From 2 November 2020, the autumn semester 2020 will take place online. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence.
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252-0417-00L  Randomized Algorithms and Probabilistic Methods

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersA. Steger, E. Welzl
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

Catalogue data

AbstractLas Vegas & Monte Carlo algorithms; inequalities of Markov, Chebyshev, Chernoff; negative correlation; Markov chains: convergence, rapidly mixing; generating functions; Examples include: min cut, median, balls and bins, routing in hypercubes, 3SAT, card shuffling, random walks
ObjectiveAfter this course students will know fundamental techniques from probabilistic combinatorics for designing randomized algorithms and will be able to apply them to solve typical problems in these areas.
ContentRandomized Algorithms are algorithms that "flip coins" to take certain decisions. This concept extends the classical model of deterministic algorithms and has become very popular and useful within the last twenty years. In many cases, randomized algorithms are faster, simpler or just more elegant than deterministic ones. In the course, we will discuss basic principles and techniques and derive from them a number of randomized methods for problems in different areas.
Lecture notesYes.
Literature- Randomized Algorithms, Rajeev Motwani and Prabhakar Raghavan, Cambridge University Press (1995)
- Probability and Computing, Michael Mitzenmacher and Eli Upfal, Cambridge University Press (2005)

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits7 credits
ExaminersA. Steger, E. Welzl
Typeend-of-semester examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionThe performance assessment is only offered at the end after the course unit. Repetition only possible after re-enrolling.
Additional information on mode of examinationExercises 30% to the final grade: In week 4, 7 and 10 of the term (roughly) we will hand out a specially marked exercise, whose solution (typeset in LaTeX or similar) is due two weeks later. These solutions will be graded; the grades will each account for 10% of the final grade.

End of term: written exam (180 min) accounting for 70% of the grade; open book exam: you are allowed to consult any books, handouts, and personal notes. The use of electronic devices is not allowed.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


252-0417-00 VRandomized Algorithms and Probabilistic Methods3 hrs
Tue13-14CAB G 51 »
Thu08-10CAB G 51 »
A. Steger, E. Welzl
252-0417-00 URandomized Algorithms and Probabilistic Methods2 hrs
Tue16-18CAB G 51 »
A. Steger, E. Welzl
252-0417-00 ARandomized Algorithms and Probabilistic Methods
Project Work, no fixed presence required.
1 hrsA. Steger, E. Welzl


No information on groups available.


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