The 26th International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2015) is a prime conference for researchers working in algorithms and theory of computation. Two rather different papers of our research group have been accepted:
Friedrich, Tobias; Katzmann, Maximilian; Krohmer, AntonUnbounded Discrepancy of Deterministic Random Walks on Grids. International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC) 2015: 212-222
Random walks are frequently used in randomized algorithms. We study a derandomized variant of a random walk on graphs, called rotor-router model. In this model, instead of distributing tokens randomly, each vertex serves its neighbors in a fixed deterministic order. For most setups, both processes behave remarkably similar: Starting with the same initial configuration, the number of tokens in the rotor-router model deviates only slightly from the expected number of tokens on the corresponding vertex in the random walk model. The maximal difference over all vertices and all times is called single vertex discrepancy. Cooper and Spencer (2006) showed that on \(Z^d\) the single vertex discrepancy is only a constant \(c_d\). Other authors also determined the precise value of \(c_d\) for \(d=1,2\). All these results, however, assume that initially all tokens are only placed on one partition of the bipartite graph \(Z^d\). We show that this assumption is crucial by proving that otherwise the single vertex discrepancy can become arbitrarily large. For all dimensions \(d \ge 1\) and arbitrary discrepancies \(\ell \ge 0\), we construct configurations that reach a discrepancy of at least \(\ell\).
Friedrich, Tobias; Kötzing, Timo; Krejca, Martin S.; Sutton, Andrew M.The Benefit of Recombination in Noisy Evolutionary Search. International Symposium of Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC) 2015: 140-150
Practical optimization problems frequently include uncertainty about the quality measure, for example due to noisy evaluations. Thus, they do not allow for a straightforward application of traditional optimization techniques. In these settings meta-heuristics are a popular choice for deriving good optimization algorithms, most notably evolutionary algorithms which mimic evolution in nature. Empirical evidence suggests that genetic recombination is useful in uncertain environments because it can stabilize a noisy fitness signal. With this paper we want to support this claim with mathematical rigor. The setting we consider is that of noisy optimization. We study a simple noisy fitness function that is derived by adding Gaussian noise to a monotone function. First, we show that a classical evolutionary algorithm that does not employ sexual recombination (the \((\mu+1)\)-EA) cannot handle the noise efficiently, regardless of the population size. Then we show that an evolutionary algorithm which does employ sexual recombination (the Compact Genetic Algorithm, short: cGA) can handle the noise using a graceful scaling of the population.
Algorithm Engineering
Our research focus is on theoretical computer science and algorithm engineering. We are equally interested in the mathematical foundations of algorithms and developing efficient algorithms in practice. A special focus is on random structures and methods.