Samson Zhou 


Hi, I'm an Assistant Professor in the
Department of Computer Science & Engineering at Texas A&M University.
My research lies at the intersections of theoretical computer science, data science, and machine learning.
In particular, I am currently interested in numerical linear algebra, streaming algorithms, and differential privacy.
Here are some of my favorite links.
Profiles:
[dblp]
[Scholar]
Feel free to reach me at:
samsonzhou AT gmail DOT com
We study the problem of private vector mean estimation in the shuffle model of privacy where $n$ users each have a unit vector $v^{(i)} \in\mathbb{R}^d$. We propose a new multimessage protocol that achieves the optimal error using $\tilde{\mathcal{O}}\left(\min(n\varepsilon^2,d)\right)$ messages per user. Moreover, we show that any (unbiased) protocol that achieves optimal error requires each user to send $\Omega(\min(n\varepsilon^2,d)/\log(n))$ messages, demonstrating the optimality of our message complexity up to logarithmic factors. Additionally, we study the singlemessage setting and design a protocol that achieves mean squared error $\mathcal{O}(dn^{d/(d+2)}\varepsilon^{4/(d+2)})$. Moreover, we show that \emph{any} singlemessage protocol must incur mean squared error $\Omega(dn^{d/(d+2)})$, showing that our protocol is optimal in the standard setting where $\varepsilon = \Theta(1)$. Finally, we study robustness to malicious users and show that malicious users can incur large additive error with a single shuffler.
In this paper, we study streaming algorithms that minimize the number of changes made to their internal state (i.e., memory contents).
While the design of streaming algorithms typically focuses on minimizing space and update time, these metrics fail to capture the asymmetric costs,
inherent in modern hardware and database systems, of reading versus writing to memory. In fact, most streaming algorithms write to their memory on
\emph{every update}, which is undesirable when writing is significantly more expensive than reading. This raises the question of whether streaming
algorithms with small space \emph{and} number of memory writes are possible.
We first demonstrate that, for the fundamental $F_p$ moment estimation problem with $p\ge 1$, any streaming algorithm that achieves a constant factor
approximation must make $\Omega(n^{11/p})$ internal state changes, regardless of how much space it uses. Perhaps surprisingly, we show that this lower bound
can be matched by an algorithm which also has nearoptimal space complexity. Specifically, we give a $(1+\varepsilon)$approximation algorithm for
$F_p$ moment estimation that use a nearoptimal $\widetilde{\mathcal{O}}_\varepsilon(n^{11/p})$ number of state changes, while simultaneously achieving
nearoptimal space, i.e., for $p\in[1,2)$, our algorithm uses $\text{poly}\left(\log n,\frac{1}{\varepsilon}\right)$ bits of space for, while for $p>2$,
the algorithm uses $\widetilde{\mathcal{O}}_\varepsilon(n^{11/p})$ space. We similarly design streaming algorithms that are simultaneously nearoptimal
in both space complexity and the number of state changes for the heavyhitters problem, sparse support recovery, and entropy estimation.
Our results demonstrate that an optimal number of state changes can be achieved without sacrificing space complexity.
Clustering is an important technique for identifying structural information in largescale data analysis, where the underlying dataset may be too large to store. In many applications, recent data can provide more accurate information and thus older data past a certain time is expired. The sliding window model captures these desired properties and thus there has been substantial interest in clustering in the sliding window model. In this paper, we give the first algorithm that achieves nearoptimal $(1+\varepsilon)$approximation to $(k,z)$clustering in the sliding window model. Our algorithm uses $\frac{k}{\min(\varepsilon^4,\varepsilon^{2+z})}\,\text{polylog}\frac{n\Delta}{\varepsilon}$ words of space when the points are from $[\Delta]^d$, thus significantly improving on works by Braverman et. al. (SODA 2016), Borassi et. al. (NeurIPS 2021), and Epasto et. al. (SODA 2022). Along the way, we develop a data structure for clustering called an online coreset, which outputs a coreset not only for the end of a stream, but also for all prefixes of the stream. Our online coreset samples $\frac{k}{\min(\varepsilon^4,\varepsilon^{2+z})}\,\text{polylog}\frac{n\Delta}{\varepsilon}$ points from the stream. We then show that any online coreset requires $\Omega\left(\frac{k}{\varepsilon^2}\log n\right)$ samples, which shows a separation between the problem of constructing an offline coreset, i.e., constructing online coresets is strictly harder. Our results also extend to general metrics on $[\Delta]^d$ and are nearoptimal in light of a $\Omega\left(\frac{k}{\varepsilon^{2+z}}\right)$ lower bound for the size of an offline coreset.
In the online learning with experts problem, an algorithm must make a prediction about an outcome on each of $T$ days (or times), given a set of $n$ experts who make predictions on each day (or time). The algorithm is given feedback on the outcomes of each day, including the cost of its prediction and the cost of the expert predictions, and the goal is to make a prediction with the minimum cost, specifically compared to the best expert in the set. Recent work by Srinivas, Woodruff, Xu, and Zhou (STOC 2022) introduced the study of the online learning with experts problem under memory constraints. However, often the predictions made by experts or algorithms at some time influence future outcomes, so that the input is adaptively chosen. Whereas deterministic algorithms would be robust to adaptive inputs, existing algorithms all crucially use randomization to sample a small number of experts. In this paper, we study deterministic and robust algorithms for the experts problem. We first show a space lower bound of $\widetilde{\Omega}\left(\frac{nM}{RT}\right)$ for any deterministic algorithm that achieves regret $R$ when the best expert makes $M$ mistakes. Our result shows that the natural deterministic algorithm, which iterates through pools of experts until each expert in the pool has erred, is optimal up to polylogarithmic factors. On the positive side, we give a randomized algorithm that is robust to adaptive inputs that uses $\widetilde{O}\left(\frac{n}{R\sqrt{T}}\right)$ space for $M=O\left(\frac{R^2 T}{\log^2 n}\right)$, thereby showing a smooth spaceregret tradeoff.
We consider the classic Euclidean $k$median and $k$means objective on data streams, where the goal is to provide a $(1+\varepsilon)$approximation to the optimal $k$median or $k$means solution, while using as little memory as possible. Over the last 20 years, clustering in data streams has received a tremendous amount of attention and has been the testbed for a large variety of new techniques, including coresets, the mergeandreduce framework, bicriteria approximation, sensitivity sampling, and so on. Despite this intense effort to obtain smaller sketches for these problems, all known techniques require storing at least $\Omega(\log(n\Delta))$ words of memory, where $n$ is the size of the input and $\Delta$ is the aspect ratio. A natural question is if one can beat this logarithmic dependence on $n$ and $\Delta$. In this paper, we break this barrier by first giving an insertiononly streaming algorithm that achieves a $(1+\varepsilon)$approximation to the more general $(k,z)$clustering problem, using $\tilde{\mathcal{O}}\left(\frac{dk}{\varepsilon^2}\right)\cdot(2^{z\log z})\cdot\min\left(\frac{1}{\varepsilon^z},k\right)\cdot\text{poly}(\log\log(n\Delta))$ words of memory. Our techniques can also be used to achieve twopass algorithms for $k$median and $k$means clustering on dynamic streams using $\tilde{\mathcal{O}}\left(\frac{1}{\varepsilon^2}\right)\cdot\text{poly}(d,k,\log\log(n\Delta))$ words of memory.
We develop a framework for efficiently transforming certain approximation algorithms into differentiallyprivate variants, in a blackbox manner. Specifically, our results focus on algorithms $A$ that output an approximation to a function $f$ of the form $(1\alpha)f(x)\kappa\leq A(x) \leq (1+\alpha)f(x)+\kappa$, where $\alpha\in [0,1)$ is a parameter that can be``tuned" to smallenough values while incurring only a polynomial blowup in the running time/space. We show that such algorithms can be made differentially private without sacrificing accuracy, as long as the function $f$ has small ``global sensitivity''. We achieve these results by applying the ``smooth sensitivity'' framework developed by Nissim, Raskhodnikova, and Smith (STOC 2007). Our framework naturally applies to transform nonprivate FPRAS (resp. FPTAS) algorithms into $(\varepsilon,\delta)$differentially private (resp. $\varepsilon$differentially private) approximation algorithms. We apply our framework in the context of sublineartime and sublinearspace algorithms, while preserving the nature of the algorithm in meaningful ranges of the parameters. Our results include the first (to the best of our knowledge) $(\eps,\delta)$edge differentiallyprivate sublineartime algorithm for estimating the number of triangles, the number of connected components, and the weight of a minimum spanning tree of a graph, as well as a more efficient algorithm (while sacrificing pure DP in contrast to previous results) for estimating the average degree of a graph. In the area of streaming algorithms, our results include $(\eps,\delta)$DP algorithms for estimating $L_p$norms, distinct elements, and weighted minimum spanning tree for both insertiononly and turnstile streams. Our transformation also provides a private version of the smooth histogram framework, which is commonly used for converting streaming algorithms into sliding window variants, and achieves a multiplicative approximation to many problems, such as estimating $L_p$norms, distinct elements, and the length of the longest increasing subsequence.
We study how to release summary statistics on a data stream subject to the constraint of differential privacy. In particular, we focus on releasing the family of \emph{symmetric norms, which are invariant under signflips and coordinatewise permutations on an input data stream and include $L_p$ norms, $k$support norms, top$k$ norms, and the box norm as special cases}. Although it may be possible to design and analyze a separate mechanism for each symmetric norm, we propose a general parametrizable framework that differentially privately releases a number of sufficient statistics from which the approximation of all symmetric norms can be simultaneously computed. Our framework partitions the coordinates of the underlying frequency vector into different levels based on their magnitude and releases approximate frequencies for the ``heavy'' coordinates in important levels and releases approximate level sizes for the ``light'' coordinates in important levels. Surprisingly, our mechanism allows for the release of an \emph{arbitrary} number of symmetric norm approximations without any overhead or additional loss in privacy. Moreover, our mechanism permits $(1+\alpha)$approximation to each of the symmetric norms and can be implemented using sublinear space in the streaming model for many regimes of the accuracy and privacy parameters.
We introduce efficient $(1+\varepsilon)$approximation algorithms for the binary matrix factorization (BMF) problem, where the inputs are a matrix $\mathbf{A}\in\{0,1\}^{n\times d}$, a rank parameter $k>0$, and an accuracy parameter $\varepsilon>0$, and the goal is to approximate $\mathbf{A}$ by outputting factors $\mathbf{U}\in\{0,1\}^{n\times k}$ and $\mathbf{V}\in\{0,1\}^{k\times d}$ that minimize the Frobenius loss $\\mathbf{A}\mathbf{U}\mathbf{V}\_F$. Currently, the stateoftheart for this problem is the approximation algorithm of Kumar \etal~[ICML 2019], which achieves a $C$approximation for some constant $C\ge 576$. We give the first $(1+\varepsilon)$approximation algorithm using runtime singly exponential in $k$, which is typically a small integer. Our techniques generalize to other common variants of the BMF problem, admitting bicriteria $(1+\varepsilon)$approximation algorithms for $L_p$ loss functions, as well as the setting where matrix operations are performed in $\mathbb{F}_2$. Our approach can be implemented in standard big data models, such as the streaming model or the distributed model.
