# Streaming Algorithms with Few State Changes

Proceedings of the ACM on Management of Data（2024）

摘要

In this paper, we study streaming algorithms that minimize the number of
changes made to their internal state (i.e., memory contents). While the design
of streaming algorithms typically focuses on minimizing space and update time,
these metrics fail to capture the asymmetric costs, inherent in modern hardware
and database systems, of reading versus writing to memory. In fact, most
streaming algorithms write to their memory on every update, which is
undesirable when writing is significantly more expensive than reading. This
raises the question of whether streaming algorithms with small space and number
of memory writes are possible.
We first demonstrate that, for the fundamental F_p moment estimation
problem with p≥ 1, any streaming algorithm that achieves a constant factor
approximation must make Ω(n^1-1/p) internal state changes, regardless
of how much space it uses. Perhaps surprisingly, we show that this lower bound
can be matched by an algorithm that also has near-optimal space complexity.
Specifically, we give a (1+ε)-approximation algorithm for F_p
moment estimation that uses a near-optimal
𝒪_ε(n^1-1/p) number of state changes, while
simultaneously achieving near-optimal space, i.e., for p∈[1,2], our
algorithm uses poly(log n,1/ε) bits of
space, while for p>2, the algorithm uses
𝒪_ε(n^1-2/p) space. We similarly design
streaming algorithms that are simultaneously near-optimal in both space
complexity and the number of state changes for the heavy-hitters problem,
sparse support recovery, and entropy estimation. Our results demonstrate that
an optimal number of state changes can be achieved without sacrificing space
complexity.

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关键词

sketching,streaming

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