min-Sum k-Clustering. In 31st Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 274, pp. 84:1-84:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{naderi_et_al:LIPIcs.ESA.2023.84, author = {Naderi, Ismail and Rezapour, Mohsen and Salavatipour, Mohammad R.}, title = {{Approximation Schemes for Min-Sum k-Clustering}}, booktitle = {31st Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2023)}, pages = {84:1--84:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-295-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {274}, editor = {G{\o}rtz, Inge Li and Farach-Colton, Martin and Puglisi, Simon J. 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.2023.84}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-187379}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ESA.2023.84}, annote = {Keywords: Approximation Algorithms, Clustering, Dynamic Programming} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 181, 31st International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2020)

Scheduling problems where the machines can be represented as the edges of a network and each job needs to be processed by a sequence of machines that form a path in this network have been the subject of many research articles (e.g. flow shop is the special case where the network as well as the sequence of machines for each job is a simple path). In this paper we consider one such problem, called Generalized Path Scheduling (GPS) problem, which can be defined as follows. Given a set of non-preemptive jobs J and identical machines M ( |J| = n and |M| = m ). The machines are ordered on a path. Each job j = {P_j = {l_j, r_j}, p_j} is defined by its processing time p_j and a sub-path P_j from machine with index l_j to r_j (l_j, r_j ∈ M, and l_j ≤ r_j) specifying the order of machines it must go through. We assume each machine has a queue of infinite size where jobs can sit in the queue to resolve conflicts. Two objective functions, makespan and total completion time, are considered. Machines can be identical or unrelated. In the latter case, this problem generalizes the classical Flow shop problem (in which all jobs have to go through all machines from 1 to m in that order).
Generalized Path Scheduling has been studied (e.g. see [Ronald Koch et al., 2009; Zachary Friggstad et al., 2019]). In this paper, we present several improved approximation algorithms for both objectives. For the case of number of machines being sub-logarithmic in the number of jobs we present a PTAS for both makespan and total completion time. The PTAS holds even on unrelated machines setting and therefore, generalizes the result of Hall [Leslie A. Hall, 1998] for the classic problem of Flow shop. For the case of identical machines, we present an O((log m)/(log log m))-approximation algorithms for both objectives, which improve the previous best result of [Zachary Friggstad et al., 2019]. We also show that the GPS problem is NP-complete for both makespan and total completion time objectives.

Haozhou Pang and Mohammad R. Salavatipour. Approximation Algorithms for Generalized Path Scheduling. In 31st International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 181, pp. 10:1-10:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{pang_et_al:LIPIcs.ISAAC.2020.10, author = {Pang, Haozhou and Salavatipour, Mohammad R.}, title = {{Approximation Algorithms for Generalized Path Scheduling}}, booktitle = {31st International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2020)}, pages = {10:1--10:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-173-3}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2020}, volume = {181}, editor = {Cao, Yixin and Cheng, Siu-Wing and Li, Minming}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ISAAC.2020.10}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-133547}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ISAAC.2020.10}, annote = {Keywords: Approximation Algorithms, Path Scheduling, Flow shop, Job Shop} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 181, 31st International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2020)

In this paper we study the classical problem of throughput maximization. In this problem we have a collection J of n jobs, each having a release time r_j, deadline d_j, and processing time p_j. They have to be scheduled non-preemptively on m identical parallel machines. The goal is to find a schedule which maximizes the number of jobs scheduled entirely in their [r_j,d_j] window. This problem has been studied extensively (even for the case of m = 1). Several special cases of the problem remain open. Bar-Noy et al. [STOC1999] presented an algorithm with ratio 1-1/(1+1/m)^m for m machines, which approaches 1-1/e as m increases. For m = 1, Chuzhoy-Ostrovsky-Rabani [FOCS2001] presented an algorithm with approximation with ratio 1-1/e-ε (for any ε > 0). Recently Im-Li-Moseley [IPCO2017] presented an algorithm with ratio 1-1/e+ε₀ for some absolute constant ε₀ > 0 for any fixed m. They also presented an algorithm with ratio 1-O(√(log m/m))-ε for general m which approaches 1 as m grows. The approximability of the problem for m = O(1) remains a major open question. Even for the case of m = 1 and c = O(1) distinct processing times the problem is open (Sgall [ESA2012]). In this paper we study the case of m = O(1) and show that if there are c distinct processing times, i.e. p_j’s come from a set of size c, then there is a randomized (1-ε)-approximation that runs in time O(n^{mc⁷ε^(-6)}log T), where T is the largest deadline. Therefore, for constant m and constant c this yields a PTAS. Our algorithm is based on proving structural properties for a near optimum solution that allows one to use a dynamic programming with pruning.