Radial basis function neural networks (\emph{RBFNN}) are {wellknown} for their capability to approximate any continuous function on a closed bounded set with arbitrary precision given enough hidden neurons. In this paper, we introduce the first algorithm to construct coresets for \emph{RBFNNs}, i.e., small weighted subsets that approximate the loss of the input data on any radial basis function network and thus approximate any function defined by an \emph{RBFNN} on the larger input data. In particular, we construct coresets for radial basis and Laplacian loss functions. We then use our coresets to obtain a provable data subset selection algorithm for training deep neural networks. Since our coresets approximate every function, they also approximate the gradient of each weight in a neural network, which is a particular function on the input. We then perform empirical evaluations on function approximation and dataset subset selection on popular network architectures and data sets, demonstrating the efficacy and accuracy of our coreset construction.
In this paper, we introduce the imperfect shuffle differential privacy model, where messages sent from users are shuffled in an \emph{almost} uniform manner before being observed by a curator for private aggregation. We then consider the private summation problem. We show that the standard splitandmix protocol by Ishai et. al. [FOCS 2006] can be adapted to achieve nearoptimal utility bounds in the imperfect shuffle model. Specifically, we show that surprisingly, there is no additional error overhead necessary in the imperfect shuffle model, not even the small additive overhead in the privacy amplification framework.
Selective experience replay is a popular strategy for integrating lifelong learning with deep reinforcement learning. Selective experience replay aims to recount selected experiences from previous tasks to avoid catastrophic forgetting. Furthermore, selective experience replay based techniques are model agnostic and allow experiences to be shared across different models. However, storing experiences from all previous tasks make lifelong learning using selective experience replay computationally very expensive and impractical as the number of tasks increase. To that end, we propose a reward distributionpreserving coreset compression technique for compressing experience replay buffers stored for selective experience replay. We evaluated the coreset lifelong deep reinforcement learning technique on the brain tumor segmentation (BRATS) dataset for the task of ventricle localization and on the wholebody MRI for localization of left knee cap, left kidney, right trochanter, left lung, and spleen. The coreset lifelong learning models trained on a sequence of 10 different brain MR imaging environments demonstrated excellent performance localizing the ventricle with a mean pixel error distance of 12.93, 13.46, 17.75, and 18.55 for the compression ratios of 10x, 20x, 30x, and 40x, respectively. In comparison, the conventional lifelong learning model localized the ventricle with a mean pixel distance of 10.87. Similarly, the coreset lifelong learning models trained on wholebody MRI demonstrated no significant difference (p=0.28) between the 10x compressed coreset lifelong learning models and conventional lifelong learning models for all the landmarks. The mean pixel distance for the 10x compressed models across all the landmarks was 25.30, compared to 19.24 for the conventional lifelong learning models. Our results demonstrate that the potential of the coresetbased ERB compression method for compressing experiences without a significant drop in performance.
We study the space complexity of the two related fields of {\em differential privacy} and {\em adaptive data analysis}. Specifically,
1. Under standard cryptographic assumptions, we show that there exists a problem $P$ that requires exponentially more space to be solved
efficiently with differential privacy, compared to the space needed without privacy. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first
separation between the space complexity of private and nonprivate algorithms.
2. The line of work on adaptive data analysis focuses on understanding the number of {\em samples} needed for answering a sequence of
adaptive queries. We revisit previous lower bounds at a foundational level, and show that they are a consequence of a space bottleneck rather than a sampling bottleneck.
To obtain our results, we define and construct an encryption scheme with multiple keys that is built to withstand a limited amount of key leakage in a very particular way.
Kernel matrices, as well as weighted graphs represented by them, are ubiquitous objects in machine learning, statistics and other related fields. The main drawback of using kernel methods (learning and inference using kernel matrices) is efficiency  given $n$ input points, most kernelbased algorithms need to materialize the full $n \times n$ kernel matrix before performing any subsequent computation, thus incurring $\Omega(n^2)$ runtime. Breaking this quadratic barrier for various problems has therefore, been a subject of extensive research efforts. We break the quadratic barrier and obtain \emph{subquadratic} time algorithms for several fundamental linearalgebraic and graph processing primitives, including approximating the top eigenvalue and eigenvector, spectral sparsification, solving linear systems, local clustering, lowrank approximation, arboricity estimation and counting weighted triangles. We build on the recently developed Kernel Density Estimation framework, which (after preprocessing in time subquadratic in $n$) can return estimates of row/column sums of the kernel matrix. In particular, we develop efficient reductions from \emph{weighted vertex} and \emph{weighted edge sampling} on kernel graphs, \emph{simulating random walks} on kernel graphs, and \emph{importance sampling} on matrices to Kernel Density Estimation and show that we can generate samples from these distributions in \emph{sublinear} (in the support of the distribution) time. Our reductions are the central ingredient in each of our applications and we believe they may be of independent interest. We empirically demonstrate the efficacy of our algorithms on lowrank approximation (LRA) and spectral sparsification, where we observe a $\textbf{9x}$ decrease in the number of kernel evaluations over baselines for LRA and a $\textbf{41x}$ reduction in the graph size for spectral sparsification.
The data management of large companies often prioritize more recent data, as a source of higher accuracy prediction than outdated data. For example, the Facebook data policy retains user search histories for $6$ months while the Google data retention policy states that browser information may be stored for up to $9$ months. These policies are captured by the sliding window model, in which only the most recent $W$ statistics form the underlying dataset. In this paper, we consider the problem of privately releasing the $L_2$heavy hitters in the sliding window model, which include $L_p$heavy hitters for $p\le 2$ and in some sense are the strongest possible guarantees that can be achieved using polylogarithmic space, but cannot be handled by existing techniques due to the subadditivity of the $L_2$ norm. Moreover, existing nonprivate sliding window algorithms use the smooth histogram framework, which has high sensitivity. To overcome these barriers, we introduce the first differentially private algorithm for $L_2$heavy hitters in the sliding window model by initiating a number of $L_2$heavy hitter algorithms across the stream with significantly lower threshold. Similarly, we augment the algorithms with an approximate frequency tracking algorithm with significantly higher accuracy. We then use smooth sensitivity and statistical distance arguments to show that we can add noise proportional to an estimation of the $L_2$ norm. To the best of our knowledge, our techniques are the first to privately release statistics that are related to a subadditive function in the sliding window model, and may be of independent interest to future differentially private algorithmic design in the sliding window model.
We study dynamic algorithms robust to adaptive input generated from sources with bounded capabilities, such as sparsity or limited interaction. For example, we consider robust linear algebraic algorithms when the updates to the input are sparse but given by an adversary with access to a query oracle. We also study robust algorithms in the standard centralized setting, where an adversary queries an algorithm in an adaptive manner, but the number of interactions between the adversary and the algorithm is bounded. We first recall a unified framework of [HKM+20,BKM+22,ACS+23] for answering $Q$ adaptive queries that incurs $\widetilde{\mathcal{O}}(\sqrt{Q})$ overhead in space, which is roughly a quadratic improvement over the na\"{i}ve implementation, and only incurs a logarithmic overhead in query time. Although the general framework has diverse applications in machine learning and data science, such as adaptive distance estimation, kernel density estimation, linear regression, range queries, and point queries and serves as a preliminary benchmark, we demonstrate even better algorithmic improvements for (1) reducing the preprocessing time for adaptive distance estimation and (2) permitting an unlimited number of adaptive queries for kernel density estimation. Finally, we complement our theoretical results with additional empirical evaluations.
We study $L_p$ polynomial regression. Given query access to a function $f:[1,1] \rightarrow \R$, the goal is to find a degree $d$ polynomial $\widehat{q}$ such that, for a given parameter $\varepsilon > 0$, \begin{align}\label{first} \\widehat{q}f\_p\le (1+\epsilon) \cdot\min_{q:\deg(q)\le d}\qf\_p. \end{align} Here $\norm{\cdot}_p$ is the $L_p$ norm, $\norm{g}_p = (\int_{1}^1 g(t)^p dt)^{1/p}$. We show that querying $f$ at points randomly drawn from the Chebyshev measure on $[1,1]$ is a nearoptimal strategy for polynomial regression in all $L_p$ norms. In particular, to output $\hat q$ satisfying \eqref{first}, it suffices to sample $O(\frac{dp^4\polylog d}{\poly\,\varepsilon})$ points from $[1,1]$ with probabilities proportional to this measure. While polynomial regression is well understood for $L_2$ and $L_\infty$, no prior work explicitly studies polynomial regression for other values of $p$ without strong assumptions like having bounded noise. Naively generalizing techniques from prior works would have a higher runtime than our algorithm. Further, they would either only give results for constant $\varepsilon$, or require a suboptimal $\Omega(d^2)$ sample complexity for $p > 2$. One of our main technical contributions is to provide explicit bounds on the \textit{$L_p$ Lewis weight function} of an infinite linear operator underlying the polynomial regression problem. Using tools from the orthogonal polynomial literature, we show that this function is closely related to the Chebyshev density. Our approach advances prior work, which studies explicit bounds on the $L_2$ leverage scores of infinite linear operators. A second contribution is to prove tighter bounds on $L_p$ Lewis weight sampling for the polynomial operator than hold for general linear operators or matrices.
We study fundamental problems in linear algebra, such as finding a maximal linearly independent subset of rows or columns (a basis), solving linear regression, or computing a subspace embedding. For these problems, we consider input matrices $\mathbf{A}\in\mathbb{R}^{n\times d}$ with $n > d$. The input can be read in $\text{nnz}(\mathbf{A})$ time, which denotes the number of nonzero entries of $\mathbf{A}$. In this paper, we show that beyond the time required to read the input matrix, these fundamental linear algebra problems can be solved in $d^{\omega}$ time, i.e., where $\omega \approx 2.37$ is the current matrixmultiplication exponent. To do so, we introduce a constantfactor subspace embedding with the optimal $m=\mathcal{O}(d)$ number of rows, and which can be applied in time $\mathcal{O}\left(\frac{\text{nnz}(\mathbf{A})}{\alpha}\right) + d^{2 + \alpha}\text{poly}(\log d)$ for any tradeoff parameter $\alpha>0$, tightening a recent result by Chepurko et. al. [SODA 2022] that achieves an $\exp(\text{poly}(\log\log n))$ distortion with $m=d\cdot\text{poly}(\log\log d)$ rows in $\mathcal{O}\left(\frac{\text{nnz}(\mathbf{A})}{\alpha}+d^{2+\alpha+o(1)}\right)$ time. Our subspace embedding uses a recently shown property of {\it stacked} Subsampled Randomized Hadamard Transforms (SRHT), which actually increase the input dimension, to ``spread'' the mass of an input vector among a large number of coordinates, followed by random sampling. To control the effects of random sampling, we use fast semidefinite programming to reweight the rows. We then use our constantfactor subspace embedding to give the first optimal runtime algorithms for finding a maximal linearly independent subset of columns, regression, and leverage score sampling. To do so, we also introduce a novel subroutine that iteratively grows a set of independent rows, which may be of independent interest.
