MPI-INF/SWS Research Reports 1991-2021

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Stochastic majorisation: exploding some myths

Dubhashi, Devdatt P. and Ranjan, Desh

August 1994, 5 pages.

Status: available - back from printing

The analysis of many randomised algorithms involves random variables that are not independent, and hence many of the standard tools from classical probability theory that would be useful in the analysis, such as the Chernoff--Hoeffding bounds are rendered inapplicable. However, in many instances, the random variables involved are, nevertheless {\em negatively related\/} in the intuitive sense that when one of the variables is ``large'', another is likely to be ``small''. (this notion is made precise and analysed in [1].) In such situations, one is tempted to conjecture that these variables are in some sense {\em stochastically dominated\/} by a set of {\em independent\/} random variables with the same marginals. Thereby, one hopes to salvage tools such as the Chernoff--Hoeffding bound also for analysis involving the dependent set of variables. The analysis in [6, 7, 8] seems to strongly hint in this direction. In this note, we explode myths of this kind, and argue that stochastic majorisation in conjunction with an independent set of variables is actually much less useful a notion than it might have appeared.

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  AUTHOR = {Dubhashi, Devdatt P. and Ranjan, Desh},
  TITLE = {Stochastic majorisation: exploding some myths},
  TYPE = {Research Report},
  INSTITUTION = {Max-Planck-Institut f{\"u}r Informatik},
  ADDRESS = {Im Stadtwald, D-66123 Saarbr{\"u}cken, Germany},
  NUMBER = {MPI-I-94-144},
  MONTH = {August},
  YEAR = {1994},
  ISSN = {0946-011X},