Maximizing diversity over clustered data

by   Guangyi Zhang, et al.

Maximum diversity aims at selecting a diverse set of high-quality objects from a collection, which is a fundamental problem and has a wide range of applications, e.g., in Web search. Diversity under a uniform or partition matroid constraint naturally describes useful cardinality or budget requirements, and admits simple approximation algorithms. When applied to clustered data, however, popular algorithms such as picking objects iteratively and performing local search lose their approximation guarantees towards maximum intra-cluster diversity because they fail to optimize the objective in a global manner. We propose an algorithm that greedily adds a pair of objects instead of a singleton, attains a constant approximation factor over clustered data. We further extend the algorithm to the case of monotone and submodular quality function, and under a partition matroid constraint. We also devise a technique to make our algorithm scalable, and on the way we obtain a modification that gives better solutions in practice while maintaining the approximation guarantee in theory. Our algorithm achieves excellent performance, compared to strong baselines in a mix of synthetic and real-world datasets.



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