Half-integrality, LP-branching, and FPT Algorithms

Yoichi Iwata, Magnus Wahlstrom, Yuichi Yoshida

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A recent trend in parameterized algorithms is the application of polytope tools to fixed-parameter tractable (FPT) algorithms [e.g., Cygan et al., FOCS 2011, 52nd Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, IEEE, 2011, pp. 150--159; Narayanaswamy et al., STACS 2012, Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science, 2012, pp. 338--349]. Although this approach has yielded significant speedups for a range of important problems, it requires the underlying polytope to have very restrictive properties, including half-integrality and Nemhauser--Trotter-style persistence properties. To date, these properties are essentially known to hold only for two classes of polytopes, covering the cases of Vertex Cover [Nemhauser and Trotter, Math. Program., 8 (1975), pp. 232--248] and Node Multiway Cut [Garg et al., J. Alg., 50 (2004), pp. 49--61]. Taking a slightly different approach, we view half-integrality as a discrete relaxation of a problem, e.g., a relaxation of the search space from $\{0,1\}^V$ to $\{0,1/2,1\}^V$ such that the new problem admits a polynomial-time exact solution. Using tools from constraint satisfaction problems [in particular Thapper and Živný, FOCS 2012, 53rd Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, IEEE, 2012, pp. 669--678] to study the existence of such relaxations, we are able to provide a much broader class of half-integral polytopes with the required properties. Our results unify and significantly extend the previously known cases, and yield a range of new and improved FPT algorithms, including an $O^*(|\Sigma|^{2k})$-time algorithm for node-deletion Unique Label Cover and an $O^*(4^k)$-time algorithm for Group Feedback Vertex Set where the group is given by oracle access. The latter result also implies the first single-exponential time FPT algorithm for Subset Feedback Vertex Set, answering an open question of Cygan et al. [Algorithmica, 74 (2016), pp. 630--642]. Additionally, we propose a network-flow-based approach to solve several cases of the relaxation problem. This gives the first linear-time FPT algorithm to edge-deletion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1377–1411
Number of pages35
JournalSIAM Journal on Computing
Issue number4
Early online date9 Aug 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Aug 2016

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