Parameterized Complexity of Directed Spanner Problems

Authors Fedor V. Fomin , Petr A. Golovach , William Lochet, Pranabendu Misra, Saket Saurabh, Roohani Sharma

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Author Details

Fedor V. Fomin
  • Department of Informatics, University of Bergen, Norway
Petr A. Golovach
  • Department of Informatics, University of Bergen, Norway
William Lochet
  • Department of Informatics, University of Bergen, Norway
Pranabendu Misra
  • Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Saarbrücken, Germany
Saket Saurabh
  • Institute of Mathematical Sciences, HBNI, Chennai, India
  • Department of Informatics, University of Bergen, Norway
Roohani Sharma
  • Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Saarbrücken, Germany

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Fedor V. Fomin, Petr A. Golovach, William Lochet, Pranabendu Misra, Saket Saurabh, and Roohani Sharma. Parameterized Complexity of Directed Spanner Problems. In 15th International Symposium on Parameterized and Exact Computation (IPEC 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 180, pp. 12:1-12:11, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)


We initiate the parameterized complexity study of minimum t-spanner problems on directed graphs. For a positive integer t, a multiplicative t-spanner of a (directed) graph G is a spanning subgraph H such that the distance between any two vertices in H is at most t times the distance between these vertices in G, that is, H keeps the distances in G up to the distortion (or stretch) factor t. An additive t-spanner is defined as a spanning subgraph that keeps the distances up to the additive distortion parameter t, that is, the distances in H and G differ by at most t. The task of Directed Multiplicative Spanner is, given a directed graph G with m arcs and positive integers t and k, decide whether G has a multiplicative t-spanner with at most m-k arcs. Similarly, Directed Additive Spanner asks whether G has an additive t-spanner with at most m-k arcs. We show that - Directed Multiplicative Spanner admits a polynomial kernel of size 𝒪(k⁴t⁵) and can be solved in randomized (4t)^k⋅ n^𝒪(1) time, - Directed Additive Spanner is W[1]-hard when parameterized by k even if t = 1 and the input graphs are restricted to be directed acyclic graphs. The latter claim contrasts with the recent result of Kobayashi from STACS 2020 that the problem for undirected graphs is FPT when parameterized by t and k.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Mathematics of computing → Graph algorithms
  • Theory of computation → Parameterized complexity and exact algorithms
  • Graph spanners
  • directed graphs
  • parameterized complexity
  • kernelization


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