Keywords: k-submodular, greedy algorithm
TL;DR: We propose threshold greedy algorithms for maximizing k-submodular functions.
Abstract: We investigate the problems of maximizing k-submodular functions over total size constraints and over individual size constraints. k-submodularity is a generalization of submodularity beyond just picking items of a ground set, instead associating one of k types to chosen items. For sensor selection problems, for instance, this enables modeling of which type of sensor to put at a location, not simply whether to put a sensor or not. We propose and analyze threshold-greedy algorithms for both types of constraints. We prove that our proposed algorithms achieve the best known approximation ratios for both constraint types, up to a user-chosen parameter that balances computational complexity and the approximation ratio, while only using a number of function evaluations that depends linearly (up to poly-logarithmic terms) on the number of elements n, the number of types k, and the inverse of the user chosen parameter. Other algorithms that achieve the best-known deterministic approximation ratios require a number of function evaluations that depend linearly on the budget B, while our methods do not. We empirically demonstrate our algorithms' performance in applications of sensor placement with k types and influence maximization with k topics.
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