Dylan Hyatt-Denesik, Mirmahdi Rahgoshay, and Mohammad R. Salavatipour. Approximations for Throughput Maximization. In 31st International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 181, pp. 11:1-11:17, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{hyattdenesik_et_al:LIPIcs.ISAAC.2020.11, author = {Hyatt-Denesik, Dylan and Rahgoshay, Mirmahdi and Salavatipour, Mohammad R.}, title = {{Approximations for Throughput Maximization}}, booktitle = {31st International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2020)}, pages = {11:1--11:17}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-173-3}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2020}, volume = {181}, editor = {Cao, Yixin and Cheng, Siu-Wing and Li, Minming}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ISAAC.2020.11}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-133555}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ISAAC.2020.11}, annote = {Keywords: Scheduling, Approximation Algorithms, Throughput Maximization} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 154, 37th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2020)

Resource Minimization Fire Containment (RMFC) is a natural model for optimal inhibition of harmful spreading phenomena on a graph. In the RMFC problem on trees, we are given an undirected tree G, and a vertex r where the fire starts at, called root. At each time step, the firefighters can protect up to B vertices of the graph while the fire spreads from burning vertices to all their neighbors that have not been protected so far. The task is to find the smallest B that allows for saving all the leaves of the tree. The problem is hard to approximate up to any factor better than 2 even on trees unless P = NP [King and MacGillivray, 2010].
Chalermsook and Chuzhoy [Chalermsook and Chuzhoy, 2010] presented a Linear Programming based O(log^* n) approximation for RMFC on trees that matches the integrality gap of the natural Linear Programming relaxation. This was recently improved by Adjiashvili, Baggio, and Zenklusen [Adjiashvili et al., 2017] to a 12-approximation through a combination of LP rounding along with several new techniques.
In this paper we present an asymptotic QPTAS for RMFC on trees. More specifically, let ε>0, and ℐ be an instance of RMFC where the optimum number of firefighters to save all the leaves is OPT(ℐ). We present an algorithm which uses at most ⌈(1+ε)OPT(ℐ)⌉ many firefighters at each time step and runs in time n^O(log log n/ε). This suggests that the existence of an asymptotic PTAS is plausible especially since the exponent is O(log log n), not O(log n).
Our result combines a more powerful height reduction lemma than the one in [Adjiashvili et al., 2017] with LP rounding and dynamic programming to find the solution. We also apply our height reduction lemma to the algorithm provided in [Adjiashvili et al., 2017] plus a more careful analysis to improve their 12-approximation and provide a polynomial time (5+ε)-approximation.

Mirmahdi Rahgoshay and Mohammad R. Salavatipour. Asymptotic Quasi-Polynomial Time Approximation Scheme for Resource Minimization for Fire Containment. In 37th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 154, pp. 33:1-33:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{rahgoshay_et_al:LIPIcs.STACS.2020.33, author = {Rahgoshay, Mirmahdi and Salavatipour, Mohammad R.}, title = {{Asymptotic Quasi-Polynomial Time Approximation Scheme for Resource Minimization for Fire Containment}}, booktitle = {37th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2020)}, pages = {33:1--33:14}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-140-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2020}, volume = {154}, editor = {Paul, Christophe and Bl\"{a}ser, Markus}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2020.33}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-118946}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2020.33}, annote = {Keywords: Firefighter Problem, Resource Management, Fire Containment, Approximation Algorithm, Asymptotic Approximation Scheme} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 81, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017)

