Title: Submodular Maximization with Nearly-optimal Approximation and Adaptivity in Nearly-linear Time

Authors: Alina Ene, Huy L. Nguyen


In this paper, we study the tradeoff between the approximation guarantee and adaptivity for the problem of maximizing a monotone submodular function subject to a cardinality con- straint. The adaptivity of an algorithm is the number of sequential rounds of queries it makes to the evaluation oracle of the function, where in every round the algorithm is allowed to make polynomially-many parallel queries. Adaptivity is an important consideration in settings where the objective function is estimated using samples and in applications where adaptivity is the main running time bottleneck. Previous algorithms achieving a nearly-optimal 1 − 1/e − ǫ ap- proximation require Ω(n) rounds of adaptivity. In this work, we give the first algorithm that achieves a 1 − 1/e − ǫ approximation using O(ln n/ǫ2) rounds of adaptivity. The number of function evaluations and additional running time of the algorithm are O(n poly(log n, 1/ǫ)).

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