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Dense Subset Sum may be the hardest
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Theoretical Computer Science, TCS.
2016 (English)In: Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs, Schloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing , 2016Conference paper (Refereed)Text
Abstract [en]

The Subset Sum problem asks whether a given set of n positive integers contains a subset of elements that sum up to a given target t. It is an outstanding open question whether the O∗(2n/2)-time algorithm for Subset Sum by Horowitz and Sahni [J. ACM 1974] can be beaten in the worst-case setting by a "truly faster", O∗(2(0.5-δ)n)-time algorithm, with some constant δ > 0. Continuing an earlier work [STACS 2015], we study Subset Sum parameterized by the maximum bin size β, defined as the largest number of subsets of the n input integers that yield the same sum. For every ∈ > 0 we give a truly faster algorithm for instances with β ≤ 2(0.5-∈)n, as well as instances with β ≥ 20.661n. Consequently, we also obtain a characterization in terms of the popular density parameter n/log2 t: if all instances of density at least 1.003 admit a truly faster algorithm, then so does every instance. This goes against the current intuition that instances of density 1 are the hardest, and therefore is a step toward answering the open question in the affirmative. Our results stem from a novel combinatorial analysis of mixings of earlier algorithms for Subset Sum and a study of an extremal question in additive combinatorics connected to the problem of Uniquely Decodable Code Pairs in information theory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Schloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing , 2016.
Keyword [en]
Additive combinatorics, Exponential-time algorithm, Homomorphic hashing, Littlewood-offord problem, Subset Sum
National Category
Discrete Mathematics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-188298DOI: 10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2016.13ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84961625723ISBN: 9783959770019OAI: diva2:936276
33rd Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science, STACS 2016, 17 February 2016 through 20 February 2016
Swedish Research Council Formas, 621-2012-4546

QC 20160613

Available from: 2016-06-13 Created: 2016-06-09 Last updated: 2016-06-13Bibliographically approved

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Austrin, Per
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