Semidefinite programming (SDP) is a unifying framework that generalizes both linear programming and quadraticallyconstrained quadratic programming, while also yielding efficient solvers, both in theory and in practice. However, there exist known impossibility results for approximating the optimal solution when constraints for covering SDPs arrive in an online fashion. In this paper, we study online covering linear and semidefinite programs in which the algorithm is augmented with advice from a possibly erroneous predictor. We show that if the predictor is accurate, we can efficiently bypass these impossibility results and achieve a constantfactor approximation to the optimal solution, i.e., consistency. On the other hand, if the predictor is inaccurate, under some technical conditions, we achieve results that match both the classical optimal upper bounds and the tight lower bounds up to constant factors, i.e., robustness. More broadly, we introduce a framework that extends both (1) the online set cover problem augmented with machinelearning predictors, studied by Bamas, Maggiore, and Svensson (NeurIPS 2020), and (2) the online covering SDP problem, initiated by Elad, Kale, and Noar (ICALP 2016). Specifically, we obtain general online learningaugmented algorithms for covering linear programs with fractional advice and constraints, and initiate the study of learningaugmented algorithms for covering SDP problems. Our techniques are based on the primaldual framework of Buchbinder and Naor (Mathematics of Operations Research, 34, 2009) and can be further adjusted to handle constraints where the variables lie in a bounded region, i.e., box constraints.
We introduce data structures for solving robust regression through stochastic gradient descent (SGD) by sampling gradients with probability proportional to their norm, i.e., importance sampling. Although SGD is widely used for large scale machine learning, it is wellknown for possibly experiencing slow convergence rates due to the high variance from uniform sampling. On the other hand, importance sampling can significantly decrease the variance but is usually difficult to implement because computing the sampling probabilities requires additional passes over the data, in which case standard gradient descent (GD) could be used instead. In this paper, we introduce an algorithm that approximately samples $T$ gradients of dimension $d$ from nearly the optimal importance sampling distribution for a robust regression problem over $n$ rows. Thus our algorithm effectively runs $T$ steps of SGD with importance sampling while using sublinear space and just making a single pass over the data. Our techniques also extend to performing importance sampling for secondorder optimization.
We explore algorithms and limitations for sparse optimization problems such as sparse linear regression and robust linear regression. The goal of the sparse linear regression problem is to identify a small number of key features, while the goal of the robust linear regression problem is to identify a small number of erroneous measurements. Specifically, the sparse linear regression problem seeks a $k$sparse vector $x\in\mathbb{R}^d$ to minimize $\Axb\_2$, given an input matrix $A\in\mathbb{R}^{n\times d}$ and a target vector $b\in\mathbb{R}^n$, while the robust linear regression problem seeks a set $S$ that ignores at most $k$ rows and a vector $x$ to minimize $\(Axb)_S\_2$. We first show bicriteria, NPhardness of approximation for robust regression building on the work of [OWZ15], which implies a similar result for sparse regression. We further show finegrained hardness of robust regression through a reduction from the minimumweight $k$clique conjecture. On the positive side, we give an algorithm for robust regression that achieves arbitrarily accurate additive error and uses runtime that closely matches the lower bound from the finegrained hardness result, as well as an algorithm for sparse regression with similar runtime. Both our upper and lower bounds rely on a general reduction from robust linear regression to sparse regression that we introduce. Our algorithms, inspired by the 3SUM problem, use approximate nearest neighbor data structures and may be of independent interest for solving sparse optimization problems. For instance, we demonstrate that our techniques can also be used for the wellstudied sparse PCA problem.
There has been a large body of recent literature studying streaming algorithms on adaptive inputs, where an input stream is chosen adaptively by a blackbox adversary who observes the outputs of the algorithm at each time. Many of these algorithms use techniques that crucially use the fact that the adversary can only see the output of the algorithm by using either differential privacy to hide the internal randomness of the algorithm or switching between parallel instances of the algorithm to information theoretically hide the internal randomness of the algorithm. These techniques fail when the entire internal states of the algorithm at each point in time are also revealed to the adversary. We introduce and consider the problem of streaming algorithms in the whitebox adversarial model, where the stream is chosen adaptively by an adversary who observes the entire internal state of the algorithm at each time. We first show that there exists a randomized algorithm for the $\eps$$L_1$heavy hitters problem that uses space $\O{\frac{1}{\eps}\left(\log n+\log\frac{1}{\eps}\right)+\log\log m}$, which outperforms the wellknown deterministic MisraGries algorithm. We also show that if the whitebox adversary is computationally bounded, then there exist efficient algorithms for the $(\varphi,\eps)$$L_1$heavy hitters problem and the vertex neighborhood identity problem. We also show a general technique for proving lower bounds for (possibly randomized) algorithms robust to whitebox algorithms through twoplayer (possibly deterministic) communication problems. In particular, our results show that for all $p\ge 0$, there exists a constant $C_p>1$ such that any $C_p$approximation algorithm for $F_p$ moment estimation requires $\Omega(n)$ space. Similarly, there exists a constant $C>1$ such that any $C$approximation algorithm for matrix rank requires $\Omega(n)$ space. We also prove a lower bound of $\Omega(\log n)$ for the fundamental problem of deterministic approximate counting in a stream of $0$s and $1$s, which holds even if we we know how many total stream updates we have seen so far at each point in the stream. Such a lower bound on approximate counting with additional information was unknown, and may be of independent interest. In our context, it shows a separation between multiplayer deterministic maximum communication and the white box space complexity of a streaming algorithm.
While online learning with experts has been studied in many settings and there is a large body of work in understanding optimal algorithms for this problem, there is much less work on understanding the memory required to solve this problem in natural streaming models. This is especially important when the number of experts, as well as the number of days the experts make predictions on, are large. The goal is for a streaming algorithm that processes the predictions of each expert on a day to make a prediction with the minimum cost for that day. After having made a prediction, the streaming algorithm sees the actual outcome on that day, updates its state, and then moves on to the next day. We initialize the study of the online learning with experts problem in the streaming model. We first give a lower bound for the discrete prediction with experts problem where each prediction is either correct or incorrect for that day. Our lower bound shows that to achieve the optimal regret from online learning, any algorithm must essentially use space linear in the number of experts. Our lower bound also gives a smooth regret versus memory tradeoff. We then give an upper bound for the more general online learning problem in the randomorder model, that is tight with our lowerbound up to low order terms. Our upper bound shows that there are natural tradeoffs between the regret of the streaming algorithm, the memory required, and the total number of days. Finally, for adversarially ordered streams, we give upper bounds for the prediction with experts problems that use sublinear space and achieve sublinear regret in a number of natural parameter regimes. We hope that these results and techniques can inspire multiplicative weights algorithms for a wide range of other problems in the memoryconstrained setting.
$k$means clustering is a wellstudied problem due to its wide applicability. Unfortunately, there exist strong theoretical limits on the performance of any algorithm for the $k$means problem on worstcase inputs. To overcome this barrier, we consider a scenario where ``advice'' is provided to help perform clustering. Specifically, we consider the $k$means problem augmented with a predictor that, given any point, returns its cluster label in an approximately optimal clustering up to some, possibly adversarial, error. We present an algorithm whose performance improves along with the accuracy of the predictor, even though na\"{i}vely following the accurate predictor can still lead to a high clustering cost. Thus if the predictor is sufficiently accurate, we can retrieve a close to optimal clustering with nearly optimal runtime, breaking known computational barriers for algorithms that do not have access to such advice. We evaluate our algorithms on real datasets and show significant improvements in the quality of clustering.
$L_p$ Regression on Structured Inputs is an important problem in data analysis and machine learning where we find a vector \(\mathbf{x}\in\mathbb R^{d}\) that minimizes \(\\mathbf{A}\mathbf{x}\mathbf{b}\_p\) for a \textit{structured} matrix \(\mathbf{A}\in\mathbb R^{n \times d}\) and response vector \(\mathbf{b}\in\mathbb R^{n}\). Unfortunately, for many common classes of matrices, samplingbased algorithms for approximately solving $L_p$ regression require runtime that is exponential in $p$, e.g., $d^{\mathcal{O}(p)}$, which is prohibitively expensive. We show that for a large class of structured inputs, such as combinations of lowrank matrices, sparse matrices, and Vandermonde matrices, $L_p$ regression can be approximately solved using runtime that is polynomial in $p$. For example, we show that $L_p$ regression on Vandermonde matrices can be approximately solved using time $\mathcal{O}(T(\mathbf{A})\log n+(dp)^\omega\cdot\text{polylog}\,n)$, where $T(\mathbf{A})$ is the time to multiply $\mathbf{A}\mathbf{x}$ for an arbitrary vector $\mathbf{x}\in\mathbb{R}^d$, and $\omega$ is the exponent of matrix multiplication. The polynomial dependence on $p$ also crucially allows our algorithms to extend naturally to sublinear time algorithms for $L_\infty$ regression. Of independent interest, we develop a new algorithm for solving $L_p$ regression for arbitrary matrices, which is significantly faster in practice for every $p\ge4$.
$(j,k)$projective clustering is the natural generalization of the family of $k$clustering and $j$subspace clustering problems. Given a set of points $P$ in $\mathbb{R}^d$, the goal is to find $k$ flats of dimension $j$, i.e., affine subspaces, that best fit $P$ under a given distance measure. In this paper, we propose the first algorithm that returns an $L_\infty$ coreset of size polynomial in $d$. Moreover, we give the first strong coreset construction for general $M$estimator regression. Specifically, we show that our construction provides efficient coreset constructions for Cauchy, Welsch, Huber, GemanMcClure, Tukey, $L_1L_2$, and Fair regression, as well as general concave and powerbounded loss functions. Finally, we provide experimental results based on realworld datasets, showing the efficacy of our approach.
Principal component analysis (PCA) is a widely used dimensionality reduction technique in machine learning and multivariate statistics. To improve the interpretability of PCA, various approaches to obtain sparse principal direction loadings have been proposed, which are termed Sparse Principal Component Analysis (SPCA). In this paper, we present \texttt{ThreSPCA}, a provably accurate algorithm based on thresholding the Singular Value Decomposition for the SPCA problem, without imposing any restrictive assumptions on the input covariance matrix. Our thresholding algorithm is conceptually simple; much faster than current stateoftheart; and performs well in practice. When applied to genotype data from the 1000 Genomes Project, \texttt{ThreSPCA} is faster than previous benchmarks, at least as accurate, and leads to a set of interpretable biomarkers, revealing genetic diversity across the world.
The Boolean Hidden Matching (BHM) problem, introduced in a seminal paper of Gavinsky et. al. [STOC'07], has played an important role in the streaming lower bounds for graph problems such as triangle and subgraph counting, maximum matching, MAXCUT, Schatten $p$norm approximation, maximum acyclic subgraph, testing bipartiteness, $k$connectivity, and cyclefreeness. The oneway communication complexity of the Boolean Hidden Matching problem on a universe of size $n$ is $\Theta(\sqrt{n})$, resulting in $\Omega(\sqrt{n})$ lower bounds for constant factor approximations to several of the aforementioned graph problems. The related (and, in fact, more general) Boolean Hidden Hypermatching (BHH) problem introduced by Verbin and Yu [SODA'11] provides an approach to proving higher lower bounds of $\Omega(n^{11/t})$ for integer $t\geq 2$. Reductions based on Boolean Hidden Hypermatching generate distributions on graphs with connected components of diameter about $t$, and basically show that long range exploration is hard in the streaming model of computation with adversarial arrivals. In this paper we introduce a natural variant of the BHM problem, called noisy BHM (and its natural noisy BHH variant), that we use to obtain higher than $\Omega(\sqrt{n})$ lower bounds for approximating several of the aforementioned problems in graph streams when the input graphs consist only of components of diameter bounded by a fixed constant. We also use the noisy BHM problem to show that the problem of classifying whether an underlying graph is isomorphic to a complete binary tree in insertiononly streams requires $\Omega(n)$ space, which seems challenging to show using BHM or BHH alone.
