Chasing Nested Convex Bodies Nearly Optimally

Sébastien Bubeck, Bo'az Klartag, Yin Tat Lee, Yuanzhi Li, Mark Sellke

The convex body chasing problem, introduced by Friedman and Linial, is a competitive analysis problem on any normed vector space. In convex body chasing, for each timestep $t\in\mathbb N$, a convex body $K_t\subseteq \mathbb R^d$ is given as a request, and the player picks a point $x_t\in K_t$. The player aims to ensure that the total distance $\sum_{t=0}^{T-1}||x_t-x_{t+1}||$ is within a bounded ratio of the smallest possible offline solution. In this work, we consider the nested version of the problem, in which the sequence $(K_t)$ must be decreasing. For Euclidean spaces, we consider a memoryless algorithm which moves to the so-called Steiner point, and show that in a certain sense it is exactly optimal among memoryless algorithms. For general finite dimensional normed spaces, we combine the Steiner point and our recent previous algorithm to obtain a new algorithm which is nearly optimal for all $\ell^p_d$ spaces with $p\geq 1$, closing a polynomial gap.

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