Global and Fixed-Terminal Cuts in Digraphs

Authors Kristóf Bérczi, Karthekeyan Chandrasekaran, Tamás Király, Euiwoong Lee, Chao Xu

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Kristóf Bérczi
Karthekeyan Chandrasekaran
Tamás Király
Euiwoong Lee
Chao Xu

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Kristóf Bérczi, Karthekeyan Chandrasekaran, Tamás Király, Euiwoong Lee, and Chao Xu. Global and Fixed-Terminal Cuts in Digraphs. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 81, pp. 2:1-2:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


The computational complexity of multicut-like problems may vary significantly depending on whether the terminals are fixed or not. In this work we present a comprehensive study of this phenomenon in two types of cut problems in directed graphs: double cut and bicut. 1. Fixed-terminal edge-weighted double cut is known to be solvable efficiently. We show that fixed-terminal node-weighted double cut cannot be approximated to a factor smaller than 2 under the Unique Games Conjecture (UGC), and we also give a 2-approximation algorithm. For the global version of the problem, we prove an inapproximability bound of 3/2 under UGC. 2. Fixed-terminal edge-weighted bicut is known to have an approximability factor of 2 that is tight under UGC. We show that the global edge-weighted bicut is approximable to a factor strictly better than 2, and that the global node-weighted bicut cannot be approximated to a factor smaller than 3/2 under UGC. 3. In relation to these investigations, we also prove two results on undirected graphs which are of independent interest. First, we show NP-completeness and a tight inapproximability bound of 4/3 for the node-weighted 3-cut problem under UGC. Second, we show that for constant k, there exists an efficient algorithm to solve the minimum {s,t}-separating k-cut problem. Our techniques for the algorithms are combinatorial, based on LPs and based on the enumeration of approximate min-cuts. Our hardness results are based on combinatorial reductions and integrality gap instances.
  • Directed Graphs
  • Arborescence
  • Graph Cuts
  • Hardness of Approximation


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