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Potential project topics
Below we list some potential topics for projects along with a potential reading list for each. You may pick any topic of your choice (including one that is not on the list below), but must get it approved by Prof. Chawla. For the topic you pick, you should read at least 12 related works and make those those the focus of your study and presentation. These may be different from the ones suggested below.
 Online learning algorithms
 Kalai, Vempala. Efficient algorithms for online decision problems. JCSS 2005.
 Zinkevich. Online convex programming and generalized infinitesimal gradient descent. ICML 2003.
 Yaroshinsky, ElYaniv, Seiden. How to better use expert advice. FOCS 1989.
 Martingales and Azuma's inequality
 M & R section 4.4
 Alon and Spencer section 7
 Terry Tao explains Talagrand's inequality.
 Distributed hash tables
 Mechanism design
 Nisan, Ronen. Computationally Feasible VCG Mechanisms. EC 2001 (revised).
 Archer, Tardos. Truthful mechanisms for oneparameter agents. FOCS 2001.
 Archer et al. An approximate truthful mechanism for combinatorial auctions with single parameter agents. SODA 2003.
 Goldberg et al. Competitive auctions.
 Algorithms for finding equilibria in games and markets
 Lipton, Markakis, Mehta. Playing large games using simple strategies. EC 2003.
 Devanus et al. Market equilibrium via a primaldual algorithm for a convex program. JACM 2008.
 Jain, Vazirani. EisenbergGale markets: algorithms and gametheoretic properties. STOC 2007.
 Vazirani. Markets and the primaldual paradigm.
 Fleischer et al. A fast and simple algorithm for computing market equilibria. WINE 2008.
 Local search algorithms
 Korupolu, Plaxton, Rajaraman. Analysis of a local search heuristic for facility location problems. SODA 1998.
 Charikar, Guha. Improved combinatorial algorithms for the facility location and kmedian problems. FOCS 1999.
 Arya et al. Local search heuristics for kmedian and facility location problems.
 Lagrangian methods
 Vazirani section 25.4
 Lecture notes from CS880.
 Lecture notes from CS880.
 Garg. A 3approximation for the minimum tree spanning k vertices. FOCS 1996.
 Jain, Vazirani. Approximation algorithms for metric facility location and kmedian problems using the primaldual schema and Lagrangian relaxation. JACM 2001.
 Algorithms for cost sharing problems
 Jain, Vazirani. Applications of approximation algorithms to cooperative games. STOC 2001.
 Pal, Tardos. Group strategyproof mechanisms via primaldual algorithms. FOCS 2003.
 Gupta, Srinivasan, Tardos. Costsharing mechanisms for network design. APPROX 2004.
 2stage stochastic optimization
 Dean, Goemans, Vondrak. Approximating the stochastic knapsack problem: the benefit of adaptivity. FOCS 2004.
 Shmoys, Swamy. Stochastic optimization is (almost) as easy as deterministic optimization. FOCS 2005.
 Gupta et al. Boosted sampling: approximation algorithms for stochastic optimization. STOC 2004.
 Garg et al. Stochastic analyses for online combinatorial optimization problems. SODA 2008.
 Oblivious algorithm design
 Racke. Optimal hierarchical decompositions for congestion minimization in networks. STOC 2008.
 Jia et al. Universal approximations for TSP, steiner tree, and set cover. STOC 2005.
 Gupta, Hajiaghayi, Racke. Oblivious network design. SODA 2006.
 Property testing
 Goldreich, Goldwasser, Ron. Property testing and its connection to learning and approximation. FOCS 1996.
