Date of Original Version



Conference Proceeding

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Abstract or Description

The stochastic matching problem deals with finding a maximum matching in a graph whose edges are unknown but can be accessed via queries. This is a special case of stochastic k-set packing, where the problem is to find a maximum packing of sets, each of which exists with some probability. In this paper, we provide edge and set query algorithms for these two problems, respectively, that provably achieve some fraction of the omniscient optimal solution. Our main theoretical result for the stochastic matching (i.e., 2-set packing) problem is the design of an adaptive algorithm that queries only a constant number of edges per vertex and achieves a (1-ε) fraction of the omniscient optimal solution, for an arbitrarily small ε > 0. Moreover, this adaptive algorithm performs the queries in only a constant number of rounds. We complement this result with a non-adaptive (i.e., one round of queries) algorithm that achieves a (0.5 - ε) fraction of the omniscient optimum. We also extend both our results to stochastic k-set packing by designing an adaptive algorithm that achieves a (2/k - ε) fraction of the omniscient optimal solution, again with only O(1) queries per element. This guarantee is close to the best known polynomial-time approximation ratio of 3/k+1 -ε for the deterministic k-set packing problem [Furer 2013].

We empirically explore the application of (adaptations of) these algorithms to the kidney exchange problem, where patients with end-stage renal failure swap willing but incompatible donors. We show on both generated data and on real data from the first 169 match runs of the UNOS nationwide kidney exchange that even a very small number of non-adaptive edge queries per vertex results in large gains in expected successful matches.





Published In

Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Economics and Computation, 2015, 325-342.