An Exponential Lower Bound for Cut Sparsifiers in Planar Graphs

Authors Nikolai Karpov, Marcin Pilipczuk, Anna Zych-Pawlewicz

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Nikolai Karpov
Marcin Pilipczuk
Anna Zych-Pawlewicz

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Nikolai Karpov, Marcin Pilipczuk, and Anna Zych-Pawlewicz. An Exponential Lower Bound for Cut Sparsifiers in Planar Graphs. In 12th International Symposium on Parameterized and Exact Computation (IPEC 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 89, pp. 24:1-24:11, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)


Given an edge-weighted graph G with a set Q of k terminals, a mimicking network is a graph with the same set of terminals that exactly preserves the sizes of minimum cuts between any partition of the terminals. A natural question in the area of graph compression is to provide as small mimicking networks as possible for input graph G being either an arbitrary graph or coming from a specific graph class. In this note we show an exponential lower bound for cut mimicking networks in planar graphs: there are edge-weighted planar graphs with k terminals that require 2^(k-2) edges in any mimicking network. This nearly matches an upper bound of O(k * 2^(2k)) of Krauthgamer and Rika [SODA 2013, arXiv:1702.05951] and is in sharp contrast with the O(k^2) upper bound under the assumption that all terminals lie on a single face [Goranci, Henzinger, Peng, arXiv:1702.01136]. As a side result we show a hard instance for the double-exponential upper bounds given by Hagerup, Katajainen, Nishimura, and Ragde [JCSS 1998], Khan and Raghavendra [IPL 2014], and Chambers and Eppstein [JGAA 2013].
  • mimicking networks
  • planar graphs


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