Title: On the Fine-grained Complexity of One-Dimensional Dynamic Programming
We investigate the complexity of one-dimensional dynamic programming, or more specifically, of the Least-Weight Subsequence (LWS) problem: Given a sequence of n data items together with weights for every pair of the items, the task is to determine a subsequence S minimizing the total weight of the pairs adjacent in S. A large number of natural problems can be formulated as LWS problems, yielding obvious O(n2)-time solutions.
In many interesting instances, the O(n2)-many weights can be succinctly represented. Yet except for near-linear time algorithms for some specific special cases, little is known about when an LWS instantiation admits a subquadratic-time algorithm and when it does not. In particular, no lower bounds for LWS instantiations have been known before. In an attempt to remedy this situation, we provide a general approach to study the fine-grained complexity of succinct instantiations of the LWS problem. In particular, given an LWS instantiation we identify a highly parallel core problem that is subquadratically equivalent. This provides either an explanation for the apparent hardness of the problem or an avenue to find improved algorithms as the case may be. More specifically, we prove subquadratic equivalences between the following pairs (an LWS instantiation and the corresponding core problem) of problems: a low-rank version of LWS and minimum inner product, finding the longest chain of nested boxes and vector domination, and a coin change problem which is closely related to the knapsack problem and (min,+)-convolution. Using these equivalences and known SETH-hardness results for some of the core problems, we deduce tight conditional lower bounds for the corresponding LWS instantiations. We also establish the (min,+)-convolution-hardness of the knapsack problem.
Joint work with Marvin Künnemann and Ramamohan Paturi