We consider scheduling problems in which jobs need to be processed through a (shared) network of machines. The network is given in the form of a graph the edges of which represent the machines. We are also given a set of jobs, each specified by its processing time and a path in the graph. Every job needs to be processed in the order of edges specified by its path. We assume that jobs can wait between machines and preemption is not allowed; that is, once a job is started being processed on a machine, it must be completed without interruption. Every machine can only process one job at a time.
The makespan of a schedule is the earliest time by which all the jobs have finished processing. The flow time (a.k.a. the completion time) of a job in a schedule is the difference in time between when it finishes processing on its last machine and when the it begins processing on its first machine. The total flow time (or the sum of completion times) is the sum of flow times (or completion times) of all jobs. Our focus is on finding schedules with the minimum sum of completion times or minimum makespan.
In this paper, we develop several algorithms (both approximate and exact) for the problem both on general graphs and when the underlying graph of machines is a tree. Even in the very special case when the underlying network is a simple star, the problem is very interesting as it models a biprocessor scheduling with applications to data migration.

Zachary Friggstad, Arnoosh Golestanian, Kamyar Khodamoradi, Christopher Martin, Mirmahdi Rahgoshay, Mohsen Rezapour, Mohammad R. Salavatipour, and Yifeng Zhang. Scheduling Problems over Network of Machines. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 81, pp. 5:1-5:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{friggstad_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.5, author = {Friggstad, Zachary and Golestanian, Arnoosh and Khodamoradi, Kamyar and Martin, Christopher and Rahgoshay, Mirmahdi and Rezapour, Mohsen and Salavatipour, Mohammad R. and Zhang, Yifeng}, title = {{Scheduling Problems over Network of Machines}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017)}, pages = {5:1--5:18}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-044-6}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {81}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Rolim, Jos\'{e} D. P. and Williamson, David P. and Vempala, Santosh S.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.5}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-75547}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.5}, annote = {Keywords: approximation algorithms, job-shop scheduling, min-sum edge coloring, minimum latency} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 64, 27th International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2016)

We study variants of the capacitated vehicle routing problem. In the multiple depot capacitated k-travelling repairmen problem (MD-CkTRP), we have a collection of clients to be served by one vehicle in a fleet of k identical vehicles based at given depots. Each client has a given demand that must be satisfied, and each vehicle can carry a total of at most Q demand before it must resupply at its original depot. We wish to route the vehicles in a way that obeys the constraints while minimizing the average time (latency) required to serve a client. This generalizes the Multi-depot k-Travelling Repairman Problem (MD-kTRP) [Chekuri and Kumar, IEEE-FOCS, 2003; Post and Swamy, ACM-SIAM SODA, 2015] to the capacitated vehicle setting, and while it has been previously studied [Lysgaard and Wohlk, EJOR, 2014; Rivera et al, Comput Optim Appl, 2015], no approximation algorithm with a proven ratio is known.
We give a 42.49-approximation to this general problem, and refine this constant to 25.49 when clients have unit demands. As far as we are aware, these are the first constant-factor approximations for capacitated vehicle routing problems with a latency objective. We achieve these results by developing a framework allowing us to solve a wider range of latency problems, and crafting various orienteering-style oracles for use in this framework. We also show a simple LP rounding algorithm has a better approximation ratio for the maximum coverage problem with groups (MCG), first studied by Chekuri and Kumar [APPROX, 2004], and use it as a subroutine in our framework. Our approximation ratio for MD-CkTRP when restricted to uncapacitated setting matches the best known bound for it [Post and Swamy, ACM-SIAM SODA, 2015]. With our framework, any improvements to our oracles or our MCG approximation will result in improved approximations to the corresponding k-TRP problem.

Christopher S. Martin and Mohammad R. Salavatipour. Approximation Algorithms for Capacitated k-Travelling Repairmen Problems. In 27th International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 64, pp. 56:1-56:12, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)

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@InProceedings{martin_et_al:LIPIcs.ISAAC.2016.56, author = {Martin, Christopher S. and Salavatipour, Mohammad R.}, title = {{Approximation Algorithms for Capacitated k-Travelling Repairmen Problems}}, booktitle = {27th International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2016)}, pages = {56:1--56:12}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-026-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2016}, volume = {64}, editor = {Hong, Seok-Hee}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ISAAC.2016.56}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-68262}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ISAAC.2016.56}, annote = {Keywords: approximation, capacitated, latency, group coverage} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 53, 15th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2016)

We consider a lower- and upper-bounded generalization of the classical facility location problem, where each facility has a capacity (upper bound) that limits the number of clients it can serve and a lower bound on the number of clients it must serve if it is opened. We develop an LP rounding framework that exploits a Voronoi diagram-based clustering approach to derive the first bicriteria constant approximation algorithm for this problem with non-uniform lower bounds and uniform upper bounds. This naturally leads to the the first LP-based approximation algorithm for the lower bounded facility location problem (with non-uniform lower bounds).
We also demonstrate the versatility of our framework by extending this and presenting the first constant approximation algorithm for some connected variant of the problems in which the facilities are required to be connected as well.

