Theory of Computing
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Title : One Tree Suffices: A Simultaneous $O(1)$-Approximation for Single-Sink Buy-at-Bulk
Authors : Ashish Goel and Ian Post
Volume : 8
Number : 15
Pages : 351-368
URL : http://www.theoryofcomputing.org/articles/v008a015
Abstract
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We study the single-sink buy-at-bulk problem with an unknown cost
function. We wish to route flow from a set of demand nodes to a
root node, where the cost of routing x total flow along an edge is
proportional to f(x) for some concave, non-decreasing function f
satisfying f(0)=0. We present a simple, fast, combinatorial
algorithm that takes a set of demands and constructs a single tree
T such that for all f the cost f(T) is a 47.45-approximation of the
optimal cost for that particular f. This is within a factor of
2.33 of the best approximation ratio currently achievable when the
tree can be optimized for a specific function. Trees achieving
simultaneous O(1)-approximations for all concave functions were
previously not known to exist regardless of computation time.