One of the most basic graph problems, All-Pairs Shortest Paths (APSP) is known to be solvable in n^{3-o(1)} time, and it is widely open whether it has an O(n^{3-ε}) time algorithm for ε > 0. To better understand APSP, one often strives to obtain subcubic time algorithms for structured instances of APSP and problems equivalent to it, such as the Min-Plus matrix product.

A natural structured version of Min-Plus product is Monotone Min-Plus product which has been studied in the context of the Batch Range Mode [SODA'20] and Dynamic Range Mode [ICALP'20] problems. This paper improves the known algorithms for Monotone Min-Plus Product and for Batch and Dynamic Range Mode, and establishes a connection between Monotone Min-Plus Product and the Single Source Replacement Paths (SSRP) problem on an n-vertex graph with potentially negative edge weights in {-M, …, M}.

SSRP with positive integer edge weights bounded by M can be solved in Õ(Mn^ω) time, whereas the prior fastest algorithm for graphs with possibly negative weights [FOCS'12] runs in O(M^{0.7519} n^{2.5286}) time, the current best running time for directed APSP with small integer weights. Using Monotone Min-Plus Product, we obtain an improved O(M^{0.8043} n^{2.4957}) time SSRP algorithm, showing that SSRP with constant negative integer weights is likely easier than directed unweighted APSP, a problem that is believed to require n^{2.5-o(1)} time.

Complementing our algorithm for SSRP, we give a reduction from the Bounded-Difference Min-Plus Product problem studied by Bringmann et al. [FOCS'16] to negative weight SSRP. This reduction shows that it might be difficult to obtain an Õ(M n^{ω}) time algorithm for SSRP with negative weight edges, thus separating the problem from SSRP with only positive weight edges.