In the $G$sampling problem, the goal is to output an index $i$ of a vector $f \in\mathbb{R}^n$, such that for all coordinates $j \in [n]$, \[\textbf{Pr}[i=j] = (1 \pm \eps) \frac{G(f_j)}{\sum_{k\in[n]} G(f_k)} + \gamma,\] where $G:\mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}_{\geq 0}$ is some nonnegative function. If $\eps = 0$ and $\gamma = 1/\poly(n)$, the sampler is called \textit{perfect}. In the data stream model, $f$ is defined implicitly by a sequence of updates to its coordinates, and the goal is to design such a sampler in small space. Jayaram and Woodruff (FOCS 2018) gave the first perfect $L_p$ samplers in turnstile streams, where $G(x)=x^p$, using $\text{polylog}(n)$ space for $p\in(0,2]$. However, to date all known sampling algorithms are not \textit{truly perfect}, since their output distribution is only pointwise $\gamma = 1/\poly(n)$ close to the true distribution. This small error can be significant when samplers are run many times on successive portions of a stream, and leak potentially sensitive information about the data stream. In this work, we initiate the study of \textit{truly perfect} samplers, with $\eps = \gamma = 0$, and comprehensively investigate their complexity in the data stream and sliding window models. We begin by showing that sublinear space truly perfect sampling is impossible in the turnstile model, by proving a lower bound of $\Omega\left(\min\left\{n,\log \frac{1}{\gamma}\right\}\right)$ for any $G$sampler with pointwise error $\gamma$ from the true distribution. We then give a general timeefficient sublinearspace framework for developing truly perfect samplers in the insertiononly streaming and sliding window models. As specific applications, our framework addresses $L_p$ sampling for all $p>0$, e.g., $\tO{n^{11/p}}$ space for $p\ge 1$, concave functions, and a large number of measure functions, including the $L_1L_2$, Fair, Huber, and Tukey estimators. The update time of our truly perfect $L_p$samplers is $\O{1}$, which is an exponential improvement over the running time of previous perfect $L_p$samplers.
Robustness against adversarial attacks has recently been at the forefront of algorithmic design for machine learning tasks. In the adversarial streaming model, an adversary gives an algorithm a sequence of adaptively chosen updates $u_1,\ldots,u_n$ as a data stream. The goal of the algorithm is to compute or approximate some predetermined function for every prefix of the adversarial stream, but the adversary may generate future updates based on previous outputs of the algorithm. In particular, the adversary may gradually learn the random bits internally used by an algorithm to manipulate dependencies in the input. This is especially problematic as many important problems in the streaming model require randomized algorithms, as they are known to not admit any deterministic algorithms that use sublinear space. In this paper, we introduce adversarially robust streaming algorithms for central machine learning and algorithmic tasks, such as regression and clustering, as well as their more general counterparts, subspace embedding, lowrank approximation, and coreset construction. For regression and other numerical linear algebra related tasks, we consider the row arrival streaming model. Our results are based on a simple, but powerful, observation that sampling based algorithms give rise to adversarial robustness which is in contrast to sketching based algorithms, which are very prevalent in the streaming literature but suffer from adversarial attacks. In addition, we show that the wellknown merge and reduce paradigm in streaming is adversarially robust. Since the merge and reduce paradigm defines coreset constructions, we thus obtain robust algorithms for $k$means, $k$median, $k$center, Bregman clustering, projective clustering, principal component analysis (PCA) and nonnegative matrix factorization. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first adversarially robust methods for these problems. Finally, we empirically confirm the robustness of our algorithms on various adversarial attacks and demonstrate that by contrast, common existing algorithms are not robust.
The Wasserstein barycenter is a geometric construct which captures the notion of centrality among probability distributions, and which has found many applications in machine learning. However, most algorithms for finding even an approximate barycenter suffer an exponential dependence on the dimension $d$ of the underlying space of the distributions. In order to cope with this ``curse of dimensionality,'' we study dimensionality reduction techniques for the Wasserstein barycenter problem. When the barycenter is restricted to support of size $n$, we show that randomized dimensionality reduction can be used to map the problem to a space of dimension $O(\log n)$ independent of both $d$ and $k$, and that \emph{any} solution found in the reduced dimension will have its cost preserved up to arbitrary small error in the original space. We provide matching upper and lower bounds on the size of the reduced dimension, showing that our methods are optimal up to constant factors. We also provide a coreset construction for the Wasserstein barycenter problem that significantly decreases the number of input distributions. The coresets can be used in conjunction with random projections and thus further improve computation time. Lastly, our experimental results validate the speedup provided by dimensionality reduction while maintaining solution quality.
A coreset for a set of points is a small subset of weighted points that approximately preserves important properties of the original set. Specifically, if $P$ is a set of points, $Q$ is a set of queries, and $f:P\times Q\to\mathbb{R}$ is a cost function, then a set $S\subseteq P$ with weights $w:P\to[0,\infty)$ is an $\epsilon$coreset for some parameter $\epsilon>0$ if $\sum_{s\in S}w(s)f(s,q)$ is a $(1+\epsilon)$ multiplicative approximation to $\sum_{p\in P}f(p,q)$ for all $q\in Q$. Coresets are used to solve fundamental problems in machine learning under various big data models of computation. Many of the suggested coresets in the recent decade used, or could have used a general framework for constructing coresets whose size depends quadratically on what is known as total sensitivity $t$. In this paper we improve this bound from $O(t^2)$ to $O(t\log t)$. Thus our results imply more space efficient solutions to a number of problems, including projective clustering, $k$line clustering, and subspace approximation. The main technical result is a generic reduction to the sample complexity of learning a class of functions with bounded VC dimension. We show that obtaining an $(\nu,\alpha)$sample for this class of functions with appropriate parameters $\nu$ and $\alpha$ suffices to achieve space efficient $\epsilon$coresets. Our result implies more efficient coreset constructions for a number of interesting problems in machine learning; we show applications to $k$median/$k$means, $k$line clustering, $j$subspace approximation, and the integer $(j,k)$projective clustering problem.
We introduce \emph{difference estimators} for data stream computation, which provide approximations to $F(v)F(u)$ for frequency vectors $v\succeq u$ and a given function $F$. We show how to use such estimators to carefully trade error for memory in an iterative manner. The function $F$ is generally nonlinear, and we give the first difference estimators for the frequency moments $F_p$ for $p\in[0,2]$, as well as for integers $p>2$. Using these, we resolve a number of central open questions in adversarial robust streaming and sliding window models: \begin{enumerate} \item For adversarially robust streams, we obtain a $(1+\epsilon)$approximation to $F_p$ using $\tilde{\mathcal{O}}\left(\frac{\log n}{\epsilon^2}\right)$ bits of space for $p\in[0,2]$, and using $\tilde{\mathcal{O}}\left(\frac{1}{\epsilon^2}n^{12/p}\right)$ bits of space for integers $p>2$. We also obtain an adversarially robust algorithm for the $L_2$heavy hitters problem using $\mathcal{O}\left(\frac{\log n}{\epsilon^2}\right)$ bits of space. Our bounds are optimal up to $\poly(\log\log n + \log(1/\epsilon))$ factors, and improve the $\frac{1}{\epsilon^3}$ dependence of BenEliezer \emph{et al.} (PODS 2020, best paper award) and the $\frac{1}{\epsilon^{2.5}}$ dependence of Hassidim \emph{et al.} (NeurIPS 2020, oral presentation). \item For sliding windows, we obtain a $(1+\epsilon)$approximation to $F_p$ using $\tilde{\mathcal{O}}\left(\frac{\log^2 n}{\epsilon^2}\right)$ bits of space for $p\in(0,2]$, resolving a longstanding question of Braverman and Ostrovsky (FOCS 2007). For example, for $p = 2$ we improve the dependence on $\epsilon$ from $\frac{1}{\epsilon^4}$ to an optimal $\frac{1}{\epsilon^2}$. \end{enumerate} For both models, our dependence on $\epsilon$ shows, up to $\log\frac{1}{\epsilon}$ factors, that there is no overhead over the standard insertiononly data stream model for any of these problems.
The sliding window model generalizes the standard streaming model and often performs better in applications where recent data is more important or more accurate than data that arrived prior to a certain time. We study the problem of approximating symmetric norms (a norm on $\mathbb{R}^n$ that is invariant under signflips and coordinatewise permutations) in the sliding window model, where only the $W$ most recent updates define the underlying frequency vector. Whereas standard norm estimation algorithms for sliding windows rely on the smooth histogram framework of Braverman and Ostrovsky (FOCS 2007), analyzing the \emph{smoothness} of general symmetric norms seems to be a challenging obstacle. Instead, we observe that the symmetric norm streaming algorithm of Braverman \emph{et al.} (STOC 2017) can be reduced to identifying and approximating the frequency of heavyhitters in a number of substreams. We introduce a heavyhitter algorithm that gives a $(1+\epsilon)$approximation to each of the reported frequencies in the sliding window model, thus obtaining the first algorithm for general symmetric norm estimation in the sliding window model. Our algorithm is a universal sketch that simultaneously approximates all symmetric norms in a parametrizable class and also improves upon the smooth histogram framework for estimating $L_p$ norms, for a range of large $p$. Finally, we consider the problem of overconstrained linear regression problem in the case that loss function that is an Orlicz norm, a symmetric norm that can be interpreted as a scaleinvariant version of $M$estimators. We give the first algorithms that produce $(1+\eps)$approximate solutions to the linear regression problem for loss functions that are Orlicz norms in both the streaming and sliding window models.
A proof of sequential work allows a prover to convince a resource bounded verifier that the prover invested a substantial amount of sequential time to perform some underlying computation. Proofs of sequential work have many applications including timestamping, blockchain design, and universally verifiable CPU benchmarks. Mahmoody, Moran and Vadhan (ITCS 2013) gave the first construction of proofs of sequential work in the random oracle model though the construction relied on expensive depthrobust graphs. In a recent breakthrough, Cohen and Pietrzak (EUROCRYPT 2018) gave a more efficient construction that does not require depthrobust graphs. In each of these constructions, the prover commits to a labeling of a directed acyclic graph $G$ with $N$ nodes and the verifier audits the prover by checking that a small subset of labels are locally consistent, e.g., $L_v = H(L_{v_1},\ldots,L_{v_\delta})$, where $v_1,\ldots,v_\delta$ denote the parents of node $v$. Provided that the graph $G$ has certain structural properties (e.g., depthrobustness), the prover must produce a long $\H$sequence to pass the audit with nonnegligible probability. An $\H$sequence $x_0,x_1\ldots x_T$ has the property that $H(x_i)$ is a substring of $x_{i+1}$ for each $i$, i.e., we can find strings $a_i,b_i$ such that $x_{i+1} = a_i \cdot H(x_i) \cdot b_i$. In the parallel random oracle model, it is straightforward to argue that any attacker running in sequential time $T1$ will fail to produce an $\H$sequence of length $T$ except with negligible probability  even if the attacker submits large batches of random oracle queries in each round. In this paper, we introduce the parallel quantum random oracle model and prove that any quantum attacker running in sequential time $T1$ will fail to produce an $\H$sequence except with negligible probability  even if the attacker submits a large batch of quantum queries in each round. The proof is substantially more challenging and highlights the power of Zhandry's recent compressed oracle technique (CRYPTO 2019).
