Stochastic Submodular Probing with State-Dependent Costs

1 Sep 2019  ·  Shaojie Tang ·

In this paper, we study a new stochastic submodular maximization problem with state-dependent costs and rejections. The input of our problem is a budget constraint $B$, and a set of items whose states (i.e., the marginal contribution and the cost of an item) are drawn from a known probability distribution. The only way to know the realized state of an item is to probe that item. We allow rejections, i.e., after probing an item and knowing its actual state, we must decide immediately and irrevocably whether to add that item to our solution or not. Our objective is to sequentially probe/selet a best group of items subject to a budget constraint on the total cost of the selected items. We present a constant approximate solution to this problem. We show that our solution can be extended to an online setting.

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