# Questions tagged [approximation-algorithms]

An approximation algorithm is an algorithm that finds an approximate solution to a (typically NP-hard) problem. The quality of the algorithm is measured by how close to the actual optimum it performs. For example, it is a constant factor approximation algorithm if it always outputs a solution that is within a constant factor of the optimum. Hardness of approximation is one way to separate NP-hard problems.

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### Approximating e with 2s and 3s

How can I generate a series of 2s and 3s such that the average of the generated values (so far) is as close to e as possible? For example: ...
3answers
455 views

### Approximating derivatives between gridpoints

Suppose we have a grid (possibly irregular) of $N$ function/value pairs, $(x_i, f_i)$, $i=1...N$. The function is differentiable everywhere at least twice (perhaps more). What would be a good way to ...
1answer
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### Approximate homology of a large simplicial complex

I can use software to calculate the Betti numbers $\beta_0,\beta_1,\beta_2,\dots$ of a finite simplicial complex. This is prohibitive for large complexes, built on say > 100,000 nodes. Is there some ...
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### Group Travel Salesman Problem

For the following Group Traveling Salesman problem, I'd like to know if there exists some poly-time approximation algorithm with constant approximation factor. Group TSP is defined as follows: Take a ...
0answers
238 views

### Polynomial-time algorithm solving approximately a generalization of the travelling salesman problem

Take a graph $G$ and a number of sets of nodes of $G$. The problem is to find the shortest path passing through at least one node in each node set. If each node set consists of only one node, the ...
0answers
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### Solving a Certain Constrained Isoperimetric Approximation-Problem

This question is related to my question Differential Geometric Aspects of Rubber Bands, where I asked for a mathematical model of contracting rubber bands. In contrast to my former question, the ...
0answers
209 views

### Estimating the growth rate of nondeterministic finite automata

Given a nondeterministic finite automaton $\mathcal{A}$ (or a regular expression, or a regular grammar), can we efficiently compute the number $|L_k(\mathcal{A})|$ of accepted words of length $k$? No,...