We study the classical problem of moment estimation of an underlying vector whose $n$ coordinates are implicitly defined through a series of updates in a data stream. We show that if the updates to the vector arrive in the randomorder insertiononly model, then there exist space efficient algorithms with improved dependencies on the approximation parameter $\varepsilon$. In particular, for any real $p > 2$, we first obtain an algorithm for $F_p$ moment estimation using $\tilde{\mathcal{O}}\left(\frac{1}{\varepsilon^{4/p}}\cdot n^{12/p}\right)$ bits of memory. Our techniques also give algorithms for $F_p$ moment estimation with $p>2$ on arbitrary order insertiononly and turnstile streams, using $\tilde{\mathcal{O}}\left(\frac{1}{\varepsilon^{4/p}}\cdot n^{12/p}\right)$ bits of space and two passes, which is the first optimal multipass $F_p$ estimation algorithm up to $\log n$ factors. Finally, we give an improved lower bound of $\Omega\left(\frac{1}{\varepsilon^2}\cdot n^{12/p}\right)$ for onepass insertiononly streams, thus separating the complexity of this problem both between random and nonrandom orders, as well as onepass and multipass streams.
We consider the problem of learning a latent $k$vertex simplex $K\in\mathbb{R}^d$, given access to $\AA\in\mathbb{R}^{d\times n}$, which can be viewed as a data matrix with $n$ points that are obtained by randomly perturbing latent points in the simplex $K$ (potentially beyond $K$). A large class of latent variable models, such as adversarial clustering, mixed membership stochastic block models, and topic models can be cast as learning a latent simplex. Bhattacharyya and Kannan (SODA 2020) give an algorithm for learning such a latent simplex in time roughly $O(k\cdot\nnz(\AA))$, where $\nnz(\AA)$ is the number of nonzeros in $\AA$. We show that the dependence on $k$ in the running time is unnecessary given a natural assumption about the mass of the top $k$ singular values of $\AA$, which holds in many of these applications. Further, we show this assumption is necessary, as otherwise an algorithm for learning a latent simplex would imply an algorithmic breakthrough for spectral low rank approximation. At a high level, Bhattacharyya and Kannan provide an adaptive algorithm that makes $k$ matrixvector product queries to $\AA$ and each query is a function of all queries preceding it. Since each matrixvector product requires $\nnz(\AA)$ time, their overall running time appears unavoidable. Instead, we obtain a lowrank approximation to $\AA$ in inputsparsity time and show that the column space thus obtained has small $\sin\Theta$ (angular) distance to the right top$k$ singular space of $\AA$. Our algorithm then selects $k$ points in the lowrank subspace with the largest inner product (in absolute value) with $k$ carefully chosen random vectors. By working in the lowrank subspace, we avoid reading the entire matrix in each iteration and thus circumvent the $\Theta(k\cdot\nnz(\AA))$ running time.
We consider the \emph{sensitivity} of algorithms for the maximum matching problem against edge and vertex modifications. When an algorithm $A$ for the maximum matching problem is deterministic, the sensitivity of $A$ on $G$ is defined as $\max_{e \in E(G)}A(G) \triangle A(G  e)$, where $Ge$ is the graph obtained from $G$ by removing an edge $e \in E(G)$ and $\triangle$ denotes the symmetric difference. When $A$ is randomized, the sensitivity is defined as $\max_{e \in E(G)}d_{\mathrm{EM}}(A(G),A(Ge))$, where $d_{\mathrm{EM}}(\cdot,\cdot)$ denotes the earth mover's distance between two distributions. Thus the sensitivity measures the difference between the output of an algorithm after the input is slightly perturbed. Algorithms with low sensitivity, or \emph{stable} algorithms are desirable because they are robust to edge failure or attack. In this work, we show a randomized $(1\epsilon)$approximation algorithm with \emph{worstcase} sensitivity $O_{\epsilon}(1)$, which substantially improves upon the $(1\epsilon)$approximation algorithm of Varma and Yoshida (arXiv 2020) that obtains \emph{average} sensitivity $n^{O(1/(1+\epsilon^2))}$ sensitivity algorithm, and show a deterministic $1/2$approximation algorithm with sensitivity $\exp(O(\log^*n))$ for boundeddegree graphs. We then show that any deterministic constantfactor approximation algorithm must have sensitivity $\Omega(\log^* n)$. Our results imply that randomized algorithms are strictly more powerful than deterministic ones in that the former can achieve sensitivity independent of $n$ whereas the latter cannot. We also show analogous results for vertex sensitivity, where we remove a vertex instead of an edge. As an application of our results, we give an algorithm for the online maximum matching with $O_{\epsilon}(n)$ total replacements in the vertexarrival model. By comparison, Bernstein~et~al.~(J. ACM 2019) gave an online algorithm that always outputs the maximum matching, but only for bipartite graphs and with $O(n\log n)$ total replacements. Finally, we introduce the notion of normalized weighted sensitivity, a natural generalization of sensitivity that accounts for the weights of deleted edges. For a graph with weight function $w$, the normalized weighted sensitivity is defined to be the sum of the weighted edges in the symmetric difference of the algorithm normalized by the altered edge, i.e., $\max_{e \in E(G)}\frac{1}{w(e)}w\left(A(G) \triangle A(G  e)\right)$. Hence the normalized weighted sensitivity measures the weighted difference between the output of an algorithm after the input is slightly perturbed, normalized by the weight of the perturbation. We show that if all edges in a graph have polynomially bounded weight, then given a tradeoff parameter $\alpha>2$, there exists an algorithm that outputs a $\frac{1}{4\alpha}$approximation to the maximum weighted matching in $O(m\log_{\alpha} n)$ time, with normalized weighted sensitivity $O(1)$.
We initiate the study of numerical linear algebra in the sliding window model, where only the most recent $W$ updates in a stream form the underlying data set. Although many existing algorithms in the sliding window model use or borrow elements from the smooth histogram framework (Braverman and Ostrovsky, FOCS 2007), we show that many interesting linearalgebraic problems, including spectral and vector induced matrix norms, generalized regression, and lowrank approximation, are not amenable to this approach in the rowarrival model. To overcome this challenge, we first introduce a unified rowsampling based framework that gives \emph{randomized} algorithms for spectral approximation, lowrank approximation/projectioncost preservation, and $\ell_1$subspace embeddings in the sliding window model, which often use nearly optimal space and achieve nearly input sparsity runtime. Our algorithms are based on ``reverse online'' versions of offline sampling distributions such as (ridge) leverage scores, $\ell_1$ sensitivities, and Lewis weights to quantify both the importance and the recency of a row; our structural results on these distributions may be of independent interest for future algorithmic design. Although our techniques initially address numerical linear algebra in the sliding window model, our rowsampling framework rather surprisingly implies connections to the wellstudied online model; our structural results also give the first sample optimal (up to lower order terms) online algorithm for lowrank approximation/projectioncost preservation. Using this powerful primitive, we give online algorithms for column/row subset selection and principal component analysis that resolves the main open question of Bhaskara~\etal\,(FOCS 2019). We also give the first online algorithm for $\ell_1$subspace embeddings. We further formalize the connection between the online model and the sliding window model by introducing an \emph{additional} unified framework for \emph{deterministic} algorithms using a merge and reduce paradigm and the concept of online coresets, which we define as a weighted subset of rows of the input matrix that can be used to compute a good approximation to some given function on all of its prefixes. Our sampling based algorithms in the rowarrival online model yield online coresets, giving deterministic algorithms for spectral approximation, lowrank approximation/projectioncost preservation, and $\ell_1$subspace embeddings in the sliding window model that use nearly optimal space.
Constructions of locally decodable codes (\LDCs) have one of two undesirable properties: low rate or high locality (polynomial in the length of the message). In settings where the encoder/decoder have already exchanged cryptographic keys and the channel is a probabilistic polynomial time (\PPT) algorithm, it is possible to circumvent these barriers and design \LDCs\ with constant rate and small locality. However, the assumption that the encoder/decoder have exchanged cryptographic keys is often prohibitive. We thus consider the problem of designing explicit and efficient \LDCs\ in settings where the channel is {\em slightly} more constrained than the encoder/decoder with respect to some resource e.g., space or (sequential) time. Given an explicit function $f$ that the channel cannot compute, we show how the encoder can transmit a random secret key to the local decoder using $f(\cdot)$ and a random oracle $\oracleH$. This allows bootstrap from the private key \LDC\ construction of Ostrovsky, Pandey and Sahai (ICALP, 2007), thereby answering an open question posed by Guruswami and Smith (FOCS 2010) of whether such bootstrapping techniques may apply to \LDCs\ in weaker channel models than just \PPT\ algorithms. Specifically, in the random oracle model we show how to construct explicit constant rate \LDCs\ with optimal locality of $\polylog$ in the security parameter against various resource constrained channels.
Adaptive sampling is a useful algorithmic tool for data summarization problems in the classical centralized setting, where the entire dataset is available to the single processor performing the computation. Adaptive sampling repeatedly selects rows of an underlying matrix $\A\in\mathbb{R}^{n\times d}$, where $n\gg d$, with probabilities proportional to their distances to the subspace of the previously selected rows. Intuitively, adaptive sampling seems to be limited to trivial multipass algorithms in the streaming model of computation due to its inherently sequential nature of assigning sampling probabilities to each row only after the previous iteration is completed. Surprisingly, we show this is not the case by giving the first onepass algorithms for adaptive sampling on turnstile streams and using space $\poly(d,k,\log n)$, where $k$ is the number of adaptive sampling rounds to be performed. Our adaptive sampling procedure has a number of applications to various data summarization problems that either improve stateoftheart or have only been previously studied in the more relaxed rowarrival model. We give the first relativeerror algorithm for column subset selection on turnstile streams. We show our adaptive sampling algorithm also gives the first relativeerror algorithm for subspace approximation on turnstile streams that returns $k$ noisy rows of $\A$. The quality of the output can be improved to a $(1+\eps)$approximation at the tradeoff of a bicriteria algorithm that outputs a larger number of rows. We then give the first algorithm for projective clustering on turnstile streams that uses space sublinear in $n$. In fact, we use space $\poly\left(d,k,s,\frac{1}{\eps},\log n\right)$ to output a $(1+\eps)$approximation, where $s$ is the number of $k$dimensional subspaces. Our adaptive sampling primitive also provides the first algorithm for volume maximization on turnstile streams. We complement our volume maximization algorithmic results with lower bounds that are tight up to lower order terms, even for multipass algorithms. By a similar construction, we also obtain lower bounds for volume maximization in the rowarrival model, which we match with competitive upper bounds.
