Deterministic Discrepancy Minimization via the Multiplicative Weight Update Method

  • Avi Levy
  • Harishchandra RamadasEmail author
  • Thomas Rothvoss
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10328)


A well-known theorem of Spencer shows that any set system with n sets over n elements admits a coloring of discrepancy \(O(\sqrt{n})\). While the original proof was non-constructive, recent progress brought polynomial time algorithms by Bansal, Lovett and Meka, and Rothvoss. All those algorithms are randomized, even though Bansal’s algorithm admitted a complicated derandomization.

We propose an elegant deterministic polynomial time algorithm that is inspired by Lovett-Meka as well as the Multiplicative Weight Update method. The algorithm iteratively updates a fractional coloring while controlling the exponential weights that are assigned to the set constraints.

A conjecture by Meka suggests that Spencer’s bound can be generalized to symmetric matrices. We prove that \(n \times n\) matrices that are block diagonal with block size q admit a coloring of discrepancy \(O(\sqrt{n} \cdot \sqrt{\log (q)})\). Bansal, Dadush and Garg recently gave a randomized algorithm to find a vector x with entries in \(\lbrace {-1,1\rbrace }\) with \(\Vert Ax\Vert _{\infty } \le O(\sqrt{\log n})\) in polynomial time, where A is any matrix whose columns have length at most 1. We show that our method can be used to deterministically obtain such a vector.


Symmetric Matrix Polynomial Time Algorithm Symmetric Matrice Semidefinite Program Exponential Weight 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Avi Levy
    • 1
  • Harishchandra Ramadas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Rothvoss
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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