Distributed Vertex Cover Reconfiguration

Authors Keren Censor-Hillel , Yannic Maus , Shahar Romem-Peled, Tigran Tonoyan

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Author Details

Keren Censor-Hillel
  • Department of Computer Science, Technion, Haifa, Israel
Yannic Maus
  • Institute of Software Technology, TU Graz, Austria
Shahar Romem-Peled
  • Department of Computer Science, Technion, Haifa, Israel
Tigran Tonoyan
  • Department of Computer Science, Technion, Haifa, Israel

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Keren Censor-Hillel, Yannic Maus, Shahar Romem-Peled, and Tigran Tonoyan. Distributed Vertex Cover Reconfiguration. In 13th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 215, pp. 36:1-36:23, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)


Reconfiguration schedules, i.e., sequences that gradually transform one solution of a problem to another while always maintaining feasibility, have been extensively studied. Most research has dealt with the decision problem of whether a reconfiguration schedule exists, and the complexity of finding one. A prime example is the reconfiguration of vertex covers. We initiate the study of batched vertex cover reconfiguration, which allows to reconfigure multiple vertices concurrently while requiring that any adversarial reconfiguration order within a batch maintains feasibility. The latter provides robustness, e.g., if the simultaneous reconfiguration of a batch cannot be guaranteed. The quality of a schedule is measured by the number of batches until all nodes are reconfigured, and its cost, i.e., the maximum size of an intermediate vertex cover. To set a baseline for batch reconfiguration, we show that for graphs belonging to one of the classes {{cycles, trees, forests, chordal, cactus, even-hole-free, claw-free}}, there are schedules that use O(ε^{-1}) batches and incur only a 1+ε multiplicative increase in cost over the best sequential schedules. Our main contribution is to compute such batch schedules in a distributed setting O(ε^{-1} {log^*} n) rounds, which we also show to be tight. Further, we show that once we step out of these graph classes we face a very different situation. There are graph classes on which no efficient distributed algorithm can obtain the best (or almost best) existing schedule. Moreover, there are classes of bounded degree graphs which do not admit any reconfiguration schedules without incurring a large multiplicative increase in the cost at all.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Mathematics of computing → Graph algorithms
  • Mathematics of computing → Approximation algorithms
  • Theory of computation → Distributed algorithms
  • reconfiguration
  • vertex cover
  • network decomposition


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