Robert Kleinberg

Robert Kleinberg
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Robert Kleinberg

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Pub Categories

Computer Science - Data Structures and Algorithms (23)
Computer Science - Computer Science and Game Theory (22)
Mathematics - Combinatorics (6)
Computer Science - Computational Complexity (5)
Computer Science - Learning (5)
Computer Science - Information Theory (3)
Mathematics - Information Theory (3)
Mathematics - Probability (3)
Mathematics - Group Theory (2)
Computer Science - Cryptography and Security (2)
Computer Science - Computational Geometry (2)
Computer Science - Networking and Internet Architecture (2)
Mathematics - Numerical Analysis (1)
Nonlinear Sciences - Exactly Solvable and Integrable Systems (1)
Mathematics - Optimization and Control (1)
Computer Science - Discrete Mathematics (1)
Nonlinear Sciences - Adaptation and Self-Organizing Systems (1)

Publications Authored By Robert Kleinberg

We derive upper and lower bounds on the degree $d$ for which the Lov\'asz $\vartheta$ function, or equivalently sum-of-squares proofs with degree two, can refute the existence of a $k$-coloring in random regular graphs $G_{n,d}$. We show that this type of refutation fails well above the $k$-colorability transition, and in particular everywhere below the Kesten-Stigum threshold. This is consistent with the conjecture that refuting $k$-colorability, or distinguishing $G_{n,d}$ from the planted coloring model, is hard in this region. Read More

Hill and Kertz studied the prophet inequality on iid distributions [The Annals of Probability 1982]. They proved a theoretical bound of $1-\frac{1}{e}$ on the approximation factor of their algorithm. They conjectured that the best approximation factor for arbitrarily large n is $\frac{1}{1+1/e} \approx 0. Read More

We provide a polynomial time reduction from Bayesian incentive compatible mechanism design to Bayesian algorithm design for welfare maximization problems. Unlike prior results, our reduction achieves exact incentive compatibility for problems with multi-dimensional and continuous type spaces. The key technical barrier preventing exact incentive compatibility in prior black-box reductions is that repairing violations of incentive constraints requires understanding the distribution of the mechanism's output. Read More

Let $G$ be an abelian group. A tri-colored sum-free set in $G^n$ is a collection of triples $({\bf a}_i, {\bf b}_i, {\bf c}_i)$ in $G^n$ such that ${\bf a}_i+{\bf b}_j+{\bf c}_k=0$ if and only if $i=j=k$. Fix a prime $q$ and let $C_q$ be the cyclic group of order $q$. Read More

A tri-colored sum-free set in an abelian group $H$ is a collection of ordered triples in $H^3$, $\{(a_i,b_i,c_i)\}_{i=1}^m$, such that the equation $a_i+b_j+c_k=0$ holds if and only if $i=j=k$. Using a variant of the lemma introduced by Croot, Lev, and Pach in their breakthrough work on arithmetic-progression-free sets, we prove that the size of any tri-colored sum-free set in $\mathbb{F}_2^n$ is bounded above by $6 {n \choose \lfloor n/3 \rfloor}$. This upper bound is tight, up to a factor subexponential in $n$: there exist tri-colored sum-free sets in $\mathbb{F}_2^n$ of size greater than ${n \choose \lfloor n/3 \rfloor} \cdot 2^{-\sqrt{16 n / 3}}$ for all sufficiently large $n$. Read More

Motivated by applications in computer vision and databases, we introduce and study the Simultaneous Nearest Neighbor Search (SNN) problem. Given a set of data points, the goal of SNN is to design a data structure that, given a collection of queries, finds a collection of close points that are compatible with each other. Formally, we are given $k$ query points $Q=q_1,\cdots,q_k$, and a compatibility graph $G$ with vertices in $Q$, and the goal is to return data points $p_1,\cdots,p_k$ that minimize (i) the weighted sum of the distances from $q_i$ to $p_i$ and (ii) the weighted sum, over all edges $(i,j)$ in the compatibility graph $G$, of the distances between $p_i$ and $p_j$. Read More

