Max-Sum Diversity Via Convex Programming

Diversity maximization is an important concept in information retrieval, computational geometry and operations research. Usually, it is a variant of the following problem: Given a ground set, constraints, and a function $f(\cdot)$ that measures diversity of a subset, the task is to select a feasible subset $S$ such that $f(S)$ is maximized. The \emph{sum-dispersion} function $f(S) = \sum_{x,y \in S} d(x,y)$, which is the sum of the pairwise distances in $S$, is in this context a prominent diversification measure. The corresponding diversity maximization is the \emph{max-sum} or \emph{sum-sum diversification}. Many recent results deal with the design of constant-factor approximation algorithms of diversification problems involving sum-dispersion function under a matroid constraint. In this paper, we present a PTAS for the max-sum diversification problem under a matroid constraint for distances $d(\cdot,\cdot)$ of \emph{negative type}. Distances of negative type are, for example, metric distances stemming from the $\ell_2$ and $\ell_1$ norm, as well as the cosine or spherical, or Jaccard distance which are popular similarity metrics in web and image search.

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