[edit]

# Fast Algorithms for a New Relaxation of Optimal Transport

*Proceedings of Thirty Sixth Conference on Learning Theory*, PMLR 195:4831-4862, 2023.

#### Abstract

We introduce a new class of objectives for optimal transport computations of datasets in high-dimensional Euclidean spaces. The new objectives are parametrized by $\rho \geq 1$, and provide a metric space $\mathcal{R}_{\rho}(\cdot, \cdot)$ for discrete probability distributions in $\mathbb{R}^d$. As $\rho$ approaches $1$, the metric approaches the Earth Mover’s distance, but for $\rho$ larger than (but close to) $1$, admits significantly faster algorithms. Namely, for distributions $\mu$ and $\nu$ supported on $n$ and $m$ vectors in $\mathbb{R}^d$ of norm at most $r$ and any $\epsilon > 0$, we give an algorithm which outputs an additive $\epsilon r$ approximation to $\mathcal{R}_{\rho}(\mu, \nu)$ in time $(n+m) \cdot \mathrm{poly}((nm)^{(\rho-1)/\rho} \cdot 2^{\rho / (\rho-1)} / \epsilon)$.