Investigating potential purchases is often a substantial investment under uncertainty. Standard market designs, such as simultaneous or English auctions, compound this with uncertainty about the price a bidder will have to pay in order to win. As a result they tend to confuse the process of search both by leading to wasteful information acquisition on goods that have already found a good purchaser and by discouraging needed investigations of objects, potentially eliminating all gains from trade. Read More

The correlations and network structure amongst individuals in datasets today---whether explicitly articulated, or deduced from biological or behavioral connections---pose new issues around privacy guarantees, because of inferences that can be made about one individual from another's data. This motivates quantifying privacy in networked contexts in terms of "inferential privacy"---which measures the change in beliefs about an individual's data from the result of a computation---as originally proposed by Dalenius in the 1970's. Inferential privacy is implied by differential privacy when data are independent, but can be much worse when data are correlated; indeed, simple examples, as well as a general impossibility theorem of Dwork and Naor, preclude the possibility of achieving non-trivial inferential privacy when the adversary can have arbitrary auxiliary information. Read More

Wide-area network traffic engineering enables network operators to reduce congestion and improve utilization by balancing load across multiple paths. Current approaches to traffic engineering can be modeled in terms of a routing component that computes forwarding paths, and a load balancing component that maps incoming flows onto those paths dynamically, adjusting sending rates to fit current conditions. Unfortunately, existing systems rely on simple strategies for one or both of these components, which leads to poor performance or requires making frequent updates to forwarding paths, significantly increasing management complexity. Read More

We prove that the two-dimensional Schelling segregation model yields monochromatic regions of size exponential in the area of individuals' neighborhoods, provided that the tolerance parameter is a constant strictly less than 1/2 but sufficiently close to it. Our analysis makes use of a connection with the first-passage percolation model from the theory of stochastic processes. Read More

For many online problems, it is known that the uniform arrival order enables the design of algorithms with much better performance guarantees than under worst-case. The quintessential example is the secretary problem. If the sequence of elements is presented in uniformly random order there is an algorithm that picks the maximum value with probability 1/e, whereas no non-trivial performance guarantee is possible if the elements arrive in worst-case order. Read More

A prevalent market structure in the Internet economy consists of buyers and sellers connected by a platform (such as Amazon or eBay) that acts as an intermediary and keeps a share of the revenue of each transaction. While the optimal mechanism that maximizes the intermediary's profit in such a setting may be quite complicated, the mechanisms observed in reality are generally much simpler, e.g. Read More

This paper presents Merlin, a new framework for managing resources in software-defined networks. With Merlin, administrators express high-level policies using programs in a declarative language. The language includes logical predicates to identify sets of packets, regular expressions to encode forwarding paths, and arithmetic formulas to specify bandwidth constraints. Read More

Incentives are more likely to elicit desired outcomes when they are designed based on accurate models of agents' strategic behavior. A growing literature, however, suggests that people do not quite behave like standard economic agents in a variety of environments, both online and offline. What consequences might such differences have for the optimal design of mechanisms in these environments? In this paper, we explore this question in the context of optimal contest design for simple agents---agents who strategically reason about whether or not to participate in a system, but not about the input they provide to it. Read More

Cr\'emer and McLean [1985] showed that, when buyers' valuations are drawn from a correlated distribution, an auction with full knowledge on the distribution can extract the full social surplus. We study whether this phenomenon persists when the auctioneer has only incomplete knowledge of the distribution, represented by a finite family of candidate distributions, and has sample access to the real distribution. We show that the naive approach which uses samples to distinguish candidate distributions may fail, whereas an extended version of the Cr\'emer-McLean auction simultaneously extracts full social surplus under each candidate distribution. Read More

We study combinatorial auctions where each item is sold separately but simultaneously via a second price auction. We ask whether it is possible to efficiently compute in this game a pure Nash equilibrium with social welfare close to the optimal one. We show that when the valuations of the bidders are submodular, in many interesting settings (e. Read More

