## Fredman’s Trick

OK, sorry, I was being silly.

We wanted to compute MSP of two ${n \times w}$ matrices ${A}$ and ${B}$. I.e, we wanted ${C := A \odot B^\intercal}$, say. (Notice that I’ve transposed ${B}$.) In words, this is

$\displaystyle C_{ij} = \min_{k \in [w]} \{ A_{ik} + B^\intercal_{kj} \} = \min_{k \in [w]} \{ A_{ik} + B_{jk}\}.$

If ${k^*}$ is the minimizer of this expression then

$\displaystyle A_{ik^*} + B_{jk^*} \leq A_{ik} + B_{jk} \quad \forall k \in [w].$

which is equivalent to

$\displaystyle A_{ik^*} - A_{ik} \leq - (B_{jk^*} - B_{jk}) \quad \forall k \in [w].$

Indeed, the signs are opposite for the ${A}$ and ${B}$ entries. No worries.

Now, for each possible ${p,q \in [w]}$, do the following. Take the ${2n}$ numbers

$\displaystyle A_{1p} - A_{1q}, \ldots, A_{np} - A_{nq}, -(B_{1p} - B_{1q}), \ldots, -(B_{np} - B_{nq})$

and sort them with ${O(n \log n)}$ comparisons.

How many comparisons have we done over all? We enumerated over ${w^2}$ pairs of ${p,q}$, and for each we did ${O(n \log n)}$ comparisons. Total of ${O(w^2 n \log n)}$. We claim we don’t need to do any more, we have all the information to compute the MSP.

How? Take ${i,j}$. Find some index ${k^* \in [w]}$ such that for every ${k \in [w]}$, all the entries ${A_{ik^*} - A_{ik}}$ precede all the entries ${- (B_{jk^*} - B_{jk})}$. This can be done by just looking at the sorted lists for ${p = k^*}$ and ${q=k}$. Now you can set ${C_{ij} = A_{ik^*} + B_{jk^*}}$. Done.

Let’s also complete the analysis for Fredman’s trick. We’d broken down the ${n \times n}$ MSP into ${n/w}$ different ${n \times w}$ mini-MSPs, which together take ${(n/w) \cdot (w^2 n \log n) = n^2 w \log n}$ time. Now we can combine them together by taking the component-wise minima. Each minimum takes ${(n/w)-1 }$ comparisons since there are ${n/w}$ MSPs. And there are ${n^2}$ entries. So a total of ${n^3/w}$ comparisons. Balancing the two gives us ${O(n^2 \sqrt{n \log n})}$ comparisions.

Fredman’s paper gives a better analysis to get rid of the log term, and uses it to get an algorithm with runtime better than ${n^3}$ by an ${(\log n/\log \log n)^{1/3}}$ factor. But we’ll see a larger improvement in the next lecture.