The problem of selecting a smallsize representative summary of a large dataset is a cornerstone of machine learning, optimization and data science. Motivated by applications to recommendation systems and other scenarios with querylimited access to vast amounts of data, we propose a new rigorous algorithmic framework for a standard formulation of this problem as a submodular maximization subject to a linear (knapsack) constraint. Our framework is based on augmenting all partial Greedy solutions with the best additional item. It can be instantiated with negligible overhead in any model of computation, which allows the classic Greedy algorithm and its variants to be implemented. We give such instantiations in the offline (Greedy+Max), multipass streaming (Sieve+Max) and distributed (Distributed+Max) settings. Our algorithms give (1/2epsilon)approximation with most other key parameters of interest being nearoptimal. Our analysis is based on a new set of firstorder linear differential inequalities and their robust approximate versions. Experiments on typical datasets (movie recommendations, influence maximization) confirm scalability and high quality of solutions obtained via our framework. Instancespecific approximations are typically in the 0.60.7 range and frequently beat even the (11/epsilon) \approx 0.63 worstcase barrier for polynomialtime algorithms.
Previous work showed empirically that large neural networks can be significantly reduced in size while preserving their accuracy. Model compression became a central research topic, as it is crucial for deployment of neural networks on devices with limited computational and memory resources. The majority of the compression methods are based on heuristics and offer no worstcase guarantees on the tradeoff between the compression rate and the approximation error for an arbitrarily new sample. We propose the first efficient, dataindependent neural pruning algorithm with a provable tradeoff between its compression rate and the approximation error for any future test sample. Our method is based on the coreset framework, which finds a small weighted subset of points that provably approximates the original inputs. Specifically, we approximate the output of a layer of neurons by a coreset of neurons in the previous layer and discard the rest. We apply this framework in a layerbylayer fashion from the top to the bottom. Unlike previous works, our coreset is data independent, meaning that it provably guarantees the accuracy of the function for any input $x\in \mathbb{R}^d$, including an adversarial one. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on popular network architectures. In particular, our coresets yield 90\% compression of the LeNet300100 architecture on MNIST while improving classification accuracy.
The cumulative pebbling complexity of a directed acyclic graph G is defined as cc(G) = \min_P \sum_i P_i, where the minimum is taken over all legal (parallel) black pebblings of G and P_i denotes the number of pebbles on the graph during round i. Intuitively, cc(G) captures the amortized SpaceTime complexity of pebbling m copies of G in parallel. The cumulative pebbling complexity of a graph G is of particular interest in the field of cryptography as cc(G) is tightly related to the amortized AreaTime complexity of the dataindependent memory hard function (iMHF) f_{G,H} (Alwen and Serbinenko, STOC 2015) defined using a constant indegree directed acyclic graph (DAG) G and a random oracle H. A secure iMHF should have amortized SpaceTime complexity as high as possible e.g., to deter bruteforce password attacker who wants to find x such that f_{G,H}(x) = h. Thus, to analyze the (in)security of a candidate iMHF f_{G,H}, it is crucial to estimate the value cc(G) but currently, upper and lower bounds for leading iMHF candidates differ by several orders of magnitude. Blocki and Zhou recently showed that is NPHard to compute cc(G), but their techniques do not even rule out an efficient (1+epsilon)approximation algorithm for any constant epsilon>0. We show that for any constant c > 0, it is Unique Games hard to approximate cc(G) to within a factor of c. Along the way, we show the hardness of approximation of the DAG Vertex Deletion problem on DAGs of constant indegree. Namely, we show that for any k,epsilon>0 given a DAG G with N nodes and constant indegree, the it is Unique Games hard to distinguish between the case that (e_1, d_1)reducible with e_1=N^{1/(1+2epsilon)}/k and d_1=k N^{2epsilon/(1+2epsilon)} and the case that G is (e_2, d_2)depthrobust with e_2 = (1epsilon)k e_1 and d_2= 0.9 N^{(1+epsilon)/(1+2epsilon)}, which may be of independent interest. Our result generalizes a result of Svensson who proved an analogous result for DAGs with indegree O(N).
Memory hard functions (MHFs) are an important cryptographic primitive that are used to design egalitarian proofs of work and in the construction of moderately expensive keyderivation functions resistant to bruteforce attacks. Broadly speaking, MHFs can be divided into two categories: datadependent memory hard functions (dMHFs) and dataindependent memory hard functions (iMHFs). iMHFs are resistant to certain sidechannel attacks as the memory access pattern induced by the honest evaluation algorithm is independent of the potentially sensitive input e.g., password. While dMHFs are potentially vulnerable to sidechannel attacks (the induced memory access pattern might leak useful information to a bruteforce attacker), they can achieve higher cumulative memory complexity (CMC) in comparison than an iMHF. In particular, any iMHF that can be evaluated in $N$ steps on a sequential machine has CMC {\em at most} $\O{\frac{N^2\log\log N}{\log N}}$. By contrast, the dMHF scrypt achieves maximal CMC $\Omega(N^2)$  though the CMC of scrypt would be reduced to just $\O{N}$ after a sidechannel attack. In this paper, we introduce the notion of computationally dataindependent memory hard functions (ciMHFs). Intuitively, we require that memory access pattern induced by the (randomized) ciMHF evaluation algorithm appears to be independent from the standpoint of a computationally bounded eavesdropping attacker  even if the attacker selects the initial input. We then ask whether it is possible to circumvent known upper bound for iMHFs and build a ciMHF with CMC $\Omega(N^2)$. Surprisingly, we answer the question in the affirmative when the ciMHF evaluation algorithm is executed on a twotiered memory architecture (RAM/Cache). We introduce the notion of a $k$restricted dynamic graph to quantify the continuum between unrestricted dMHFs $(k=n)$ and iMHFs ($k=1$). For any $\eps > 0$ we show how to construct a $k$restricted dynamic graph with $k=\Omega(N^{1\eps})$ that provably achieves maximum cumulative pebbling cost $\Omega(N^2)$. We can use $k$restricted dynamic graphs to build a ciMHF provided that cache is large enough to hold $k$ hash outputs and the dynamic graph satisfies a certain property that we call ``amenable to shuffling.'' In particular, we prove that the induced memory access pattern is indistinguishable to a polynomial time attacker who can monitor the locations of read/write requests to RAM, but not cache. We also show that when $k=o\left(N^{1/\log\log N}\right)$, then any $k$restricted graph with constant indegree has cumulative pebbling cost $o(N^2)$. Our results almost completely characterize the spectrum of $k$restricted dynamic graphs.
Network performance problems are notoriously difficult to diagnose. Prior profiling systems collect performance statistics by keeping information about each network flow, but maintaining perflow state is not scalable on resourceconstrained NIC and switch hardware. Instead, we propose sketchbased performance monitoring using memory that is sublinear in the number of flows. Existing sketches estimate metrics based on flow sizes. In contrast, performance monitoring typically requires combining information across pairs of packets, such as matching a data packet with its acknowledgment to compute a roundtrip time. We define a new class of \emph{lean} algorithms that use memory sublinear in both the size of input data and the number of flows. We then introduce lean algorithms for a set of important statistics, such as identifying flows with high latency, loss, outoforder, or retransmitted packets. We implement prototypes of our lean algorithms on a commodity programmable switch using the P4 language. Our experiments show that lean algorithms detect $\sim$82\% of top 100 problematic flows among realworld packet traces using just 40KB memory.
A function $f : \F_2^n \to \R$ is \emph{$s$sparse} if it has at most $s$ nonzero Fourier coefficients. Motivated by applications to fast sparse Fourier transforms over $\F_2^n$, we study efficient algorithms for the problem of approximating the $\ell_2$distance from a given function to the closest $s$sparse function. While previous works (e.g., Gopalan \emph{et al.} SICOMP 2011) study the problem of distinguishing $s$sparse functions from those that are far from $s$sparse under Hamming distance, to the best of our knowledge no prior work has explicitly focused on the more general problem of distance estimation in the $\ell_2$ setting, which is particularly wellmotivated for noisy Fourier spectra. Given the focus on efficiency, our main result is an algorithm that solves this problem with query complexity $\O{s}$ for constant accuracy and error parameters, which is only quadratically worse than applicable lower bounds.
We study the problem of constructing a linear sketch of minimum dimension that allows approximation of a given realvalued function $f \colon \ftwo^n \rightarrow \mathbb R$ with small expected squared error. We develop a general theory of linear sketching for such functions through which we analyze their dimension for most commonly studied types of valuation functions: additive, budgetadditive, coverage, $\alpha$Lipschitz submodular and matroid rank functions. This gives a characterization of how many bits of information have to be stored about the input $x$ so that one can compute $f$ under additive updates to its coordinates. Our results are tight in most cases and we also give extensions to the distributional version of the problem where the input $x \in \ftwo^n$ is generated uniformly at random. Using known connections with dynamic streaming algorithms, both upper and lower bounds on dimension obtained in our work extend to the space complexity of algorithms evaluating $f(x)$ under long sequences of additive updates to the input $x$ presented as a stream. Similar results hold for simultaneous communication in a distributed setting.
In the timedecay model for data streams, elements of an underlying data set arrive sequentially with the recently arrived elements being more important. A common approach for handling large data sets is to maintain a \emph{coreset}, a succinct summary of the processed data that allows approximate recovery of a predetermined query. We provide a general framework that takes any offlinecoreset and gives a timedecay coreset for polynomial time decay functions. We also consider the exponential time decay model for $k$median clustering, where we provide a constant factor approximation algorithm that utilizes the online facility location algorithm. Our algorithm stores $O(k\log(h\Delta)+h)$ points where $h$ is the halflife of the decay function and $\Delta$ is the aspect ratio of the dataset. Our techniques extend to $k$means clustering and $M$estimators as well.