In a multi-armed bandit problem, an online algorithm chooses from a set of strategies in a sequence of trials so as to maximize the total payoff of the chosen strategies. While the performance of bandit algorithms with a small finite strategy set is quite well understood, bandit problems with large strategy sets are still a topic of very active investigation, motivated by practical applications such as online auctions and web advertisement. The goal of such research is to identify broad and natural classes of strategy sets and payoff functions which enable the design of efficient solutions. Read More

We present a unified framework for designing and analyzing algorithms for online budgeted allocation problems (including online matching) and their generalization, the Online Generalized Assignment Problem (OnGAP). These problems have been intensively studied as models of how to allocate impressions for online advertising. In contrast to previous analyses of online budgeted allocation algorithms (the so-called "balance" or "water-filling" family of algorithms) our analysis is based on the method of randomized dual fitting, analogous to the recent analysis of the RANKING algorithm for online matching due to Devanur et al. Read More

The network inference problem consists of reconstructing the edge set of a network given traces representing the chronology of infection times as epidemics spread through the network. This problem is a paradigmatic representative of prediction tasks in machine learning that require deducing a latent structure from observed patterns of activity in a network, which often require an unrealistically large number of resources (e.g. Read More

Understanding the query complexity for testing linear-invariant properties has been a central open problem in the study of algebraic property testing. Triangle-freeness in Boolean functions is a simple property whose testing complexity is unknown. Three Boolean functions $f_1$, $f_2$ and $f_3: \mathbb{F}_2^k \to \{0, 1\}$ are said to be triangle free if there is no $x, y \in \mathbb{F}_2^k$ such that $f_1(x) = f_2(y) = f_3(x + y) = 1$. Read More

Consider a gambler and a prophet who observe a sequence of independent, non-negative numbers. The gambler sees the numbers one-by-one whereas the prophet sees the entire sequence at once. The goal of both is to decide on fractions of each number they want to keep so as to maximize the weighted fractional sum of the numbers chosen. Read More

Multi-armed bandit problems are the predominant theoretical model of exploration-exploitation tradeoffs in learning, and they have countless applications ranging from medical trials, to communication networks, to Web search and advertising. In many of these application domains the learner may be constrained by one or more supply (or budget) limits, in addition to the customary limitation on the time horizon. The literature lacks a general model encompassing these sorts of problems. Read More

What fraction of the potential social surplus in an environment can be extracted by a revenue-maximizing monopolist? We investigate this problem in Bayesian single-parameter environments with independent private values. The precise answer to the question obviously depends on the particulars of the environment: the feasibility constraint and the distributions from which the bidders' private values are sampled. Rather than solving the problem in particular special cases, our work aims to provide universal lower bounds on the revenue-to-welfare ratio that hold under the most general hypotheses that allow for non-trivial such bounds. Read More

In this paper we show that payment computation essentially does not present any obstacle in designing truthful mechanisms, even for multi-parameter domains, and even when we can only call the allocation rule once. We present a general reduction that takes any allocation rule which satisfies "cyclic monotonicity" (a known necessary and sufficient condition for truthfulness) and converts it to a truthful mechanism using a single call to the allocation rule, with arbitrarily small loss to the expected social welfare. A prominent example for a multi-parameter setting in which an allocation rule can only be called once arises in sponsored search auctions. Read More

The buying and selling of information is taking place at a scale unprecedented in the history of commerce, thanks to the formation of online marketplaces for user data. Data providing agencies sell user information to advertisers to allow them to match ads to viewers more effectively. In this paper we study the design of optimal mechanisms for a monopolistic data provider to sell information to a buyer, in a model where both parties have (possibly correlated) private signals about a state of the world, and the buyer uses information learned from the seller, along with his own signal, to choose an action (e. Read More

We analyze the Schelling model of segregation in which a society of n individuals live in a ring. Each individual is one of two races and is only satisfied with his location so long as at least half his 2w nearest neighbors are of the same race as him. In the dynamics, randomly-chosen unhappy individuals successively swap locations. Read More

