Breaking O(nr) for Matroid Intersection

Author Joakim Blikstad

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Author Details

Joakim Blikstad
  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden


I thank Danupon Nanongkai and Sagnik Mukhopadhyay for insightful discussions and their valuable comments throughout the development of this work.

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Joakim Blikstad. Breaking O(nr) for Matroid Intersection. In 48th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 198, pp. 31:1-31:17, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


We present algorithms that break the Õ(nr)-independence-query bound for the Matroid Intersection problem for the full range of r; where n is the size of the ground set and r ≤ n is the size of the largest common independent set. The Õ(nr) bound was due to the efficient implementations [CLSSW FOCS'19; Nguyên 2019] of the classic algorithm of Cunningham [SICOMP'86]. It was recently broken for large r (r = ω(√n)), first by the Õ(n^{1.5}/ε^{1.5})-query (1-ε)-approximation algorithm of CLSSW [FOCS'19], and subsequently by the Õ(n^{6/5}r^{3/5})-query exact algorithm of BvdBMN [STOC'21]. No algorithm - even an approximation one - was known to break the Õ(nr) bound for the full range of r. We present an Õ(n√r/ε)-query (1-ε)-approximation algorithm and an Õ(nr^{3/4})-query exact algorithm. Our algorithms improve the Õ(nr) bound and also the bounds by CLSSW and BvdBMN for the full range of r.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Discrete optimization
  • Theory of computation → Approximation algorithms analysis
  • Mathematics of computing → Matroids and greedoids
  • Matroid Intersection
  • Combinatorial Optimization
  • Approximation Algorithms


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