DataIndependent Memoryhard functions (iMHFs) are a key cryptographic primitive underlying the design of moderately expensive password hashing algorithms and egalitarian proofs of work that are resistant to sidechannel attacks. Several goals for MHFs have been proposed including bandwidth hardness, spacetime (ST) complexity, amortized areatime (aAT) complexity and sustained space complexity. An iMHF can be specified using a directed acyclic graph (DAG) $G$ with $N=2^n$ nodes and low indegree, and the cost (aAT, ST etc...) to evaluate the iMHF can be analyzed using pebbling games. In particular, given a parameter $N$ (e.g., maximum acceptable running time) we would like to design the DAG $G$ to have maximum possible pebbling cost i.e., to ensure that the iMHF is as expensive as possible for an attacker to compute. Recently, Alwen et al.~\cite{CCS:AlwBloHar17} gave a randomized DAG construction called DRSample and proved that the aAT cost to pebble the graph was $\Omega\left( N^2/\log N\right)$. In an asymptotic sense the DRSample outperformed all prior constructions including Argon2i, the winner of the password hashing competition, which can be pebbled with aAT cost at most $\bigO\left(N^{1.767}\right)$. In this work we first prove a matching {\em upper bound} on the pebbling cost of DRSample by analyzing the greedy pebbling attack of Boneh et al.~\cite{AC:BonCorSch16}. This sequential attack on DRSample is simple, easy to implement and has good concrete performance. In fact, our results show that, for practical values of $N\leq 2^{24}$, Argon2i provides {\em stronger} resistance to known pebbling attacks than DRSample reversing a finding of Alwen et al.~\cite{CCS:AlwBloHar17}. We then develop a new iMHF candidate by extending DRSample with the bitreversal graph, and show that the iMHF resists {\em all known attacks} in practice and has {\em optimal} asymptotic performance under every MHF metric. In particular, we prove that (1) {\em any} (nearly) sequential pebbling attack (including the greedy pebbling attack) has aAT cost $\Omega\left( N^2\right)$, (2) {\em any} parallel attacker has aAT cost at least $\Omega\left(N^2/\log N\right)$ and {\em at least} $\Omega\left(N^2 \log \log N/\log N\right)$ unless one can find new depthreducing attacks against DRSample which significantly improve upon the state of the art, (3) the graph has high bandwidthcomplexity, and (4) any pebbling {\em either} has aAT cost $\omega(N^2)$ or {\em requires} at least $\Omega(N)$ steps with $\Omega(N/\log N)$ pebbles on the DAG. This makes our construction the first practical iMHF with strong guarantees on the sustained spacecomplexity. We also observe that the Argon2i round function can (trivially) be evaluated in parallel, which would allow an attacker to reduce aAT costs by (nearly) an order of magnitude, and we develop an {\em inherently} sequential version of the Argon2i round function that prevents this attack. We implement our new iMHF candidate (with and without the sequential round function) and show that evaluation speed is nearly identical to Argon2i. Finally, we provide a pebbling reduction which proves that in the parallel random oracle model (PROM) the cost of evaluating an iMHF like Argon2i or DRSample+BRG is given by the pebbling cost of the underlying DAG.
We propose the first adversarially robust algorithm for monotone submodular maximization under single and multiple knapsack constraints with scalable implementations in distributed and streaming settings. For a single knapsack constraint, our algorithm outputs a robust summary of almost optimal (up to polylogarithmic factors) size, from which a constantfactor approximation to the optimal solution can be constructed. For multiple knapsack constraints, our approximation is within a constantfactor of the best known nonrobust solution. We evaluate the performance of our algorithms by comparison to natural robustifications of existing nonrobust algorithms under two objectives: 1) dominating set for large social network graphs from Facebook and Twitter collected by the Stanford Network Analysis Project (SNAP), 2) movie recommendations on a dataset from MovieLens. Experimental results show that our algorithms give the best objective for a majority of the inputs and show strong performance even compared to offline algorithms that are given the set of removals in advance.
We study the problem of estimating the size of a matching when the graph is revealed in a streaming fashion. Our results are multifold: \begin{enumerate} \item We give a tight structural result relating the size of a maximum matching to the {\em arboricity} of a graph, which has been one of the most studied graph parameters for matching algorithms in data streams. \item We further show that the weight of a maximum weighted matching can be efficiently estimated by augmenting any routine for estimating the size of an unweighted matching. Namely, given an algorithm for computing a $\lambda$approximation in the unweighted case, we obtain a $2(1+\varepsilon)\cdot \lambda$ approximation for the weighted case, while only incurring a multiplicative logarithmic factor in the space bounds. The algorithm is implementable in any streaming model, including {\em dynamic} streams. \item We also investigate algebraic aspects of computing matchings in data streams, by proposing new algorithms and lower bounds based on analyzing the rank of the {\em Tuttematrix} of the graph. In particular, we present an algorithm determining whether there exists a matching of size $k$ using $k^2\text{polylog } n $ space, where $n$ is the number of nodes in the graph. We also show a lower bound of $\Omega(n^{1\varepsilon})$ space for small approximation factors to the rank of a matrix in {\em insertiononly} streams. \end{enumerate}
Memory Hard Functions (MHFs) have been proposed as an answer to the growing inequality between the computational speed of general purpose CPUs and Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). MHFs have seen widespread applications including password hashing, key stretching and proofs of work. Several metrics have been proposed to quantify the `memory hardness' of a function. Cumulative memory complexity (CMC) \cite{STOC:AlwSer15} (or amortized Area $\times$ Time complexity \cite{CCS:AlwBloHar17}) attempts to quantify the amortized cost to acquire/build the hardware to evaluate the function  amortized by the number of instances of the function that can be evaluated of this hardware. By contrast, bandwidth hardness \cite{TCC:RenDev17} attempts to quantify the amortized energy costs of evaluating this function on hardware  which in turn is largely dominated by the number of cache misses. Ideally, a good MHF would be both bandwidth hard and have high cumulative memory complexity. While the cumulative memory complexity of leading MHF candidates is well understood, little is known about the bandwidth hardness of many of the most prominent MHF candidates. Our contributions are as follows: First, we provide the first reduction proving that, in the parallel random oracle model, the bandwidth hardness of a DataIndependent Memory Hard Function (iMHF) is described by the redblue pebbling cost of the directed acyclic graph (DAG) associated with that iMHF. Second, we show that the goals of designing an MHF with high CMC/bandwidth hardness are well aligned. In particular, we prove that {\em any} function with high CMC also has relatively high bandwidth costs. This result leads to the first {\em unconditional} lower bound on the bandwidth cost of scrypt. Third, we analyze the bandwidth hardness of several prominent iMHF candidates such as Argon2i \cite{BiryukovDK15}, winner of the password hashing competition, aATSample and DRSample \cite{CCS:AlwBloHar17}  the first practical iMHF with asymptotically optimal CMC. More specifically, we show that Argon2i is maximally bandwidth hard as long as the cachesize $m$ is at most $m \in\O{n^{2/3\epsilon}}$ where $n$ is the total number of datalabels produced during computation. We also show that aATSample and DRSample are maximally bandwidth hard as long as the cachesize is $m \in\O{n^{1\epsilon}}$. Finally, we show that the problem of finding a redblue pebbling with minimum bandwidth cost is NPhard.
We study the \emph{distinct elements} and \emph{$\ell_p$heavy hitters} problems in the \emph{sliding window} model, where only the most recent $n$ elements in the data stream form the underlying set. We first introduce the \emph{\histogram}, a simple twist on the exponential (Datar \etal, SODA 2002) and smooth histograms (Braverman and Ostrovsky, FOCS 2007) that may be of independent interest. We then show that the \histogram{} along with a careful combination of existing techniques to track either the identity or frequency of a few specific items suffices to obtain algorithms for both distinct elements and $\ell_p$heavy hitters that are nearly optimal in both $n$ and $\eps$. Applying our new \histogram{} framework, we provide an algorithm that outputs a $(1+\eps)$approximation to the number of distinct elements in the sliding window model and uses $\O{\frac{1}{\eps^2}\log n\log\frac{1}{\eps}\log\log n+\frac{1}{\eps}\log^2 n}$ bits of space. For $\ell_p$heavy hitters, we provide an algorithm using space $\O{\frac{1}{\eps^p}\log^2 n\left(\log\log n+\log\frac{1}{\eps}\right)}$ for $p\in(0,2]$, improving upon the bestknown algorithm for $\ell_2$heavy hitters (Braverman \etal, COCOON 2014), which has space complexity $\O{\frac{1}{\eps^4}\log^3 n}$. We also show complementing nearly optimal lower bounds of $\Omega\left(\frac{1}{\eps}\log^2 n+\frac{1}{\eps^2}\log n\right)$ for distinct elements and $\Omega\left(\frac{1}{\eps^p}\log^2 n\right)$ for $\ell_p$heavy hitters, both tight up to $\O{\log\log n}$ and $\O{\log\frac{1}{\eps}}$ factors.
Errorcorrecting codes that admit {\em local} decoding and correcting algorithms have been the focus of much recent research due to their numerous theoretical and practical applications. The goal is to obtain the best possible tradeoffs between the number of queries the algorithm can make to its oracle (the {\em locality} of the task), the amount of redundancy in the encoding (the {\em rate} of the code), and the amount of error it withstands. In the standard adverstimes channel model the current tradeoffs are dramatic, allowing either small query complexity and superpolynomial blocklength, or small blocklength but high query complexity. However, in the realistic, computationally bounded channel model, constructions of locally decodable codes (\LDCs) suddenly exhibit small locality and small blocklength, for constant error rate. The first such constructions are due to Ostrovsky, Pandey and Sahai (ICALP 2007) who built private \LDCs under the assumption that oneway functions exist, and in the setting where the sender and receiver share a private key. We study variants of locally decodable and locally correctable codes in computationally bounded but adverstimes channels, under the much weaker assumption that collisionresistant hash functions exist, and with no publickey or privatekey cryptographic setup. Specifically, we provide constructions of {\em relaxed locally correctable codes} (\RLCCs) and {\em relaxed locally decodable codes} (\RLDCs) over binary alphabets, with constant rate and polylogarithmic locality, that compare favorably with existing schemes built under much stronger cryptographic assumptions, and with classical \RLCCs in the computationally unbounded Hamming channel. Our constructions crucially employ {\em collision resistant hash functions} and {\em local expander graphs}, extending ideas from recent cryptographic constructions of memoryhard functions.
We investigate the problem of detecting periodic trends within a string $S$ of length $n$, arriving in the streaming model, containing at most $k$ wildcard characters, where $k=o(n)$. We say $S$ has wildcardperiod $p$ if there exists an assignment to each of the wildcard characters so that in the resulting stream the length $np$ prefix equals the length $np$ suffix. We present a twopass streaming algorithm that computes wildcardperiods of $S$ using $\O{k^3\,\polylog\,n}$ bits of space, while we also show that this problem cannot be solved in sublinear space in one pass. In addition, we present complementing lower bounds, while showing a new communication complexity on the sparse index problem.
