Instructor**: Kirk Pruhs**

**Email: kirk@cs.pitt.edu **

**Phone : 412-624-8844 **

### Announcements

- We will first meet at 2:20 on
Wednesday January 4 in 6516 Sennott Square. After that, the time and
place may change.

### Course Description

This will be an intermediate level graduate course
on Approximation Algorithms. In general, the area of approximation
algorithms deals with finding efficient algorithms for NP-hard problems
that have known worst case performance guarantees. We will
concentrate algorithms and analysis based on mathematical programming
techniques.
** Course Text**

We will rather closely follow selected portions of the excellent text
authored by David Shmoys and David Williamson. The text is
downloadable from the web site.

**Course Format**

The instructor will present the initial
lectures covering section I of the text. Each student will then lecture
on either one of the subsequent chapters. There will be a quite modest
homework load.

**Prerequisites**

The ideal background would include an
introductory algorithms course such as CS 2150 and
an introductory course on mathematical/linear programming (many of
algorithms covered in the text use techniques normally covered in an
introductory linear programming course). However, the official
prerequisite is either an introductory algorithms course or an introductory course on linear
programming.

**Tentative Schedule**

- Wednesday January 4
- The whats and whys of
approximation algorithms (section 1.1)
- Traveling Salesman (section
2.4)
- P || C_max (section 2.3)

- Friday January 6
- Weighted Set Cover, with an emphasis
on LP approaches (sections 1.2 - 1.7)

- Monday January 8
- Weighted Set Cover, with an emphasis
on LP approaches (sections 1.2 - 1.7)

- Wednesday January 10
- Maximizing
submodular functions (section 2.5)
- Finding minimum-degree
spanning trees (section 2.6)

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