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Approximation of NP-hard optimization problems (ApproxNP)
Start date: Jan 1, 2009, End date: Dec 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The proposed project aims to create a center of excellence that aims at understanding the approximability of NP-hard optimization problems. In particular, for central problems like vertex cover, coloring of graphs, and various constraint satisfaction problems we want to study upper and lower bounds on how well they can be approximated in polynomial time. Many existing strong results are based on what is known as the Unique Games Conjecture (UGC) and a significant part of the project will be devoted to studying this conjecture. We expect that a major step needed to be taken in this process is to further develop the understanding of Boolean functions on the Boolean hypercube. We anticipate that the tools needed for this will come in the form of harmonic analysis which in its turn will rely on the corresponding results in the analysis of functions over the domain of real numbers.
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