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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18 votes
2 answers
703 views

"Fractally self-similar" numbers

This is another question about visualization of Ford circles, the previous one being Confusion with practically implementing rational approximations. Here is an output of zooming into Ford circles at $...
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10 votes
3 answers
669 views

Approximate volume computation and lattice point enumeration - hardness

Both volume computation and lattice point enumeration of convex polyhedron are $\#P$ hard. However there is a randomized polytime algorithm for constant factor approximation for volume computation. ...
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10 votes
1 answer
279 views

Confusion with practically implementing rational approximations

Writing a program visualizing Ford circles I've encountered a seemingly purely programmatic puzzle but then gradually realized there are some mathematical aspects of it which I don't understand. Let ...
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9 votes
1 answer
858 views

State of the art in the expected length of the Longest Increasing Subsequence of a random permutation

I have been reading about the topic motivated by a problem I read that asked for the first three digits of the sum of the LIS lengths in all permutations of length $n$. It is easy to see that we are ...
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8 votes
6 answers
7k views

How to approximate a solution to a matrix equation? [closed]

Suppose a matrix equation Ax = b has no solution (b is not in the column space of A) How ...
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8 votes
1 answer
474 views

Polynomial approximations of curves

This is the 3D version of this question. The responses to that question contained a lot of complaints about fuzzy definition of the problem, so I made this new question very narrow and explicit. For ...
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8 votes
1 answer
610 views

How to evaluate binomial coefficients efficiently and as correctly as possible?

This question is more precisely about evaluation with a computer, of a binomial coefficient of the form $ \binom{x}{m}$ where $x$ is a real number and $m$ a rational integer. The reason why I ask is ...
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7 votes
1 answer
357 views

Counting spanning trees of a planar graph

I know through Kirchoff's Theorem, one can calculate the number of spanning trees via the determinant of a Laplacian. This has complexity $O(N^{2.373}$). I was wondering if anyone was aware of a ...
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7 votes
1 answer
150 views

Metric TSP with integer edge cost

Given a metric TSP with integer edge cost upper-bounded by a constant $C_{\max}$, can we find an poly-time algorithm solving this TSP instance?
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  • 521
7 votes
1 answer
536 views

Norms of B-spline coefficients

In Shumaker's book (Spline Functions: Basic Theory), we know that the $l^\infty$-norm of B-spline coefficients is bounded above and below by the $L^\infty$-norm of the spline itself. Are there similar ...
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7 votes
0 answers
244 views

Quantum Optimization as approximating $\mathbb{CP}^{2^n -1}$ with the orbits of a subgroup of SU($2^n$)

For example given a great circle within the sphere, we can think about computing the average distance of a point on the sphere from the great circle. Slightly more generally, given a subgroup $H \...
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6 votes
4 answers
1k views

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: ...
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  • 161
6 votes
3 answers
466 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 ...
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  • 177
6 votes
1 answer
286 views

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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6 votes
1 answer
452 views

Algorithm to compute Matrix Sign Rank?

The (generalised) sign-rank of a (generalised) sign pattern $S\in \{+,-,0\}^{n\times m}$ is the minimum rank of all matrices with the same sign pattern, i.e. $$ \min\left\{\operatorname{rank}(M)\ :\ M\...
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6 votes
2 answers
369 views

Approximating the action of the U(N) exponential map

Let's say that I have a curve in $\mathbb{C}^N$ given by the action of the unitary group: $$x(t) = e^{Ht}x_0,~ H \in \mathfrak{u}(N),~ ||x_0||=1$$ Here, $H$ is an NxN skew-Hermitian matrix (for very ...
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  • 161
6 votes
0 answers
417 views

Any approximation algorithms for self-avoiding walks?

I've a graph whose edges are weighted by probabilities, perhaps all equal. I would like to compute the overall probability of traveling between vertices x and y in the graph after I delete each edge ...
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5 votes
2 answers
698 views

Getting started: combinatorial optimization for computer scientists

I have a background in computer science and I am starting to work on some problems those are basically combinatorial optimization problems. I have good knowleges of graphs, *-flow algorithms and so ...
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  • 155
5 votes
2 answers
644 views

Runge-Kutta method with c<1

In trying to solve an ODE $y'=f(y,t)$ with a function f that is discontinuous at a subset (codim=1) of $\mathbb R^n$, I am looking for a Runge-Kutta ODE method whose stages do not evaluate $f(x,t)$ at ...
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Lovász $\delta$ condition for LLL Algorithm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenstra%E2%80%93Lenstra%E2%80%93Lov%C3%A1sz_lattice_basis_reduction_algorithm What is the importance of the $\delta$ parameter for LLL bases called Lovász condition? ...
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Hypergraph Chromatic Number vs Degree, Clique-Size

For a hypergraph let $\chi$ be the least number of colours needed to colour the vertices, so that in each edge, each colour is used at most once (i.e., the strong chromatic number). Let $\Delta$ be ...
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5 votes
1 answer
443 views

Fast Bourgain embedding (or similar embeddings)?

