CSE 632: Analysis of Algorithm II : Combinatorial Optimization and Linear Programming (Fall 2020)

Course Information

Time: WeFr 11:30am~12:50pm (notice the new time!)

Location: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the course will be delivered online.

Credits: 3

Please sign up for the course on Piazza.


Shi Li

Office: 328 Davis Hall

Email: [first name][last name initial][at][buffalo][dot][edu]

Homepage: http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/~shil/

Office Hours: office hours will be held online via Zoom. The exact time will be decided later.


Combinatorial optimization problems is a large family of problems that arise naturally in practice. A combinatorial optimization problem seeks to determine the best solution from a discrete set of possible solutions. This course will cover many topics and techniques in designing exact and approximation algorithms for combinatorial optimization problems, including network flow, matroid theory and linear programming. A large portion of the course is dedicated to linear programming.

Linear programming (LP) is an optimization technique that tries to optimize a linear objective function subject to a set of linear constraints. While combinatorial optimization problems are in general discrete and a linear program has a continuous feasible region, many of the problems can be solved exactly or approximately using the technique. In the course, we shall cover some classic examples of problems that are captured by linear programs, and some related techniques such as randomized rounding, concentration bounds and primal-dual method to solve the problems.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all the lectures will be given online. We will use Zoom to deliver the live lectures. The Zoom meeting information is given on Piazza. The recorded videos for lectures, slides and hand-writing notes will be available to students in the course.

Resources for the Course

There is no textbook for the course. Slides, lecture notes and links to external resources will be provided as the course goes on. The resources from the following courses together cover most of the topics in this course:


Your final grade will be computed as follows:


HomeworksPost DateDue Date
HW1Sep 21, 2020Oct 5, 2020
HW2Oct 10, 2020Oct 20, 2020
HW3Oct 31, 2020Nov 10, 2020
HW4Nov 14, 2020Nov 24, 2020

Tentative Schedule and Slides

("NA" stands for "no animation".)