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computational complexity

First Big Steps Toward Proving the Unique Games Conjecture

The latest in a new series of proofs brings theoretical computer scientists within striking distance of one of the great conjectures of their discipline.

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Computer Science

Smart Swarms Seek New Ways to Cooperate

New algorithms show how swarms of very simple robots can be made to work together as a group.

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The Future of Quantum Computing

Quantum Algorithms Struggle Against Old Foe: Clever Computers

The quest for “quantum supremacy” – unambiguous proof that a quantum computer does something faster than an ordinary computer – has paradoxically led to a boom in quasi-quantum classical algorithms.

A blue person made of code walks down a pink road patterned with hexagons

Best-Ever Algorithm Found for Huge Streams of Data

To efficiently analyze a firehose of data, scientists first have to break big numbers into bits.

Abstractions blog

One-Way Salesman Finds Fast Path Home

The real-world version of the famous “traveling salesman problem” finally gets a good-enough solution.

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Abstractions blog

Graph Isomorphism Vanquished — Again

Just five days after posting a retraction, László Babai announced that he had fixed the error in his landmark graph isomorphism algorithm.

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Abstractions blog

Complexity Theory Problem Strikes Back

The legendary graph isomorphism problem may be harder than a 2015 result seemed to suggest.


How to Force Our Machines to Play Fair

The computer scientist Cynthia Dwork takes abstract concepts like privacy and fairness and adapts them into machine code for the algorithmic age.

Abstractions blog

All Is Not Fair in Cake-Cutting and Math

When divvying something up, there’s more than one way to define what’s fair.