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Social networks are increasingly being used to conduct polls. We introduce a simple model of such social polling. We suppose agents vote sequentially, but the order in which agents choose to vote is not necessarily fixed. We also suppose that an agent's vote is influenced by the votes of their friends who have already voted. Despite its simplicity, this model provides useful insights into a number of areas including social polling, sequential voting, and manipulation. We prove that the number...
We give an analog of the Myhill-Nerode methods from formal language theory for hypergraphs and use it to derive the following results for two NP-hard hypergraph problems: * We provide an algorithm for testing whether a hypergraph has cutwidth at most k that runs in linear time for constant k. In terms of parameterized complexity theory, the problem is fixed-parameter linear parameterized by k. * We show that it is not expressible in monadic second-order logic whether a hypergraph has bounded ...
Schulze's rule is used in the elections of a large number of organizations including Wikimedia and Debian. Part of the reason for its popularity is the large number of axiomatic properties, like monotonicity and Condorcet consistency, which it satisfies. We identify a potential shortcoming of Schulze's rule: it is computationally vulnerable to manipulation. In particular, we prove that computing an unweighted coalitional manipulation (UCM) is polynomial for any number of manipulators. This re...
We present a first theoretical analysis of the power of polynomial-time preprocessing for important combinatorial problems from various areas in AI. We consider problems from Constraint Satisfaction, Global Constraints, Satisfiability, Nonmonotonic and Bayesian Reasoning under structural restrictions. All these problems involve two tasks: (i) identifying the structure in the input as required by the restriction, and (ii) using the identified structure to solve the reasoning task efficiently. ...
Local Search is one of the fundamental approaches to combinatorial optimization and it is used throughout AI. Several local search algorithms are based on searching the k-exchange neighborhood. This is the set of solutions that can be obtained from the current solution by exchanging at most k elements. As a rule of thumb, the larger k is, the better are the chances of finding an improved solution. However, for inputs of size n, a na\"ive brute-force search of the k-exchange neighborhood requi...
We study computational aspects of three prominent voting rules that use approval ballots to elect multiple winners. These rules are satisfaction approval voting, proportional approval voting, and reweighted approval voting. We first show that computing the winner for proportional approval voting is NP-hard, closing a long standing open problem. As none of the rules are strategyproof, even for dichotomous preferences, we study various strategic aspects of the rules. In particular, we examine t...
We show a method resulting in the improvement of several polynomial-space, exponential-time algorithms. An instance of the problem Max (r,2)-CSP, or simply Max 2-CSP, is parametrized by the domain size r (often 2), the number of variables n (vertices in the constraint graph G), and the number of constraints m (edges in G). When G is cubic, and omitting sub-exponential terms here for clarity, we give an algorithm running in time r^((1/5)n) = r^((2/15)m); the previous best was r^((1/4)n) = r^((...
Inferring probabilistic networks from data is a notoriously difficult task. Under various goodness-of-fit measures, finding an optimal network is NP-hard, even if restricted to polytrees of bounded in-degree. Polynomial-time algorithms are known only for rare special cases, perhaps most notably for branchings, that is, polytrees in which the in-degree of every node is at most one. Here, we study the complexity of finding an optimal polytree that can be turned into a branching by deleting some...
We study the problem of augmenting a weighted graph by inserting edges of bounded total cost while minimizing the diameter of the augmented graph. Our main result is an FPT 4-approximation algorithm for the problem.
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