Consider a gambler who observes a sequence of independent, non-negative random numbers and is allowed to stop the sequence at any time, claiming a reward equal to the most recent observation. The famous prophet inequality of Krengel, Sucheston, and Garling asserts that a gambler who knows the distribution of each random variable can achieve at least half as much reward, in expectation, as a "prophet" who knows the sampled values of each random variable and can choose the largest one. We generalize this result to the setting in which the gambler and the prophet are allowed to make more than one selection, subject to a matroid constraint. Read More

We study the complexity of the maximum coverage problem, restricted to set systems of bounded VC-dimension. Our main result is a fixed-parameter tractable approximation scheme: an algorithm that outputs a $(1-\eps)$-approximation to the maximum-cardinality union of $k$ sets, in running time $O(f(\eps,k,d)\cdot poly(n))$ where $n$ is the problem size, $d$ is the VC-dimension of the set system, and $f(\eps,k,d)$ is exponential in $(kd/\eps)^c$ for some constant $c$. We complement this positive result by showing that the function $f(\eps,k,d)$ in the running-time bound cannot be replaced by a function depending only on $(\eps,d)$ or on $(k,d)$, under standard complexity assumptions. Read More

We present a strengthened version of a lemma due to Bondy and Lov\'asz. This lemma establishes the connectivity of a certain graph whose nodes correpond to the spanning trees of a 2-vertex-connected graph, and implies the k=2 case of the Gy\H{o}ri-Lov\'asz Theorem on partitioning of k-vertex-connected graphs. Our strengthened version constructively proves an asymptotically tight O(|V|^2) bound on the worst-case diameter of this graph of spanning trees. Read More

We present a deterministic (1+sqrt(5))/2-approximation algorithm for the s-t path TSP for an arbitrary metric. Given a symmetric metric cost on n vertices including two prespecified endpoints, the problem is to find a shortest Hamiltonian path between the two endpoints; Hoogeveen showed that the natural variant of Christofides' algorithm is a 5/3-approximation algorithm for this problem, and this asymptotically tight bound in fact has been the best approximation ratio known until now. We modify this algorithm so that it chooses the initial spanning tree based on an optimal solution to the Held-Karp relaxation rather than a minimum spanning tree; we prove this simple but crucial modification leads to an improved approximation ratio, surpassing the 20-year-old barrier set by the natural Christofides' algorithm variant. Read More

We consider the problem of dynamic pricing with limited supply. A seller has $k$ identical items for sale and is facing $n$ potential buyers ("agents") that are arriving sequentially. Each agent is interested in buying one item. Read More

We introduce a technique for establishing and amplifying gaps between parameters of network coding and index coding. The technique uses linear programs to establish separations between combinatorial and coding-theoretic parameters and applies hypergraph lexicographic products to amplify these separations. This entails combining the dual solutions of the lexicographic multiplicands and proving that they are a valid dual of the product. Read More

This short note exhibits a truthful-in-expectation $O(\frac {\log m} {\log \log m})$-approximation mechanism for combinatorial auctions with subadditive bidders that uses polynomial communication. Read More

We consider the problem of designing a revenue-maximizing auction for a single item, when the values of the bidders are drawn from a correlated distribution. We observe that there exists an algorithm that finds the optimal randomized mechanism that runs in time polynomial in the size of the support. We leverage this result to show that in the oracle model introduced by Ronen and Saberi [FOCS'02], there exists a polynomial time truthful in expectation mechanism that provides a $(\frac 3 2+\epsilon)$-approximation to the revenue achievable by an optimal truthful-in-expectation mechanism, and a polynomial time deterministic truthful mechanism that guarantees $\frac 5 3$ approximation to the revenue achievable by an optimal deterministic truthful mechanism. Read More

In this note, we present a complete characterization of the utility metrics that allow for non-trivial differential privacy guarantees. Read More

It is not uncommon for certain social networks to divide into two opposing camps in response to stress. This happens, for example, in networks of political parties during winner-takes-all elections, in networks of companies competing to establish technical standards, and in networks of nations faced with mounting threats of war. A simple model for these two-sided separations is the dynamical system dX/dt = X^2 where X is a matrix of the friendliness or unfriendliness between pairs of nodes in the network. Read More

