Parameterized Complexity of Graph Burning

Authors Yasuaki Kobayashi , Yota Otachi

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Yasuaki Kobayashi
  • Kyoto University, Japan
Yota Otachi
  • Nagoya University, Japan


The authors would like to thank Michael Lampis for bringing the Graph Burning problem to their attention.

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Yasuaki Kobayashi and Yota Otachi. Parameterized Complexity of Graph Burning. In 15th International Symposium on Parameterized and Exact Computation (IPEC 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 180, pp. 21:1-21:10, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)


Graph Burning asks, given a graph G = (V,E) and an integer k, whether there exists (b₀,… ,b_{k-1}) ∈ V^{k} such that every vertex in G has distance at most i from some b_i. This problem is known to be NP-complete even on connected caterpillars of maximum degree 3. We study the parameterized complexity of this problem and answer all questions arose by Kare and Reddy [IWOCA 2019] about parameterized complexity of the problem. We show that the problem is W[2]-complete parameterized by k and that it does not admit a polynomial kernel parameterized by vertex cover number unless NP ⊆ coNP/poly. We also show that the problem is fixed-parameter tractable parameterized by clique-width plus the maximum diameter among all connected components. This implies the fixed-parameter tractability parameterized by modular-width, by treedepth, and by distance to cographs. Although the parameterization by distance to split graphs cannot be handled with the clique-width argument, we show that this is also tractable by a reduction to a generalized problem with a smaller solution size.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Mathematics of computing → Graph algorithms
  • Theory of computation → Parameterized complexity and exact algorithms
  • Graph burning
  • parameterized complexity
  • fixed-parameter tractability


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