Zachary Friggstad, Mohsen Rezapour, and Mohammad R. Salavatipour. Approximating Connected Facility Location with Lower and Upper Bounds via LP Rounding. In 15th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 53, pp. 1:1-1:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)

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@InProceedings{friggstad_et_al:LIPIcs.SWAT.2016.1, author = {Friggstad, Zachary and Rezapour, Mohsen and Salavatipour, Mohammad R.}, title = {{Approximating Connected Facility Location with Lower and Upper Bounds via LP Rounding}}, booktitle = {15th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2016)}, pages = {1:1--1:14}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-011-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2016}, volume = {53}, editor = {Pagh, Rasmus}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.SWAT.2016.1}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-60302}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.SWAT.2016.1}, annote = {Keywords: Facility Location, Approximation Algorithm, LP Rounding} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 28, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)

We consider a facility-location problem that abstracts settings where the cost of serving the clients assigned to a facility is incurred by the facility. Formally, we consider the minimum-load k-facility location (MLkFL) problem, which is defined as follows. We have a set F of facilities, a set C of clients, and an integer k > 0. Assigning client j to a facility f incurs a connection cost d(f, j). The goal is to open a set F' of k facilities, and assign each client j to a facility f(j) in F' so as to minimize maximum, over all facilities in F', of the sum of distances of clients j assigned to F' to F'. We call
this sum the load of facility f. This problem was studied under the name of min-max star cover in [6, 2], who (among other results) gave bicriteria approximation algorithms for MLkFL for when F = C. MLkFL is rather poorly understood, and only an O(k)-approximation is currently known for MLkFL, even for line metrics. Our main result is the first polynomial time approximation scheme (PTAS) for MLkFL on line metrics (note that no non-trivial true approximation of any kind was known for this metric). Complementing this, we prove that MLkFL is strongly NP-hard on line metrics. We also devise a quasi-PTAS for MLkFL on tree metrics. MLkFL turns out to be surprisingly challenging even on line metrics, and resilient to attack by the variety of techniques that have been successfully applied to facility-location problems. For instance, we show that: (a) even a configuration-style LP-relaxation has a bad integrality gap; and (b) a multi-swap k-median style local-search heuristic has a bad locality gap. Thus, we need to devise various novel techniques to attack MLkFL. Our PTAS for line metrics consists of two main ingredients. First, we prove that there always exists a near-optimal solution possessing some nice structural properties. A novel aspect of this proof is that we first move to a mixed-integer LP (MILP) encoding the problem, and argue that a MILP-solution minimizing a certain potential function possesses the desired structure, and then use a rounding algorithm for the generalized-assignment problem to "transfer" this structure to the rounded integer solution. Complementing this, we show that these structural properties enable one to find such a structured solution via dynamic programming.

Sara Ahmadian, Babak Behsaz, Zachary Friggstad, Amin Jorati, Mohammad R. Salavatipour, and Chaitanya Swamy. Approximation Algorithms for Minimum-Load k-Facility Location. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 28, pp. 17-33, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2014)

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@InProceedings{ahmadian_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.17, author = {Ahmadian, Sara and Behsaz, Babak and Friggstad, Zachary and Jorati, Amin and Salavatipour, Mohammad R. and Swamy, Chaitanya}, title = {{Approximation Algorithms for Minimum-Load k-Facility Location}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)}, pages = {17--33}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-939897-74-3}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2014}, volume = {28}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Rolim, Jos\'{e} and Devanur, Nikhil R. and Moore, Cristopher}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.17}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-47154}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.17}, annote = {Keywords: approximation algorithms, min-max star cover, facility location, line metrics} }