Sliding Window Algorithms for k-Clustering Problems

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2020)

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Michele Borassi, Alessandro Epasto, Silvio Lattanzi, Sergei Vassilvitskii, Morteza Zadimoghaddam


The sliding window model of computation captures scenarios in which data is arriving continuously, but only the latest $w$ elements should be used for analysis. The goal is to design algorithms that update the solution efficiently with each arrival rather than recomputing it from scratch. In this work, we focus on $k$-clustering problems such as $k$-means and $k$-median. In this setting, we provide simple and practical algorithms that offer stronger performance guarantees than previous results. Empirically, we show that our methods store only a small fraction of the data, are orders of magnitude faster, and find solutions with costs only slightly higher than those returned by algorithms with access to the full dataset.