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# Proportional Allocation: Simple, Distributed, and Diverse Matching with High Entropy

*Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 80:99-108, 2018.

#### Abstract

Inspired by many applications of bipartite matching in online advertising and machine learning, we study a simple and natural iterative proportional allocation algorithm: Maintain a priority score $\priority_a$ for each node $a\in \mathds{A}$ on one side of the bipartition, initialized as $\priority_a=1$. Iteratively allocate the nodes $i\in \impressions$ on the other side to eligible nodes in $\mathds{A}$ in proportion of their priority scores. After each round, for each node $a\in \mathds{A}$, decrease or increase the score $\priority_a$ based on whether it is over- or under- allocated. Our first result is that this simple, distributed algorithm converges to a $(1-\epsilon)$-approximate fractional $b$-matching solution in $O({\log n\over \epsilon^2} )$ rounds. We also extend the proportional allocation algorithm and convergence results to the maximum weighted matching problem, and show that the algorithm can be naturally tuned to produce maximum matching with

*high entropy*. High entropy, in turn, implies additional desirable properties of this matching, e.g., it satisfies certain diversity and fairness (aka anonymity) properties that are desirable in a variety of applications in online advertising and machine learning.