Efficient Algorithms for Global Inference in Internet Marketplaces

by   Rohan Ramanath, et al.

Matching demand to supply in internet marketplaces (e-commerce, ride-sharing, food delivery, professional services, advertising) is a global inference problem that can be formulated as a Linear Program (LP) with (millions of) coupling constraints and (up to a billion) non-coupling polytope constraints. Until recently, solving such problems on web-scale data with an LP formulation was intractable. Recent work (Basu et al., 2020) developed a dual decomposition-based approach to solve such problems when the polytope constraints are simple. In this work, we motivate the need to go beyond these simple polytopes and show real-world internet marketplaces that require more complex structured polytope constraints. We expand on the recent literature with novel algorithms that are more broadly applicable to global inference problems. We derive an efficient incremental algorithm using a theoretical insight on the nature of solutions on the polytopes to project onto any arbitrary polytope, that shows massive improvements in performance. Using better optimization routines along with an adaptive algorithm to control the smoothness of the objective, improves the speed of the solution even further. We showcase the efficacy of our approach via experimental results on web-scale marketplace data.



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