Approximation Algorithms for Flexible Graph Connectivity

Authors Sylvia Boyd, Joseph Cheriyan, Arash Haddadan, Sharat Ibrahimpur

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Sylvia Boyd
  • School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Ottawa, Canada
Joseph Cheriyan
  • Department of Combinatorics and Optimization, University of Waterloo, Canada
Arash Haddadan
  • Warner Music Group, New York, NY, USA
Sharat Ibrahimpur
  • Department of Combinatorics and Optimization, University of Waterloo, Canada


We thank the anonymous reviewers and PC members for their comments.

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Sylvia Boyd, Joseph Cheriyan, Arash Haddadan, and Sharat Ibrahimpur. Approximation Algorithms for Flexible Graph Connectivity. In 41st IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 213, pp. 9:1-9:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


We present approximation algorithms for several network design problems in the model of Flexible Graph Connectivity (Adjiashvili, Hommelsheim and Mühlenthaler, "Flexible Graph Connectivity", Math. Program. pp. 1-33 (2021), IPCO 2020: pp. 13-26). In an instance of the Flexible Graph Connectivity (FGC) problem, we have an undirected connected graph G = (V,E), a partition of E into a set of safe edges S and a set of unsafe edges U, and nonnegative costs {c_e}_{e ∈ E} on the edges. A subset F ⊆ E of edges is feasible for FGC if for any unsafe edge e ∈ F ∩ U, the subgraph (V,F⧵{e}) is connected. The algorithmic goal is to find a (feasible) solution F that minimizes c(F) = ∑_{e ∈ F} c_e. We present a simple 2-approximation algorithm for FGC via a reduction to the minimum-cost r-out 2-arborescence problem. This improves upon the 2.527-approximation algorithm of Adjiashvili et al. For integers p ≥ 1 and q ≥ 0, the (p,q)-FGC problem is a generalization of FGC where we seek a minimum-cost subgraph H = (V,F) that remains p-edge connected against the failure of any set of at most q unsafe edges; that is, for any set F' ⊆ U with |F'| ≤ q, H-F' = (V, F ⧵ F') should be p-edge connected. Note that FGC corresponds to the (1,1)-FGC problem. We give approximation algorithms for two important special cases of (p,q)-FGC: (a) Our 2-approximation algorithm for FGC extends to a (k+1)-approximation algorithm for the (1,k)-FGC problem. (b) We present a 4-approximation algorithm for the (k,1)-FGC problem. For the unweighted FGC problem, where each edge has unit cost, we give a 16/11-approximation algorithm. This improves on the result of Adjiashvili et al. for this problem. The (p,q)-FGC model with p = 1 or q ≤ 1 can be cast as the Capacitated k-Connected Subgraph problem which is a special case of the well-known Capacitated Network Design problem. We denote the former problem by Cap-k-ECSS. An instance of this problem consists of an undirected graph G = (V,E), nonnegative integer edge-capacities {u_e}_{e ∈ E}, nonnegative edge-costs {c_e}_{e ∈ E}, and a positive integer k. The goal is to find a minimum-cost edge-set F ⊆ E such that every (non-trivial) cut of the capacitated subgraph H(V,F,u) has capacity at least k. We give a min(k, 2max_{e ∈ E} u_e)-approximation algorithm for this problem.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Approximation algorithms analysis
  • Approximation Algorithms
  • Combinatorial Optimization
  • Network Design
  • Edge-Connectivity of Graphs
  • Reliability of Networks


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