## Contributions on secretary problems, independent sets of rectangles and related problems

##### Author(s)

Soto, José Antonio, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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##### Other Contributors

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mathematics.

##### Advisor

Michel X. Goemans.

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We study three problems arising from different areas of combinatorial optimization. We first study the matroid secretary problem, which is a generalization proposed by Babaioff, Immorlica and Kleinberg of the classical secretary problem. In this problem, the elements of a given matroid are revealed one by one. When an element is revealed, we learn information about its weight and decide to accept it or not, while keeping the accepted set independent in the matroid. The goal is to maximize the expected weight of our solution. We study different variants for this problem depending on how the elements are presented and on how the weights are assigned to the elements. Our main result is the first constant competitive algorithm for the random-assignment random-order model. In this model, a list of hidden nonnegative weights is randomly assigned to the elements of the matroid, which are later presented to us in uniform random order, independent of the assignment. The second problem studied is the jump number problem. Consider a linear extension L of a poset P. A jump is a pair of consecutive elements in L that are not comparable in P. Finding a linear extension minimizing the number of jumps is NP-hard even for chordal bipartite posets. For the class of posets having two directional orthogonal ray comparability graphs, we show that this problem is equivalent to finding a maximum independent set of a well-behaved family of rectangles. Using this, we devise combinatorial and LP-based algorithms for the jump number problem, extending the class of bipartite posets for which this problem is polynomially solvable and improving on the running time of existing algorithms for certain subclasses. The last problem studied is the one of finding nonempty minimizers of a symmetric submodular function over any family of sets closed under inclusion. We give an efficient O(ns)-time algorithm for this task, based on Queyranne's pendant pair technique for minimizing unconstrained symmetric submodular functions. We extend this algorithm to report all inclusion-wise nonempty minimal minimizers under hereditary constraints of slightly more general functions.

##### Description

Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mathematics, 2011. Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. Includes bibliographical references (p. 187-198).

##### Date issued

2011##### Department

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mathematics##### Publisher

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

##### Keywords

Mathematics.