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# Path Contraction Faster Than 2^n

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LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.11.pdf
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## Cite As

Akanksha Agrawal, Fedor V. Fomin, Daniel Lokshtanov, Saket Saurabh, and Prafullkumar Tale. Path Contraction Faster Than 2^n. In 46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 132, pp. 11:1-11:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)
https://doi.org/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.11

## Abstract

A graph G is contractible to a graph H if there is a set X subseteq E(G), such that G/X is isomorphic to H. Here, G/X is the graph obtained from G by contracting all the edges in X. For a family of graphs F, the F-Contraction problem takes as input a graph G on n vertices, and the objective is to output the largest integer t, such that G is contractible to a graph H in F, where |V(H)|=t. When F is the family of paths, then the corresponding F-Contraction problem is called Path Contraction. The problem Path Contraction admits a simple algorithm running in time 2^n * n^{O(1)}. In spite of the deceptive simplicity of the problem, beating the 2^n * n^{O(1)} bound for Path Contraction seems quite challenging. In this paper, we design an exact exponential time algorithm for Path Contraction that runs in time 1.99987^n * n^{O(1)}. We also define a problem called 3-Disjoint Connected Subgraphs, and design an algorithm for it that runs in time 1.88^n * n^{O(1)}. The above algorithm is used as a sub-routine in our algorithm for Path Contraction.

## Subject Classification

##### ACM Subject Classification
• Mathematics of computing → Graph algorithms
• Theory of computation → Graph algorithms analysis
• Theory of computation → Parameterized complexity and exact algorithms
##### Keywords
• path contraction
• exact exponential time algorithms
• graph algorithms
• enumerating connected sets
• 3-disjoint connected subgraphs

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