Sparsification of Decomposable Submodular Functions


  • Akbar Rafiey Simon Fraser University
  • Yuichi Yoshida National Institute of Informatics



Search And Optimization (SO)


Submodular functions are at the core of many machine learning and data mining tasks. The underlying submodular functions for many of these tasks are decomposable, i.e., they are sum of several simple submodular functions. In many data intensive applications, however, the number of underlying submodular functions in the original function is so large that we need prohibitively large amount of time to process it and/or it does not even fit in the main memory. To overcome this issue, we introduce the notion of sparsification for decomposable submodular functions whose objective is to obtain an accurate approximation of the original function that is a (weighted) sum of only a few submodular functions. Our main result is a polynomial-time randomized sparsification algorithm such that the expected number of functions used in the output is independent of the number of underlying submodular functions in the original function. We also study the effectiveness of our algorithm under various constraints such as matroid and cardinality constraints. We complement our theoretical analysis with an empirical study of the performance of our algorithm.




How to Cite

Rafiey, A., & Yoshida, Y. (2022). Sparsification of Decomposable Submodular Functions. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 36(9), 10336-10344.



AAAI Technical Track on Search and Optimization