Fractals for Kernelization Lower Bounds, With an Application to Length-Bounded Cut Problems

Authors Till Fluschnik, Danny Hermelin, André Nichterlein, Rolf Niedermeier

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Till Fluschnik
Danny Hermelin
André Nichterlein
Rolf Niedermeier

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Till Fluschnik, Danny Hermelin, André Nichterlein, and Rolf Niedermeier. Fractals for Kernelization Lower Bounds, With an Application to Length-Bounded Cut Problems. In 43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 55, pp. 25:1-25:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)


Bodlaender et al.'s [Bodlaender/Jansen/Kratsch,2014] cross-composition technique is a popular method for excluding polynomial-size problem kernels for NP-hard parameterized problems. We present a new technique exploiting triangle-based fractal structures for extending the range of applicability of cross-compositions. Our technique makes it possible to prove new no-polynomial-kernel results for a number of problems dealing with length-bounded cuts. Roughly speaking, our new technique combines the advantages of serial and parallel composition. In particular, answering an open question of Golovach and Thilikos [Golovach/Thilikos,2011], we show that, unless NP subseteq coNP/poly, the NP-hard Length-Bounded Edge-Cut problem (delete at most k edges such that the resulting graph has no s-t path of length shorter than l) parameterized by the combination of k and l has no polynomial-size problem kernel. Our framework applies to planar as well as directed variants of the basic problems and also applies to both edge and vertex deletion problems.
  • Parameterized complexity
  • polynomial-time data reduction
  • cross-compositions
  • lower bounds
  • graph modification problems
  • interdiction problems


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