Packing-based approximation algorithm for the k-set cover problem

Martin Fürer, Huiwen Yu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (SciVal)


We present a packing-based approximation algorithm for the k-Set Cover problem. We introduce a new local search-based k-set packing heuristic, and call it Restricted k-Set Packing. We analyze its tight approximation ratio via a complicated combinatorial argument. Equipped with the Restricted k-Set Packing algorithm, our k-Set Cover algorithm is composed of the k-Set Packing heuristic [8] for k ≥ 7, Restricted k-Set Packing for k = 6,5,4 and the semi-local (2,1)-improvement [2] for 3-Set Cover. We show that our algorithm obtains a tight approximation ratio of H k - 0.6402 + Θ(1/k), where H k is the k-th harmonic number. For small k, our results are 1.8667 for k = 6, 1.7333 for k = 5 and 1.5208 for k = 4. Our algorithm improves the currently best approximation ratio for the k-Set Cover problem of any k ≥ 4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAlgorithms and Computation - 22nd International Symposium, ISAAC 2011, Proceedings
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2011
Event22nd International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation, ISAAC 2011 - Yokohama, Japan
Duration: Dec 5 2011Dec 8 2011

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume7074 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other22nd International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation, ISAAC 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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