On the Lovász Theta function for independent sets in sparse graphs

N. Bansal, A. Gupta, G. Guruganesh

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We consider the maximum independent set problem on graphs with maximum degree~$d$. We show that the integrality gap of the Lov\'asz $\vartheta$-function based SDP is $\widetilde{O}(d/\log^{3/2} d)$. This improves on the previous best result of $\widetilde{O}(d/\log d)$, and almost matches the integrality gap of $\widetilde{O}(d/\log^2 d)$ recently shown for stronger SDPs, namely those obtained using poly-$(\log(d))$ levels of the $SA^+$ semidefinite hierarchy. The improvement comes from an improved Ramsey-theoretic bound on the independence number of $K_r$-free graphs for large values of $r$. We also show how to obtain an algorithmic version of the above-mentioned $SA^+$-based integrality gap result, via a coloring algorithm of Johansson. The resulting approximation guarantee of $\widetilde{O}(d/\log^2 d)$ matches the best unique-games-based hardness result up to lower-order poly-$(\log\log d)$ factors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1504.04767
Number of pages37
JournalarXiv.org, e-Print Archive, Physics
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Extended abstract to appear at the STOC 2015 conference


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