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Probabilistic Submodular Maximization in Sub-Linear Time
Serban A Stan · Morteza Zadimoghaddam · Andreas Krause · Amin Karbasi

Tue Aug 08 09:24 PM -- 09:42 PM (PDT) @ Parkside 2

In this paper, we consider optimizing submodular functions that are drawn from some unknown distribution. This setting arises, e.g., in recommender systems, where the utility of a subset of items may depend on a user-specific submodular utility function. In modern applications, the ground set of items is often so large that even the widely used (lazy) greedy algorithm is not efficient enough. As a remedy, we introduce the problem of {\em sublinear time probabilistic submodular maximization}: Given training examples of functions (e.g., via user feature vectors), we seek to reduce the ground set so that optimizing new functions drawn from the same distribution will provide almost as much value when restricted to the reduced ground set as when using the full set.

We cast this problem as a two-stage submodular maximization and develop a novel efficient algorithm for this problem which offers 1/2(1 - 1/e^2) approximation ratio for general monotone submodular functions and general matroid constraints. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on several real-world problem instances where running the maximization problem on the reduced ground set leads to two folds speed-up while incurring almost no loss.

Author Information

Serban A Stan (Yale)
Morteza Zadimoghaddam (Google)
Andreas Krause (ETH Zurich)

Andreas Krause is a Professor of Computer Science at ETH Zurich, where he leads the Learning & Adaptive Systems Group. He also serves as Academic Co-Director of the Swiss Data Science Center. Before that he was an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Caltech. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University (2008) and his Diplom in Computer Science and Mathematics from the Technical University of Munich, Germany (2004). He is a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellow and a Kavli Frontiers Fellow of the US National Academy of Sciences. He received ERC Starting Investigator and ERC Consolidator grants, the Deutscher Mustererkennungspreis, an NSF CAREER award, the Okawa Foundation Research Grant recognizing top young researchers in telecommunications as well as the ETH Golden Owl teaching award. His research on machine learning and adaptive systems has received awards at several premier conferences and journals, including the ACM SIGKDD Test of Time award 2019 and the ICML Test of Time award 2020. Andreas Krause served as Program Co-Chair for ICML 2018, and is regularly serving as Area Chair or Senior Program Committee member for ICML, NeurIPS, AAAI and IJCAI, and as Action Editor for the Journal of Machine Learning Research.

Amin Karbasi (Yale)
Amin Karbasi

Amin Karbasi is currently an assistant professor of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Statistics at Yale University. He has been the recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award 2019, Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award 2019, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Award 2018, DARPA Young Faculty Award 2016, National Academy of Engineering Grainger Award 2017, Amazon Research Award 2018, Google Faculty Research Award 2016, Microsoft Azure Research Award 2016, Simons Research Fellowship 2017, and ETH Research Fellowship 2013. His work has also been recognized with a number of paper awards, including Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Interventions Conference (MICCAI) 2017, International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTAT) 2015, IEEE ComSoc Data Storage 2013, International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP) 2011, ACM SIGMETRICS 2010, and IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT) 2010 (runner-up). His Ph.D. thesis received the Patrick Denantes Memorial Prize 2013 from the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at EPFL, Switzerland.

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