We consider the computational complexity of finding a legal black pebbling of a DAG $G=(V,E)$ with minimum cumulative cost. A black pebbling is a sequence $P_0,\ldots, P_t \subseteq V$ of sets of nodes which must satisfy the following properties: $P_0 = \emptyset$ (we start off with no pebbles on $G$), $\sinks(G) \subseteq \bigcup_{j \leq t} P_j$ (every sink node was pebbled at some point) and $\parents\big(P_{i+1}\backslash P_i\big) \subseteq P_i$ (we can only place a new pebble on a node $v$ if all of $v$'s parents had a pebble during the last round). The cumulative cost of a pebbling $P_0,P_1,\ldots, P_t \subseteq V$ is $\cc(P) = \left P_1\right + \ldots + \left P_t\right$. The cumulative pebbling cost is an especially important security metric for dataindependent memory hard functions, an important primitive for password hashing. Thus, an efficient (approximation) algorithm would be an invaluable tool for the cryptanalysis of password hash functions as it would provide an automated tool to establish tight bounds on the amortized spacetime cost of computing the function. We show that such a tool is unlikely to exist in the most general case. In particular, we prove the following results. \begin{itemize} \item It is $\NPhard$ to find a pebbling minimizing cumulative cost. \item The natural linear program relaxation for the problem has integrality gap $\tilde{O}(n)$, where $n$ is the number of nodes in $G$. We conjecture that the problem is hard to approximate. \item We show that a related problem, find the minimum size subset $S\subseteq V$ such that $\depth(GS) \leq d$, is also $\NPhard$. In fact, under the Unique Games Conjecture there is no $(2\epsilon)$approximation algorithm. \end{itemize}
We develop an economic model of an offline password cracker which allows us to make quantitative predictions about the fraction of accounts that a rational password attacker would crack in the event of an authentication server breach. We apply our economic model to analyze recent massive password breaches at Yahoo!, Dropbox, LastPass and AshleyMadison. All four organizations were using keystretching to protect user passwords. In fact, LastPass' use of PBKDF2SHA256 with $10^5$ hash iterations exceeds 2017 NIST minimum recommendation by an order of magnitude. Nevertheless, our analysis paints a bleak picture: the adopted keystretching levels provide insufficient protection for user passwords. In particular, we present strong evidence that most user passwords follow a Zipf's law distribution, and characterize the behavior of a rational attacker when user passwords are selected from a Zipf's law distribution. We show that there is a finite threshold which depends on the Zipf's law parameters that characterizes the behavior of a rational attacker  if the value of a cracked password (normalized by the cost of computing the password hash function) exceeds this threshold then the adversary's optimal strategy is {\em always} to continue attacking until each user password has been cracked. In all cases (Yahoo!, Dropbox, LastPass and AshleyMadison) we find that the value of a cracked password almost certainly exceeds this threshold meaning that a rational attacker would crack all passwords that are selected from the Zipf's law distribution (i.e., most user passwords). This prediction holds even if we incorporate an aggressive model of diminishing returns for the attacker (e.g., the total value of $500$ million cracked passwords is less than $100$ times the total value of $5$ million passwords). On a positive note our analysis demonstrates that memory hard functions (MHFs) such as SCRYPT or Argon2i can significantly reduce the damage of an offline attack. In particular, we find that because MHFs substantially increase guessing costs a rational attacker will give up well before he cracks most user passwords and this prediction holds even if the attacker does not encounter diminishing returns for additional cracked passwords. Based on our analysis we advocate that password hashing standards should be updated to require the use of memory hard functions for password hashing and disallow the use of nonmemory hard functions such as BCRYPT or PBKDF2.
A palindrome is a string that reads the same as its reverse, such as ``aibohphobia'' (fear of palindromes). Given an integer $d>0$, a {\em $d$nearpalindrome} is a string of Hamming distance at most $d$ from its reverse. We study the natural problem of identifying a longest $d$nearpalindrome in data streams. The problem is relevant to the analysis of DNA databases, and to the task of repairing recursive structures in documents such as XML and JSON. We present an algorithm that returns a $d$nearpalindrome whose length is within a multiplicative $(1+\eps)$factor of the longest $d$nearpalindrome. Our algorithm also returns the set of mismatched indices of the $d$nearpalindrome, using $\bigO{\frac{d\log^7 n}{\eps\log(1+\eps)}}$ bits of space, and $\bigO{\frac{d\log^6 n}{\eps\log(1+\eps)}}$ update time per arriving symbol. We show that $\Omega(d\log n)$ space is necessary for estimating the length of longest $d$nearpalindromes with high probability. We further obtain an additiveerror approximation algorithm and a comparable lower bound, as well as an {\em exact} twopass algorithm that solves the longest $d$nearpalindrome problem using $\bigO{d^2\sqrt{n}\log^6 n}$ bits of space.
Argon2i is a dataindependent memory hard function that won the password hashing competition. The password hashing algorithm has already been incorporated into several open source crypto libraries such as libsodium. In this paper we analyze the cumulative memory cost of computing Argon2i. On the positive side we provide a lower bound for Argon2i. On the negative side we exhibit an improved attack against Argon2i which demonstrates that our lower bound is nearly tight. In particular, we show that \begin{enumerate} \item An Argon2i DAG is $\left(e,O\left(n^3/e^3\right)\right))$reducible. \item The cumulative pebbling cost for Argon2i is at most $O\left(n^{1.768}\right)$. This improves upon the previous best upper bound of $O\left(n^{1.8}\right)$ \cite{AB17}. \item Argon2i DAG is $\left(e,\tilde{\Omega}\left(n^3/e^3\right)\right))$depth robust. By contrast, analysis of \cite{ABP17} only established that Argon2i was $\left(e,\tilde{\Omega}\left(n^3/e^2\right)\right))$depth robust. \item The cumulative pebbling complexity of Argon2i is at least $\tilde{\Omega}\left( n^{1.75}\right)$. This improves on the previous best bound of $\Omega\left( n^{1.66}\right)$ \cite{ABP17} and demonstrates that Argon2i has higher cumulative memory cost than competing proposals such as Catena or Balloon Hashing. \end{enumerate} We also show that Argon2i has high {\em fractional} depthrobustness which strongly suggests that datadependent modes of Argon2 are resistant to spacetime tradeoff attacks.
Analyzing patterns in streamed data generated by network traffic, sensor networks, or satellite feeds is a challenge for systems in which the available storage is limited. In addition, real data is noisy, which makes designing data stream algorithms even more challenging. Motivated by such challenges, we study algorithms for detecting the similarity of two data streams that can be read in sync. Two strings $S, T\in \Sigma^n$ form a $d$nearalignment if the distance between them in some given metric is at most $d$. We study the problem of identifying a longest substring of $S$ and $T$ that forms a {\em $d$nearalignment} under the {\em edit} distance, in the {\em simultaneous streaming model}. In this model, symbols of strings $S$ and $T$ are streamed at the same time, and the amount of available processing space is sublinear in the length of the strings. We give several algorithms, including an exact onepass algorithm that uses $\O{d^2+d\log n}$ bits of space. We couple these results with comparable lower bounds.
We study the problem of finding all kperiods of a lengthn string S, presented as a data stream. S is said to have kperiod p if its prefix of length np differs from its suffix of length np in at most k locations. The study of periodic patterns in sequences is fundamental to string algorithms, time series data mining, and computational biology. Since real data is rarely perfect, exact pattern finding in streamed data can be unrealistic; consequently, one needs to design algorithms that can withstand errors in the patterns. It is often the case that such tasks become much more difficult to analyze than their noerror analogues. This turns out to be the case in the study of near periodicity here. While our algorithms are similar to the ones in the exact version previously studied, our analysis requires a new structural understanding of kperiodicity. We give a onepass streaming algorithm that computes the kperiods of a string S using poly(k, log n) bits of space, for kperiods of length at most n/2. We also present a twopass streaming algorithm that computes kperiods of S using poly(k, log n) bits of space, regardless of period length. We complement these results with comparable lower bounds.
Group testing is the process of pooling arbitrary subsets from a set of $n$ items so as to identify,
with a minimal number of disjunctive tests, a ``small'' subset of $d$ defective items.
In ``classical'' nonadaptive group testing, it is known that when $d = o(n^{1\delta})$ for any $\delta>0$,
$\theta(d\log(n))$ tests are both informationtheoretically necessary, and sufficient to guarantee recovery
with high probability. Group testing schemes in the literature meeting this bound require most items to be
tested $\Omega(\log(n))$ times, and most tests to incorporate $\Omega(n/d)$ items.
Motivated by physical considerations, we study group testing models in which the testing procedure is
constrained to be ``sparse''. Specifically, we consider (separately) scenarios in which (a) items are
finitely divisible and hence may participate in at most $\gamma$ tests; and (b) tests are sizeconstrained
to pool no more than $\rho$ items per test. For both scenarios we provide informationtheoretic lower bounds
on the number of tests required to guarantee high probability recovery. In particular, one of our main
results shows that $\gamma$finite divisibility of items forces {\it any} group testing algorithm with
probability of recovery error at most $\epsilon$ to perform at least
$\Omega(\gamma d(n/d)^{(12\epsilon)/((1+2\epsilon)\gamma)})$ tests.
Analogously, for $\rho$sized constrained tests, we show an informationtheoretic lower bound of
$\Omega(n\log(n/d)/(\rho\log(n/\rho d)))$. In both scenarios we provide both randomized constructions
(under both $\epsilon$error and zeroerror reconstruction guarantees) and explicit constructions of computationally
efficient grouptesting algorithms (under $\epsilon$error reconstruction guarantees) that require a number of tests
that are optimal up to constant factors in some regimes of $n, d, \gamma \text{ and } \rho$. We also investigate the
effect of unreliability/noise in test outcomes.
We study the integration of machine learning advice into the design of skip lists to improve upon traditional data structure design. Given access to a possibly erroneous oracle that outputs estimated fractional frequencies for search queries on a set of items, we construct a skip list that provably provides the optimal expected search time, within nearly a factor of two. In fact, our learningaugmented skip list is still optimal up to a constant factor, even if the oracle is only accurate within a constant factor. We show that if the search queries follow the ubiquitous Zipfian distribution, then the expected search time for an item by our skip list is only a constant, independent of the total number $n$ of items, i.e., $\mathcal{O}(1)$, whereas a traditional skip list will have an expected search time of $\mathcal{O}(\log n)$. We also demonstrate robustness by showing that our data structure achieves an expected search time that is within a constant factor of an oblivious skip list construction even when the predictions are arbitrarily incorrect. Finally, we empirically show that our learningaugmented skip list outperforms traditional skip lists on both synthetic and realworld datasets.
We present three provably accurate, polynomial time, approximation algorithms for the Sparse Principal Component Analysis (SPCA) problem, without imposing any restrictive assumptions on the input covariance matrix. The first algorithm is based on randomized matrix multiplication; the second algorithm is based on a novel deterministic thresholding scheme; and the third algorithm is based on a semidefinite programming relaxation of SPCA. All algorithms come with provable guarantees and run in lowdegree polynomial time. Our empirical evaluations confirm our theoretical findings.
We present lineartime algorithms for partitioning a path or a tree with weights on the vertices by removing $k$ edges to maximize the minimumweight component. We also use the same framework to partition a path with weight on the vertices, removing $k$ edges to minimize the maximumweight component. The algorithms use the parametric search paradigm, testing candidate values until an optimum is found while simultaneously reducing the running time needed for each test. For pathpartitioning, the algorithm employs a synthetic weighting scheme that results in a constant fraction reduction in running time after each test. For treepartitioning, our dualpronged strategy makes progress no matter what the layout of our tree is.
We consider the problem of estimating the weight of a maximum weighted matching of a weighted graph $G(V,E)$ whose edges are revealed in a streaming fashion. Extending the framework from Crouch and Stubbs (APPROX 2014), we develop a reduction from the maximum weighted matching problem to the maximum cardinality matching problem that only doubles the approximation factor of a streaming algorithm developed for the maximum cardinality matching problem. Our results hold for the insertiononly and the dynamic (i.e, insertion and deletion) edgearrival streaming models. The previous bestknown reduction is due to Bury and Schwiegelshohn (ESA 2015) who develop an algorithm whose approximation guarantee scales by a polynomial factor. As an application, we obtain improved estimators for weighted planar graphs and, more generally, for weighted boundedarboricity graphs, by feeding into our reduction the recent estimators due to Esfandiari \etal\ (SODA 2015) and to Chitnis \etal\ (SODA 2016). In particular, we obtain a $(48+\eps)$approximation estimator for the weight of a maximum weighted matching in planar graphs.