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SFO: A Toolbox for Submodular Function Optimization

Andreas Krause; 11(38):1141−1144, 2010.


In recent years, a fundamental problem structure has emerged as very useful in a variety of machine learning applications: Submodularity is an intuitive diminishing returns property, stating that adding an element to a smaller set helps more than adding it to a larger set. Similarly to convexity, submodularity allows one to efficiently find provably (near-) optimal solutions for large problems. We present SFO, a toolbox for use in MATLAB or Octave that implements algorithms for minimization and maximization of submodular functions. A tutorial script illustrates the application of submodularity to machine learning and AI problems such as feature selection, clustering, inference and optimized information gathering.

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