Hardness of Online Sleeping Combinatorial Optimization Problems

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 29 (NIPS 2016)

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Satyen Kale, Chansoo Lee, David Pal


We show that several online combinatorial optimization problems that admit efficient no-regret algorithms become computationally hard in the sleeping setting where a subset of actions becomes unavailable in each round. Specifically, we show that the sleeping versions of these problems are at least as hard as PAC learning DNF expressions, a long standing open problem. We show hardness for the sleeping versions of Online Shortest Paths, Online Minimum Spanning Tree, Online k-Subsets, Online k-Truncated Permutations, Online Minimum Cut, and Online Bipartite Matching. The hardness result for the sleeping version of the Online Shortest Paths problem resolves an open problem presented at COLT 2015 [Koolen et al., 2015].