On Approximating Expansion of Small Sets in Graphs

Combinatorics Seminar
Friday, January 13, 2012 - 15:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 005
School of Computer Science, Georgia Tech
A small set expander is a graph where every set of sufficiently small size has near perfect edge expansion. This talk concerns the computational problem of distinguishing a small set-expander, from a graph containing a small non-expanding set of vertices. This problem henceforth referred to as the Small-Set Expansion problem has proven to be intimately connected to the complexity of large classes of combinatorial optimization problems. More precisely, the small set expansion problem can be shown to be directly related to the well-known Unique Games Conjecture -- a conjecture that has numerous implications in approximation algorithms. In this talk, we motivate the problem, and survey recent work consisting of algorithms and interesting connections within graph expansion, and its relation to Unique Games Conjecture.