| Carl Friedrich Gauß Faculty | Department of Computer Science

Approximation Algorithms

Module #INF-ALG-14
Event # INF-ALG-015 , INF-ALG-016
ProgrammesMaster Informatik, Master Informations-Systemtechnik, Master Wirtschaftsinformatik
IBR GroupALG (Prof. Fekete)
PhotoProf. Dr. Sándor P. Fekete

+49 531 3913111
Room 335
PhotoDominik Krupke
Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

+49 531 3913116
Room 332
Time & Place

Lecture: Tuesday 15:00-16:30 PK3.3
Tutorial: Wednesday 15:00-16:30 IZ358.

Lecture: 11.04.2017, Exercises: TBA, small Tutorial: TBA

Prerequisites are knowledge of algorithms and data structures, basic graph problems and graph algorithms (e.g., as provided in the lecture "Netzwerkalgorithmen"); basic knowledge from theoretic computer science (NP-completeness) are helpful, but will definitely be supplemented.

(Homework assignments during the semester, and)* an oral exam at the end. (*=Studienleistung)

Many interesting and natural algorithmic problems (e.g., the Traveling Salesman Problem) are NP-complete - hence, we cannot expect to find a "perfect" algorithm that (i) always and (ii) fast finds (iii) an optimal solution. However, hard problems still need to be solved!

In this class we consider algorithms that do not necessarily find an optimal solution, but that (i) always and (ii) fast find a (iii) provably good solution.

Among the topics of this class are:

  1. A basic introduction to NP-completeness and approximation
  2. Approximation for vertex and set cover
  3. Packing problems
  4. Tour problems and variations
  5. Current research problems
In the context of various problems, a wide spectrum of techniques and concepts will be provided.

Announcements and Dates

  • The second tutorial will be be May, 10th in IZ358. This will be the regular slot from now on.
  • The first tutorial will be April, 25th in the regular lecture slot, i.e., there is a tutorial instead of a lecture this week.
  • The lecture starts in the second week of the semester, i.e., the first appointment is 11.04.2017 15:00-16:30 in PK3.3.
  • If you missed the first lecture, you can still join! If you have any question, simply write a mail to Dominik Krupke. We are happy about every interested student.
  • Since a large percentage of the students has problems with the slots for exercises and small tutorials, these will be moved to a more convenient slot. You will soon receive an e-mail regarding this matter.

General Information

  • We do only use this website and the below mentioned mailinglist to distribute informations. No studip etc.
  • If there are any questions, do not hesitate to write a mail to Dominik Krupke.

Homework Sets

There will be biweekly mandatory homework. Please check the material area.


    The first part of the lecture will be on basic results for which the following books can be useful
    • Vazirani, Vijay V.: Approximation Algorithms, Springer-Verlag, 2001.
    • Approximation Algorithms for NP-hard problems edited by Dorit S. Hochbaum, more info.
    • The Design of Approximation Algorithms by David P. Williamson and David B. Shmoys, published by Cambridge University Press. more info
    The second part of the lecture will be on recent results for which the corresponding papers will be announced in due time.

    Mailing List

    There will be a mailing list. We will distribute the homework sets and other announcements via this list, so, please subscribe!

    You may also want to check out the alg-studs mailing list which is similiar to cs-studs but for algorithmic students.


    In the password protected material area you can find the video recordings of the lecture and further material as the slides of the tutorials. The password will be announced in the first lecture.

    last changed 2017-05-21, 14:12 by Dominik Krupke