Currently I am working on applications of Bourgain Embedding (or similar embeddings of finite metric spaces to $l_2$) to automatic feature engineering for machine learning/data science ( http://www....
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Searching for an inhomogeneous diophantine approximation algorithm

Given two nonzero real numbers $x$ and $y$ such that $y/x$ is irrational, a real number $z$ to be approximated, and a tolerance $\epsilon$, what is an algorithm that will provide coprime integers $a$ ...
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5 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to make an approximation of path with polynom P(x,y)=0?

Hi. Imagine that a user draws on the canvas any path. I want to approximate this path with a path $P(x,y)=0$ where $P(x,y)$ - is unknown polynom. May be somebody can suggest an appropriate algorithm? ...
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5 votes
1 answer
374 views

Row-based iterative algorithms for computing the kernel of a matrix

Suppose $A$ is an $m \times n$ matrix in the form $$A=\begin{pmatrix} — a_1 —\\ — a_2 —\\ \vdots \\ — a_m — \end{pmatrix}$$ where $a_i \in R^n$ is the $i$-th row of $A$. I know that it is possible ...
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5 votes
1 answer
265 views

What is the LP gap of vertex cover in planar graphs?

What is the LP gap of vertex cover in planar graphs? The LP I refer to is min $\sum_{e \in E } c_e x_e \ \ $ subject to $ \ \ x_v + x_u \geq 1 \ \ \ \forall uv \in E $ $ c_e \geq 0 $ are ...
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  • 193
5 votes
0 answers
114 views

Approximating a max-cut's intersection with other cuts

(This is a cross-post from the Theoretical Computer Science Stack Exchange.) For the purposes of this question, a cut in a graph $G$ is the edge-set $\delta (S)\subseteq E(G)$ between some vertex-set ...
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5 votes
0 answers
267 views

envelope function for a linear combination of gaussian distributions

Given a distribution $F$ defined as a linear combination of Gaussian distributions: $F = \sum_{i=1}^n C_i*N(\mu_i,\sigma_i)$ with $\sum_{i=1}^n C_i = 1$ I want to find a Gaussian function $Q = a*e^{\...
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  • 81
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

When we use Bernstein polynomials in application

When it is preferable to use Bernstein polynomials to approximate a continuous function instead of using the only following preliminary Numerical Analysis methods: "Lagrange Polynomials", "Simple ...
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4 votes
2 answers
966 views

Set Cover:Greedy vs LP

Hi Both, the greedy and the LP approach for Set Cover give a O(log n) approximation. Is there some inherent difference on the two approximation approaches? thanks
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4 votes
2 answers
336 views

Can you solve this problem using a finite number of queries?

Let $g:[0,1]\to[0,1]$ be a continuous monotonically-increasing function. You can access $g$ using queries of two kinds: Given $x\in[0,1]$, return $g(x)$. Given $y\in[0,1]$, return $g^{-1}(y)$. Given ...
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4 votes
3 answers
3k views

Construct the best piece-wise linear continuous function fitting given curve

How to construct the optimal piece-wise linear continuous function fitting given curve and given number of knots (optimal knots positions also must be determined by this method)?
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4 votes
1 answer
116 views

complexity of bounded knapsack with spoilage

Consider the usual bounded knapsack problem, with the extra twist: you know that $k$ of the chosen items will get spoiled after the sack is packed. And this happens adversarially, i.e. $k$ most ...
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4 votes
2 answers
636 views

Estimate size of graph by taking random walks

Let $G$ be a connected, finite graph and let $v_0$ be a vertex of $G$. I'm interested in methods of estimating the number of vertices in $G$, based on local exploration only. What I have in mind is: ...
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  • 343
4 votes
1 answer
700 views

Practical error-estimates for (adaptive) Newton-Cotes Quadrature

I am looking for practical error estimates for Newton-Cotes Quadrature rules. Most books on numerical methods I have found mainly deal with theoretical error bounds/estimates for the respective ...
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  • 269
4 votes
1 answer
123 views

How to find an optimal sequence of merging operations?

