We study the approximation of the least core value and the least core of supermodular cost cooperative games. We provide a framework for approximation based on oracles that approximately determine maximally violated constraints. This framework yields a (3 + \epsilon)-approximation algorithm for computing the least core value of supermodular cost cooperative games, and a polynomial-time algorithm for computing a cost allocation in the 2-approximate least core of these games. This approximation framework extends naturally to submodular profit cooperative games. For scheduling games, a special class of supermodular cost cooperative games, we give a fully polynomial-time approximation scheme for computing the least core value. For matroid profit games, a special class of submodular profit cooperative games, we give exact polynomial-time algorithms for computing the least core value as well as a least core cost allocation.
Discrete Optimization, available online, March 2013. DOI: 10.1016/j.disopt.2013.02.002