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

*Xiaocheng Li, Chunlin Sun, Yinyu Ye*

In this paper, we develop a simple and fast online algorithm for solving a class of binary integer linear programs (LPs) arisen in the general resource allocation problem. The algorithm requires only one single pass through the input data and is free of doing any matrix inversion. It can be viewed as both an approximate algorithm for solving binary integer LPs and a fast algorithm for solving online LP problems. The algorithm is inspired by an equivalent form of the dual problem of the relaxed LP and it essentially performs (one-pass) projected stochastic subgradient descent in the dual space. We analyze the algorithm under two different models, stochastic input and random permutation, with minimal technical assumptions on the input data. The algorithm achieves $O\left(m \sqrt{n}\right)$ expected regret under the stochastic input model and $O\left((m+\log n)\sqrt{n}\right)$ expected regret under the random permutation model, and it achieves $O(m \sqrt{n})$ expected constraint violation under both models, where $n$ is the number of decision variables and $m$ is the number of constraints. In addition, we employ the notion of permutational Rademacher complexity and derive regret bounds for two earlier online LP algorithms for comparison. Both algorithms improve the regret bound with a factor of $\sqrt{m}$ by paying more computational cost. Furthermore, we demonstrate how to convert the possibly infeasible solution to a feasible one through a randomized procedure. Numerical experiments illustrate the general applicability and effectiveness of the algorithms.

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