Balkanski, Eric, Breuer, Adam, Singer, Yaron

In this paper we consider parallelization for applications whose objective can be expressed as maximizing a non-monotone submodular function under a cardinality constraint. Our main result is an algorithm whose approximation is arbitrarily close to 1/2e in O(log 2 n) adaptive rounds, where n is the size of the ground set. This is an exponential speedup in parallel running time over any previously studied algorithm for constrained non-monotone submodular maximization. Beyond its provable guarantees, the algorithm performs well in practice. Specifically, experiments on traffic monitoring and personalized data summarization applications show that the algorithm finds solutions whose values are competitive with state-of-the-art algorithms while running in exponentially fewer parallel iterations.

Mirzasoleiman, Baharan (ETH Zurich) | Jegelka, Stefanie (MIT) | Krause, Andreas (ETH Zurich)

The need for real time analysis of rapidly producing data streams (e.g., video and image streams) motivated the design of streaming algorithms that can efficiently extract and summarize useful information from massive data "on the fly." Such problems can often be reduced to maximizing a submodular set function subject to various constraints. While efficient streaming methods have been recently developed for monotone submodular maximization, in a wide range of applications, such as video summarization, the underlying utility function is non-monotone, and there are often various constraints imposed on the optimization problem to consider privacy or personalization. We develop the first efficient single pass streaming algorithm, Streaming Local Search, that for any streaming monotone submodular maximization algorithm with approximation guarantee α under a collection of independence systems I, provides a constant 1/(1+2/√α+1/α+2d(1+√α)) approximation guarantee for maximizing a non-monotone submodular function under the intersection of I and d knapsack constraints. Our experiments show that for video summarization, our method runs more than 1700 times faster than previous work, while maintaining practically the same performance.

Dürr, Christoph, Thang, Nguyen Kim, Srivastav, Abhinav, Tible, Léo

Diminishing-returns (DR) submodular optimization is an important field with many real-world applications in machine learning, economics and communication systems. It captures a subclass of non-convex optimization that provides both practical and theoretical guarantees. In this paper, we study the fundamental problem of maximizing non-monotone DR-submodular functions over down-closed and general convex sets in both offline and online settings. First, we show that for offline maximizing non-monotone DR-submodular functions over a general convex set, the Frank-Wolfe algorithm achieves an approximation guarantee which depends on the convex set. Next, we show that the Stochastic Gradient Ascent algorithm achieves a 1/4-approximation ratio with the regret of $O(1/\sqrt{T})$ for the problem of maximizing non-monotone DR-submodular functions over down-closed convex sets. These are the first approximation guarantees in the corresponding settings. Finally we benchmark these algorithms on problems arising in machine learning domain with the real-world datasets.

Soma, Tasuku (University of Tokyo) | Yoshida, Yuichi (National Institute of Informatics, and Preferred Infrastructure, Inc.)

We consider non-monotone DR-submodular function maximization, where DR-submodularity (diminishing return submodularity) is an extension of submodularity for functions over the integer lattice based on the concept of the diminishing return property. Maximizing non-monotone DR-submodular functions has many applications in machine learning that cannot be captured by submodular set functions. In this paper, we present a 1/(2+ε)-approximation algorithm with a running time of roughly O( n /ε log 2 B ), where n is the size of the ground set, B is the maximum value of a coordinate, and ε > 0 is a parameter. The approximation ratio is almost tight and the dependency of running time on B is exponentially smaller than the naive greedy algorithm. Experiments on synthetic and real-world datasets demonstrate that our algorithm outputs almost the best solution compared to other baseline algorithms, whereas its running time is several orders of magnitude faster.

Gotovos, Alkis (ETH Zurich) | Karbasi, Amin (Yale University) | Krause, Andreas (ETH Zurich)

A wide range of AI problems, such as sensor placement, active learning, and network influence maximization, require sequentially selecting elements from a large set with the goal of optimizing the utility of the selected subset. Moreover, each element that is picked may provide stochastic feedback, which can be used to make smarter decisions about future selections. Finding efficient policies for this general class of adaptive optimization problems can be extremely hard. However, when the objective function is adaptive monotone and adaptive submodular, a simple greedy policy attains a 1-1/e approximation ratio in terms of expected utility. Unfortunately, many practical objective functions are naturally non-monotone; to our knowledge, no existing policy has provable performance guarantees when the assumption of adaptive monotonicity is lifted. We propose the adaptive random greedy policy for maximizing adaptive submodular functions, and prove that it retains the aforementioned 1-1/e approximation ratio for functions that are also adaptive monotone, while it additionally provides a 1/e approximation ratio for non-monotone adaptive submodular functions. We showcase the benefits of adaptivity on three real-world network data sets using two non-monotone functions, representative of two classes of commonly encountered non-monotone objectives.