Faster Approximation Algorithms for Computing Shortest Cycles on Weighted Graphs

Author Guillaume Ducoffe

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Guillaume Ducoffe
  • National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics, Romania
  • The Research Institute of the University of Bucharest ICUB, Romania
  • University of Bucharest, Romania

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Guillaume Ducoffe. Faster Approximation Algorithms for Computing Shortest Cycles on Weighted Graphs. In 46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 132, pp. 49:1-49:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


Given an n-vertex m-edge graph G with non-negative edge-weights, a shortest cycle of G is one minimizing the sum of the weights on its edges. The girth of G is the weight of such a shortest cycle. We obtain several new approximation algorithms for computing the girth of weighted graphs: - For any graph G with polynomially bounded integer weights, we present a deterministic algorithm that computes, in O~(n^{5/3}+m)-time, a cycle of weight at most twice the girth of G. This matches both the approximation factor and - almost - the running time of the best known subquadratic-time approximation algorithm for the girth of unweighted graphs. - Then, we turn our algorithm into a deterministic (2+epsilon)-approximation for graphs with arbitrary non-negative edge-weights, at the price of a slightly worse running-time in O~(n^{5/3}polylog(1/epsilon)+m). For that, we introduce a generic method in order to obtain a polynomial-factor approximation of the girth in subquadratic time, that may be of independent interest. - Finally, if we assume that the adjacency lists are sorted then we can get rid off the dependency in the number m of edges. Namely, we can transform our algorithms into an O~(n^{5/3})-time randomized 4-approximation for graphs with non-negative edge-weights. This can be derandomized, thereby leading to an O~(n^{5/3})-time deterministic 4-approximation for graphs with polynomially bounded integer weights, and an O~(n^{5/3}polylog(1/epsilon))-time deterministic (4+epsilon)-approximation for graphs with non-negative edge-weights. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first known subquadratic-time approximation algorithms for computing the girth of weighted graphs.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Design and analysis of algorithms
  • Theory of computation → Graph algorithms analysis
  • Theory of computation → Approximation algorithms analysis
  • girth
  • weighted graphs
  • approximation algorithms


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