Given a set of items, each characterized by a quality $q_i\in(0,1)$. We can merge two items of quality $q_i$ and $q_j$ to a single item $k$ of quality $q_k=f(q_i,q_j)$, where $f$ is increasing in $q_i$...
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  • 521
4 votes
0 answers
181 views

Approximation of integral of gaussian function over a parallelepiped

Remark: I posted this question in math stackexchange here and computer science stackexchange https://cs.stackexchange.com/ few weeks ago but obtain no answer. Given a multi-dimensional gaussian ...
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  • 215
4 votes
0 answers
187 views

Disjoint paths in temporal graphs

Given a graph $G=(V,E)$ and a pair of source-destination nodes $s$ and $t$. Time is divided in periods with the total number of periods denoted by $T$. Each edge $e$ is either operational or broken at ...
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  • 521
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

Sparse approximation of the inverse of a sparse matrix

Is it possible to approximate an inverse of a sparse matrix with a sparse matrix? The problem comes up in numerical non-linear quasi-Newton optimization: given a sparse Hessian a good starting point ...
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3 votes
2 answers
479 views

How to check numerical precision of my computation of Stieltjes-constants?

In a thread in MSE I proposed an older routine of mine for the efficient computation of coefficients; I use a very similar routine for the quick&dirty computation of the Stieltjes-constants. ...
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3 votes
2 answers
601 views

Approximation of curves

When constructing minimax (sup-norm) polynomial approximations of real-valued functions, well-known results say (roughly speaking) that optimal solutions are characterized by the fact that they have ...
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  • 453
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

iteratively (approximately) solving a sum of exponentials

I would iteratively have to solve the following equation at iteration $n$: $C = \sum_{1 \leq i \leq n}{e^{\frac{x_i}{T}}x_i}$ for $T$. Each iteration $i$ an unknown $x_i$ will be observed and $C$ is ...
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  • 81
3 votes
1 answer
201 views

Using Fourier Transform to speed up calculation of forces following an inverse square law

Suppose I have $n$ electric point charges in, say, two dimensions. Is there any algorithm (and I have a hunch that it might be related to the Fourier transform) to compute the net forces that act on ...
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3 votes
3 answers
121 views

Detecting slow growth in a finite number of queries

The following question was asked at Can you solve this problem using a finite number of queries? : Let $g:[0,1]\to[0,1]$ be a continuous monotonically-increasing function. You can access $g$ using ...
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3 votes
3 answers
657 views

Approximation of half-integers modified Bessel function of the second kind

I am trying to optimise the calculation of the probability distribution poisson-inverse-gaussian its calculation involves a half-integers modified Bessel function of the second kind. Here's a formula ...
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3 votes
1 answer
255 views

Approximating John's ellipsoid from uniform sampling of a centrally symmetric convex polyhedron

A centrally symmetric convex polyhedron in $\Bbb R^n$ shifted from the origin with possibly $e^{\alpha n}$ number of vertices at some $\alpha>0$ has an unique ellipsoid of maximum volume called ...
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  • 13k
3 votes
1 answer
163 views

Bounds on the positive roots of a bivariate polynomial

It is well known that various real root isolation methods are based on computing, first, the bounds on the values of the positive real roots of a polynomial equation. For the univariate case such ...
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3 votes
1 answer
185 views

Is there a Fourier Analytic way to approximate volume?

Suppose a convex compact room in $3$-dimensions is given and source and microphones recorders are provided in the room that can locate echo timings there are works in literature which can give you the ...
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  • 13k
3 votes
1 answer
222 views

computational complexity: do we gain acceleration?

There is a technique we developed for series acceleration using the Wilf-Zeilberger method. Here is a simple Maple code in this regard, you need to download this too. The idea is you start with a WZ-...
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3 votes
0 answers
26 views

Do higher-order splines with Lipschitz derivatives exist on finite sets?

Fix $k\in \mathbb{N}^+$ and let $E=(e_i,f_i)_{i=1}^I\subset \mathbb{R}^n\times \mathbb{R}^m$ be a non-empty finite set with $e_i\neq e_j$ whenever $i\neq j$. If $n=m=1$ then it's easy to see that: $$ ...
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