Optimization over Degree Sequences Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We introduce and study the problem of optimizing arbitrary functions over degree sequences of hypergraphs and multihypergraphs. We show that over multihypergraphs the problem can be solved in polynomial time. For hypergraphs, we show that deciding if a given sequence is the degree sequence of a 3-hypergraph is computationally prohibitive, thereby solving a 30 year long open problem. This implies that optimization over hypergraphs is hard already for simple concave functions. In contrast, we show that for graphs, if the functions at vertices are the same, then the problem is polynomial time solvable. We also provide positive results for convex optimization over multihypergraphs and graphs and exploit connections to degree sequence polytopes and threshold graphs. We then elaborate on connections to the emerging theory of shifted combinatorial optimization.