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Weakly Submodular Maximization Beyond Cardinality Constraints: Does Randomization Help Greedy?
Lin Chen · Moran Feldman · Amin Karbasi

Wed Jul 11 07:00 AM -- 07:20 AM (PDT) @ K11
Submodular functions are a broad class of set functions that naturally arise in many machine learning applications. Due to their combinatorial structures, there has been a myriad of algorithms for maximizing such functions under various constraints. Unfortunately, once a function deviates from submodularity (even slightly), the known algorithms may perform arbitrarily poorly. Amending this issue, by obtaining approximation results for functions obeying properties that generalize submodularity, has been the focus of several recent works. One such class, known as weakly submodular functions, has received a lot of recent attention from the machine learning community due to its strong connections to restricted strong convexity and sparse reconstruction. In this paper, we prove that a randomized version of the greedy algorithm achieves an approximation ratio of $(1 + 1/\gamma )^{-2}$ for weakly submodular maximization subject to a general matroid constraint, where $\gamma$ is a parameter measuring the distance from submodularity. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first algorithm with a non-trivial approximation guarantee for this constrained optimization problem. Moreover, our experimental results show that our proposed algorithm performs well in a variety of real-world problems, including regression, video summarization, splice site detection, and black-box interpretation.

Author Information

Lin Chen (Yale University)
Moran Feldman (The Open University of Israel)
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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