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

In submodular k-secretary problem, the goal is to select k items in a randomly ordered input so as to maximize the expected value of a given monotone submodular function on the set of selected items. In this paper, we introduce a relaxation of this problem, which we refer to as submodular k-secretary problem with shortlists. In the proposed problem setting, the algorithm is allowed to choose more than k items as part of a shortlist. Then, after seeing the entire input, the algorithm can choose a subset of size k from the bigger set of items in the shortlist. We are interested in understanding to what extent this relaxation can improve the achievable competitive ratio for the submodular k-secretary problem. In particular, using an O(k) sized shortlist, can an online algorithm achieve a competitive ratio close to the best achievable offline approximation factor for this problem? We answer this question affirmatively by giving a polynomial time algorithm that achieves a 1-1/e-epsilon-O(k^{-1}) competitive ratio for any constant epsilon>0, using a shortlist of size eta_epsilon(k)=O(k). This is especially surprising considering that the best known competitive ratio (in polynomial time) for the submodular k-secretary problem is (1/e-O(k^{-1/2}))(1-1/e) [Thomas Kesselheim and Andreas Tönnis, 2017].
The proposed algorithm also has significant implications for another important problem of submodular function maximization under random order streaming model and k-cardinality constraint. We show that our algorithm can be implemented in the streaming setting using a memory buffer of size eta_epsilon(k)=O(k) to achieve a 1-1/e-epsilon-O(k^{-1}) approximation. This result substantially improves upon [Norouzi-Fard et al., 2018], which achieved the previously best known approximation factor of 1/2 + 8 x 10^{-14} using O(k log k) memory; and closely matches the known upper bound for this problem [McGregor and Vu, 2017].

Shipra Agrawal, Mohammad Shadravan, and Cliff Stein. Submodular Secretary Problem with Shortlists. In 10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 124, pp. 1:1-1:19, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{agrawal_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.1, author = {Agrawal, Shipra and Shadravan, Mohammad and Stein, Cliff}, title = {{Submodular Secretary Problem with Shortlists}}, booktitle = {10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019)}, pages = {1:1--1:19}, 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-dev.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.1}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-100949}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.1}, annote = {Keywords: Submodular Optimization, Secretary Problem, Streaming Algorithms} }

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

We demonstrate that the integrality gap of the natural cut-based LP relaxation for the directed Steiner tree problem is O(log k) in quasi-bipartite graphs with k terminals. Such instances can be seen to generalize set cover, so the integrality gap analysis is tight up to a constant factor. A novel aspect of our approach is that we use the primal-dual method; a technique that is rarely used in designing approximation algorithms for network design problems in directed graphs.

Zachary Friggstad, Jochen Könemann, and Mohammad Shadravan. A Logarithmic Integrality Gap Bound for Directed Steiner Tree in Quasi-bipartite Graphs. In 15th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 53, pp. 3:1-3:11, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)

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@InProceedings{friggstad_et_al:LIPIcs.SWAT.2016.3, author = {Friggstad, Zachary and K\"{o}nemann, Jochen and Shadravan, Mohammad}, title = {{A Logarithmic Integrality Gap Bound for Directed Steiner Tree in Quasi-bipartite Graphs}}, booktitle = {15th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2016)}, pages = {3:1--3:11}, 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-dev.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.SWAT.2016.3}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-60323}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.SWAT.2016.3}, annote = {Keywords: Approximation algorithm, Primal-Dual algorithm, Directed Steiner tree} }

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