Patrik Floréen · Marja Hassinen · Joel Kaasinen · Petteri Kaski · Topi Musto · Jukka Suomela

Local approximability of max-min and min-max linear programs

Theory of Computing Systems · volume 49, issue 4, pages 672–697, 2011 · doi:10.1007/s00224-010-9303-6

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In a max-min LP, the objective is to maximise ω subject to Ax ≤ 1, Cx ≥ ω1, and x ≥ 0. In a min-max LP, the objective is to minimise ρ subject to Ax ≤ ρ1, Cx ≥ 1, and x ≥ 0. The matrices A and C are nonnegative and sparse: each row ai of A has at most ΔI positive elements, and each row ck of C has at most ΔK positive elements. We study the approximability of max-min LPs and min-max LPs in a distributed setting; in particular, we focus on local algorithms (constant-time distributed algorithms). We show that for any ΔI ≥ 2, ΔK ≥ 2, and ε > 0 there exists a local algorithm that achieves the approximation ratio ΔI (1 − 1/ΔK) + ε. We also show that this result is the best possible: no local algorithm can achieve the approximation ratio ΔI (1 − 1/ΔK) for any ΔI ≥ 2 and ΔK ≥ 2.


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