We consider the problem of uniformly sampling a vertex of a transportation polytope with m sources and n destinations, where m is a constant. We analyze a natural random walk on the edge-vertex graph of the polytope. The analysis makes use of the multicommodity flow technique of Sinclair [Combin Probab Comput 1 (1992), 351-370] together with ideas developed by Morris and Sinclair [SIAM J Comput 34 (2004), 195-226] for the knapsack problem, and Cryan et al. [SIAM J Comput 36 (2006), 247-278] for contingency tables, to establish that the random walk approaches the uniform distribution in time nO(m2).
Additional Metadata
Keywords transportation polytope • random walk • rapid mixing
THEME Logistics (theme 3)
Publisher Wiley
Journal Random Structures and Algorithms
Cryan, M, Dyer, M, Mueller, H, & Stougie, L. (2008). Random walks on the vertices of transportation polytopes with constant number of sources. Random Structures and Algorithms, 33(3), 333–355.