Conditional Hardness for Sensitivity Problems

Authors Monika Henzinger, Andrea Lincoln, Stefan Neumann, Virginia Vassilevska Williams

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Monika Henzinger
Andrea Lincoln
Stefan Neumann
Virginia Vassilevska Williams

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Monika Henzinger, Andrea Lincoln, Stefan Neumann, and Virginia Vassilevska Williams. Conditional Hardness for Sensitivity Problems. In 8th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 67, pp. 26:1-26:31, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


In recent years it has become popular to study dynamic problems in a sensitivity setting: Instead of allowing for an arbitrary sequence of updates, the sensitivity model only allows to apply batch updates of small size to the original input data. The sensitivity model is particularly appealing since recent strong conditional lower bounds ruled out fast algorithms for many dynamic problems, such as shortest paths, reachability, or subgraph connectivity. In this paper we prove conditional lower bounds for these and additional problems in a sensitivity setting. For example, we show that under the Boolean Matrix Multiplication (BMM) conjecture combinatorial algorithms cannot compute the (4/3-\varepsilon)-approximate diameter of an undirected unweighted dense graph with truly subcubic preprocessing time and truly subquadratic update/query time. This result is surprising since in the static setting it is not clear whether a reduction from BMM to diameter is possible. We further show under the BMM conjecture that many problems, such as reachability or approximate shortest paths, cannot be solved faster than by recomputation from scratch even after only one or two edge insertions. We extend our reduction from BMM to Diameter to give a reduction from All Pairs Shortest Paths to Diameter under one deletion in weighted graphs. This is intriguing, as in the static setting it is a big open problem whether Diameter is as hard as APSP. We further get a nearly tight lower bound for shortest paths after two edge deletions based on the APSP conjecture. We give more lower bounds under the Strong Exponential Time Hypothesis. Many of our lower bounds also hold for static oracle data structures where no sensitivity is required. Finally, we give the first algorithm for the (1+\varepsilon)-approximate radius, diameter, and eccentricity problems in directed or undirected unweighted graphs in case of single edges failures. The algorithm has a truly subcubic running time for graphs with a truly subquadratic number of edges; it is tight w.r.t. the conditional lower bounds we obtain.
  • sensitivity
  • conditional lower bounds
  • data structures
  • dynamic graph algorithms


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