(algorithmic technique)

**Definition:**
A set of *algorithms* {A_{ε}| ε > 0}, where each A_{ε} is a *(1+ε)-approximation algorithm* and the execution time is bounded by a *polynomial* in the length of the input. The execution time may depend on the choice of ε. Sometimes referred to more precisely as polynomial-time approximation scheme.

**Also known as** PTAS.

**See also**
*fully polynomial approximation scheme*.

*Note:
From Algorithms and Theory of Computation Handbook, page 34-17, Copyright © 1999 by CRC Press LLC. Appearing in the Dictionary of Computer Science, Engineering and Technology, Copyright © 2000 CRC Press LLC.*

Author: CRC-A

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If you have suggestions, corrections, or comments, please get in touch with Paul Black.

Entry modified 17 December 2004.

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Cite this as:

Algorithms and Theory of Computation Handbook, CRC Press LLC, 1999, "polynomial approximation scheme", in
*Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures* [online], Vreda Pieterse and Paul E. Black, eds. 17 December 2004. (accessed TODAY)
Available from: http://www.nist.gov/dads/HTML/polynomaprox.html