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What and Who
Title:Secretary Problems with Non-Uniform Arrival Order
Speaker:Thomas Kesselheim
coming from:Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik - D1
Speakers Bio:
Event Type:AG1 Mittagsseminar (own work)
Visibility:D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, RG1, SWS, MMCI
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Level:AG Audience
Date, Time and Location
Date:Thursday, 2 June 2016
Duration:30 Minutes
Building:E1 4
For a number of problems in the theory of online algorithms, it is known that the assumption that elements arrive in uniformly random order enables the design of algorithms with much better performance guarantees than under worst-case assumptions. The quintessential example of this phenomenon is the secretary problem, in which an algorithm attempts to stop a sequence at the moment it observes the maximum value in the sequence. As is well known, if the sequence is presented in uniformly random order there is an algorithm that succeeds with probability 1/e, whereas no non-trivial performance guarantee is possible if the elements arrive in worst-case order.

In many of the applications of online algorithms, it is reasonable to assume there is some randomness in the input sequence, but unreasonable to assume that the arrival ordering is uniformly random. This work initiates an investigation into relaxations of the random-ordering hypothesis in online algorithms, by focusing on the secretary problem and asking what performance guarantees one can prove under relaxed assumptions. Toward this end, we present two sets of properties of distributions over permutations as sufficient conditions, called the (p, q, δ)- block-independence property and (k,δ)-uniform-induced-ordering property. We show these two are asymptotically equivalent by borrowing some techniques from the celebrated approximation theory. Moreover, we show they both imply the existence of secretary algorithms with constant probability of correct selection, approaching the optimal constant 1/e as the related parameters of the property tend towards their extreme values. Both of these properties are significantly weaker than the usual assumption of uniform randomness; we substantiate this by providing several constructions of distributions that satisfy (p,q,δ)-block-independence. As one application of our investigation, we prove that Θ(log log n) is the minimum entropy of any permutation distribution that permits constant probability of correct selection in the secretary problem with n elements. While our block-independence condition is sufficient for constant probability of correct selection, it is not necessary; however, we present complexity-theoretic evidence that no simple necessary and sufficient criterion exists.

Name(s):Thomas Kesselheim
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Created by:Thomas Kesselheim, 05/23/2016 11:35 AMLast modified by:Uwe Brahm/MPII/DE, 11/24/2016 04:13 PM
  • Thomas Kesselheim, 05/23/2016 11:35 AM -- Created document.