Submodular Streaming in All Its Glory: Tight Approximation, Minimum Memory and Low Adaptive Complexity


Ehsan Kazemi, Marko Mitrovic, Morteza Zadimoghaddam, Silvio Lattanzi, Amin Karbasi ;
Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 97:3311-3320, 2019.


Streaming algorithms are generally judged by the quality of their solution, memory footprint, and computational complexity. In this paper, we study the problem of maximizing a monotone submodular function in the streaming setting with a cardinality constraint $k$. We first propose SIEVE-STREAMING++, which requires just one pass over the data, keeps only $O(k)$ elements and achieves the tight $\frac{1}{2}$-approximation guarantee. The best previously known streaming algorithms either achieve a suboptimal $\frac{1}{4}$-approximation with $\Theta(k)$ memory or the optimal $\frac{1}{2}$-approximation with $O(k\log k)$ memory. Next, we show that by buffering a small fraction of the stream and applying a careful filtering procedure, one can heavily reduce the number of adaptive computational rounds, thus substantially lowering the computational complexity of SIEVE-STREAMING++. We then generalize our results to the more challenging multi-source streaming setting. We show how one can achieve the tight $\frac{1}{2}$-approximation guarantee with $O(k)$ shared memory, while minimizing not only the rounds of computations but also the total number of communicated bits. Finally, we demonstrate the efficiency of our algorithms on real-world data summarization tasks for multi-source streams of tweets and of YouTube videos.

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