December 12, 4:00pm, Wean 8220 (note unusual time: 4:00pm)

Vijay V. Vazirani, University of California, Irvine

Matching is as easy as the decision problem, in the NC model

Vijay V. Vazirani, University of California, Irvine

Matching is as easy as the decision problem, in the NC model

Abstract:

Is matching in NC, i.e., is there a deterministic fast parallel algorithm for it? This has been an outstanding open question in TCS for over three decades, ever since the discovery of Random NC matching algorithms. Over the last five years, the TCS community has launched a relentless attack on this question, leading to the discovery of numerous powerful ideas. We give what appears to be the culmination of this line of work: an NC algorithm for finding a minimum weight perfect matching in a general graph with polynomially bounded edge weights, provided it is given an oracle for the decision problem. Consequently, for settling the main open problem, it suffices to obtain an NC algorithm for the decision problem. We believe this new fact has qualitatively changed the nature of this open problem. All known efficient matching algorithms for general graphs follow one of two approaches: given by Edmonds (1965) and Lovász (1979). Our oracle-based algorithm follows a new approach and uses many of the ideas discovered in the last five years.
The difficulty of obtaining an NC perfect matching algorithm led researchers to study matching vis-à-vis clever relaxations of the class NC. In this vein, Goldwasser and Grossman (2015) gave a pseudo-deterministic RNC algorithm for finding a perfect matching in a bipartite graph, i.e., an RNC algorithm with the additional requirement that on the same graph, it should return the same (i.e., unique) perfect matching for almost all choices of random bits. A corollary of our reduction is an analogous algorithm for general graphs.
This talk is heavily LP-based, but besides that it is fully self-contained.
Based on the following joint paper with Nima Anari: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1901.10387.pdf.

Before the talk, at 3:40pm, there will be tea and cookies in Wean 6220.