Popular Matchings in Complete Graphs

Authors Ágnes Cseh, Telikepalli Kavitha

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Ágnes Cseh
  • Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
Telikepalli Kavitha
  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India

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Ágnes Cseh and Telikepalli Kavitha. Popular Matchings in Complete Graphs. In 38th IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 122, pp. 17:1-17:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)


Our input is a complete graph G = (V,E) on n vertices where each vertex has a strict ranking of all other vertices in G. The goal is to construct a matching in G that is "globally stable" or popular. A matching M is popular if M does not lose a head-to-head election against any matching M': here each vertex casts a vote for the matching in {M,M'} where it gets a better assignment. Popular matchings need not exist in the given instance G and the popular matching problem is to decide whether one exists or not. The popular matching problem in G is easy to solve for odd n. Surprisingly, the problem becomes NP-hard for even n, as we show here.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Graph algorithms analysis
  • popular matching
  • complete graph
  • complexity
  • linear programming


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