Submodular Cost Allocation Problem and Applications

  • Chandra Chekuri
  • Alina Ene
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6755)


We study the Minimum Submodular-Cost Allocation problem (MSCA). In this problem we are given a finite ground set V and k non-negative submodular set functions f 1,…,f k on V. The objective is to partition V into k (possibly empty) sets A 1, ⋯ , A k such that the sum ∑  i = 1 k f i (A i ) is minimized. Several well-studied problems such as the non-metric facility location problem, multiway-cut in graphs and hypergraphs, and uniform metric labeling and its generalizations can be shown to be special cases of MSCA. In this paper we consider a convex-programming relaxation obtained via the Lovász-extension for submodular functions. This allows us to understand several previous relaxations and rounding procedures in a unified fashion and also develop new formulations and approximation algorithms for related problems. In particular, we give a (1.5 − 1/k)-approximation for the hypergraph multiway partition problem. We also give a min {2(1 − 1/k), H Δ}-approximation for the hypergraph multiway cut problem when Δ is the maximum hyperedge size. Both problems generalize the multiway cut problem in graphs and the hypergraph cut problem is approximation equivalent to the node-weighted multiway cut problem in graphs.


Submodular Function Label Cost Submodular Function Minimization Monotone Submodular Function Symmetric Submodular Function 
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-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chandra Chekuri
    • 1
  • Alina Ene
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer ScienceUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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