Mathematical Programming

, Volume 91, Issue 3, pp 447–478 | Cite as

The primal-dual method for approximation algorithms

  • David P. Williamson


In this survey, we give an overview of a technique used to design and analyze algorithms that provide approximate solutions to NP-hard problems in combinatorial optimization. Because of parallels with the primal-dual method commonly used in combinatorial optimization, we call it the primal-dual method for approximation algorithms. We show how this technique can be used to derive approximation algorithms for a number of different problems, including network design problems, feedback vertex set problems, and facility location problems.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • David P. Williamson
    • 1
  1. 1.IBM T.J. Watson Research Center and IBM Almaden Research CenterUS

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