How to select the largest k elements from evolving data? [article]

Qin Huang, Xingwu Liu, Xiaoming Sun, Jialin Zhang
2014 arXiv   pre-print
In this paper we investigate the top-k-selection problem, i.e. determine the largest, second largest, ..., and the k-th largest elements, in the dynamic data model. In this model the order of elements evolves dynamically over time. In each time step the algorithm can only probe the changes of data by comparing a pair of elements. Previously only two special cases were studied[2]: finding the largest element and the median; and sorting all elements. This paper systematically deals with k∈ [n]
more » ... solves the problem almost completely. Specifically, we identify a critical point k^* such that the top-k-selection problem can be solved error-free with probability 1-o(1) if and only if k=o(k^*). A lower bound of the error when k=Ω(k^*) is also determined, which actually is tight under some condition. On the other hand, it is shown that the top-k-set problem, which means finding the largest k elements without sorting them, can be solved error-free for all k∈ [n]. Additionally, we extend the dynamic data model and show that most of these results still hold.
arXiv:1412.8164v1 fatcat:edh67cwezvahvbetmx4cabhugq