# Finding Hidden Cliques of Size sqrt{N-e} in Nearly Linear Time

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Finding Hidden Cliques of Size sqrt{N-e} in Nearly Linear Time**

Consider an Erd\-os-Renyi random graph in which each edge is present independently with probability 1-2, except for a subset $\sC N$ of the vertices that form a clique (a completely connected subgraph). We consider the problem of identifying the clique, given a realization of such a random graph. The best known algorithm provably finds the clique in linear time with high probability, provided $|\sC N|\ge 1.261\sqrt{N}$ \cite{dekel2011finding}. Spectral methods can be shown to fail on cliques smaller than $\sqrt{N}$. In this paper we describe a nearly linear time algorithm that succeeds with high probability for $|\sC N|\ge (1+\eps)\sqrt{N-e}$ for any $\eps>0$. This is the first algorithm that provably improves over spectral methods. We further generalize the hidden clique problem to other background graphs (the standard case corresponding to the complete graph on $N$ vertices). For large girth regular graphs of degree $(\Delta+1)$ we prove that `local algorithms succeed if $|\sC N|\ge (1+\eps)N-\sqrt{e\Delta}$ and fail if $|\sC N|\le(1-\eps)N-\sqrt{e\Delta}$.

Author: **Yash Deshpande; Andrea Montanari**

Source: https://archive.org/