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Planar Graph Isomorphism is in Log-Space

Authors Samir Datta, Nutan Limaye, Prajakta Nimbhorkar, Thomas Thierauf, Fabian Wagner

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Samir Datta
Nutan Limaye
Prajakta Nimbhorkar
Thomas Thierauf
Fabian Wagner

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Samir Datta, Nutan Limaye, Prajakta Nimbhorkar, Thomas Thierauf, and Fabian Wagner. Planar Graph Isomorphism is in Log-Space. In Algebraic Methods in Computational Complexity. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 9421, pp. 1-32, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2010)


Graph Isomorphism is the prime example of a computational problem with a wide difference between the best known lower and upper bounds on its complexity. There is a significant gap between extant lower and upper bounds for planar graphs as well. We bridge the gap for this natural and important special case by presenting an upper bound that matches the known log-space hardness [JKMT03]. In fact, we show the formally stronger result that planar graph canonization is in log-space. This improves the previously known upper bound of AC1 [MR91]. Our algorithm first constructs the biconnected component tree of a connected planar graph and then refines each biconnected component into a triconnected component tree. The next step is to log-space reduce the biconnected planar graph isomorphism and canonization problems to those for 3-connected planar graphs, which are known to be in log-space by [DLN08]. This is achieved by using the above decomposition, and by making significant modifications to Lindell’s algorithm for tree canonization, along with changes in the space complexity analysis. The reduction from the connected case to the biconnected case requires further new ideas including a non-trivial case analysis and a group theoretic lemma to bound the number of automorphisms of a colored 3-connected planar graph.
  • Planar Graphs
  • Graph Isomorphism
  • Logspace


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