
Bryan He, Christopher De Sa, Ioannis Mitliagkas, Christopher Ré
In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), December 2016.
Gibbs sampling is a Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling technique that iteratively samples variables from their conditional distributions. There are two common scan orders for the variables: random scan and systematic scan. Due to the benefits of locality in hardware, systematic scan is commonly used, even though most statistical guarantees are only for random scan. While it has been conjectured that the mixing times of random scan and systematic scan do not differ by more than a logarithmic factor, we show by counterexample that this is not the case, and we prove that that the mixing times do not differ by more than a polynomial factor under mild conditions. To prove these relative bounds, we introduce a method of augmenting the state space to study systematic scan using conductance.

Bryan He, Yisong Yue
In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), December 2015.
Interactive submodular set cover is an interactive variant of submodular set cover over a hypothesis class of submodular functions, where the goal is to satisfy all sufficiently plausible submodular functions to a target threshold using as few (costweighted) actions as possible. It models settings where there is uncertainty regarding which submodular function to optimize. In this paper, we propose a new extension, which we call smooth interactive submodular set cover, that allows the target threshold to vary depending on the plausibility of each hypothesis. We present the first algorithm for this more general setting with theoretical guarantees on optimality. We further show how to extend our approach to deal with realvalued functions, which yields new theoretical results for realvalued submodular set cover for both the interactive and noninteractive settings.

Bryan He
On Frontiers in Algorithmics and Algorithmic Aspects in Information and Management, May 2012.
A floorplan is a rectangle subdivided into smaller rectangular blocks by horizontal and vertical line segments. Two floorplans are considered equivalent if and only if there is a bijection between the blocks in the two floorplans such that the corresponding blocks have the same horizontal and vertical boundaries. Mosaic floorplans use the same objects as floorplans but use an alternative definition of equivalence. Two mosaic floorplans are considered equivalent if and only if they can be converted into equivalent floorplans by sliding the line segments that divide the blocks. The QuarterState Sequence method of representing mosaic floorplans uses 4n bits, where n is the number of blocks. This paper introduces a method of representing an nblock mosaic floorplan with a (3n − 3)bit binary string. It has been proven that the shortest possible binary string representation of a mosaic floorplan has a length of (3n − o(n)) bits. Therefore, the representation presented in this paper is asymptotically optimal. Baxter permutations are a set of permutations defined by prohibited subsequences. There exists a bijection between mosaic floorplans and Baxter permutations. As a result, the methods introduced in this paper also create an optimal binary string representation of Baxter permutations.