k-Distinct Branchings Admits a Polynomial Kernel

Authors Jørgen Bang-Jensen, Kristine Vitting Klinkby, Saket Saurabh

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Jørgen Bang-Jensen
  • University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
Kristine Vitting Klinkby
  • University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
Saket Saurabh
  • University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, HBNI, Chennai, India

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Jørgen Bang-Jensen, Kristine Vitting Klinkby, and Saket Saurabh. k-Distinct Branchings Admits a Polynomial Kernel. In 29th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 204, pp. 11:1-11:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


Unlike the problem of deciding whether a digraph D = (V,A) has 𝓁 in-branchings (or 𝓁 out-branchings) is polynomial time solvable, the problem of deciding whether a digraph D = (V,A) has an in-branching B^- and an out-branching B^+ which are arc-disjoint is NP-complete. Motivated by this, a natural optimization question that has been studied in the realm of Parameterized Complexity is called Rooted k-Distinct Branchings. In this problem, a digraph D = (V,A) with two prescribed vertices s,t are given as input and the question is whether D has an in-branching rooted at t and an out-branching rooted at s such that they differ on at least k arcs. Bang-Jensen et al. [Algorithmica, 2016 ] showed that the problem is fixed parameter tractable (FPT) on strongly connected digraphs. Gutin et al. [ICALP, 2017; JCSS, 2018 ] completely resolved this problem by designing an algorithm with running time 2^{𝒪(k² log² k)}n^{𝒪(1)}. Here, n denotes the number of vertices of the input digraph. In this paper, answering an open question of Gutin et al., we design a polynomial kernel for Rooted k-Distinct Branchings. In particular, we obtain the following: Given an instance (D,k,s,t) of Rooted k-Distinct Branchings, in polynomial time we obtain an equivalent instance (D',k',s,t) of Rooted k-Distinct Branchings such that |V(D')| ≤ 𝒪(k²) and the treewidth of the underlying undirected graph is at most 𝒪(k). This result immediately yields an FPT algorithm with running time 2^{𝒪(klog k)}+ n^{𝒪(1)}; improving upon the previous running time of Gutin et al. For our algorithms, we prove a structural result about paths avoiding many arcs in a given in-branching or out-branching. This result might turn out to be useful for getting other results for problems concerning in-and out-branchings.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Fixed parameter tractability
  • Digraphs
  • Polynomial Kernel
  • In-branching
  • Out-Branching


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