It is widely believed that computing payments needed to induce truthful bidding is somehow harder than simply computing the allocation. We show that the opposite is true: creating a randomized truthful mechanism is essentially as easy as a single call to a monotone allocation rule. Our main result is a general procedure to take a monotone allocation rule for a single-parameter domain and transform it (via a black-box reduction) into a randomized mechanism that is truthful in expectation and individually rational for every realization. Read More

Index Coding has received considerable attention recently motivated in part by real-world applications and in part by its connection to Network Coding. The basic setting of Index Coding encodes the problem input as an undirected graph and the fundamental parameter is the broadcast rate $\beta$, the average communication cost per bit for sufficiently long messages (i.e. Read More

Network coding theory studies the transmission of information in networks whose vertices may perform nontrivial encoding and decoding operations on data as it passes through the network. The main approach to deciding the feasibility of network coding problems aims to reduce the problem to optimization over a polytope of entropic vectors subject to constraints imposed by the network structure. In the case of directed acyclic graphs, these constraints are completely understood, but for general graphs the problem of enumerating them remains open: it is not known how to classify the constraints implied by a property that we call serializability, which refers to the absence of paradoxical circular dependencies in a network code. Read More

The Lipschitz multi-armed bandit (MAB) problem generalizes the classical multi-armed bandit problem by assuming one is given side information consisting of a priori upper bounds on the difference in expected payoff between certain pairs of strategies. Classical results of (Lai and Robbins 1985) and (Auer et al. 2002) imply a logarithmic regret bound for the Lipschitz MAB problem on finite metric spaces. Read More

In the matroid buyback problem, an algorithm observes a sequence of bids and must decide whether to accept each bid at the moment it arrives, subject to a matroid constraint on the set of accepted bids. Decisions to reject bids are irrevocable, whereas decisions to accept bids may be canceled at a cost which is a fixed fraction of the bid value. We present a new randomized algorithm for this problem, and we prove matching upper and lower bounds to establish that the competitive ratio of this algorithm, against an oblivious adversary, is the best possible. Read More

If a two-player social welfare maximization problem does not admit a PTAS, we prove that any maximal-in-range truthful mechanism that runs in polynomial time cannot achieve an approximation factor better than 1/2. Moreover, for the k-player version of the same problem, the hardness of approximation improves to 1/k under the same two-player hardness assumption. (We note that 1/k is achievable by a trivial deterministic maximal-in-range mechanism. Read More

Randomized mechanisms, which map a set of bids to a probability distribution over outcomes rather than a single outcome, are an important but ill-understood area of computational mechanism design. We investigate the role of randomized outcomes (henceforth, "lotteries") in the context of a fundamental and archetypical multi-parameter mechanism design problem: selling heterogeneous items to unit-demand bidders. To what extent can a seller improve her revenue by pricing lotteries rather than items, and does this modification of the problem affect its computational tractability? Our results show that the answers to these questions hinge on whether consumers can purchase only one lottery (the buy-one model) or purchase any set of lotteries and receive an independent sample from each (the buy-many model). Read More

In a multi-armed bandit problem, an online algorithm chooses from a set of strategies in a sequence of trials so as to maximize the total payoff of the chosen strategies. While the performance of bandit algorithms with a small finite strategy set is quite well understood, bandit problems with large strategy sets are still a topic of very active investigation, motivated by practical applications such as online auctions and web advertisement. The goal of such research is to identify broad and natural classes of strategy sets and payoff functions which enable the design of efficient solutions. Read More

Algorithmic pricing is the computational problem that sellers (e.g., in supermarkets) face when trying to set prices for their items to maximize their profit in the presence of a known demand. Read More

We perform forward error analysis for a large class of recursive matrix multiplication algorithms in the spirit of [D. Bini and G. Lotti, Stability of fast algorithms for matrix multiplication, Numer. Read More

We further develop the group-theoretic approach to fast matrix multiplication introduced by Cohn and Umans, and for the first time use it to derive algorithms asymptotically faster than the standard algorithm. We describe several families of wreath product groups that achieve matrix multiplication exponent less than 3, the asymptotically fastest of which achieves exponent 2.41. Read More