Dynamic Matching Algorithms Under Vertex Updates

Authors Hung Le, Lazar Milenković, Shay Solomon, Virginia Vassilevska Williams

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Hung Le
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA
Lazar Milenković
  • Tel Aviv University, Israel
Shay Solomon
  • Tel Aviv University, Israel
Virginia Vassilevska Williams
  • MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA

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Hung Le, Lazar Milenković, Shay Solomon, and Virginia Vassilevska Williams. Dynamic Matching Algorithms Under Vertex Updates. In 13th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 215, pp. 96:1-96:24, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)


Dynamic graph matching algorithms have been extensively studied, but mostly under edge updates. This paper concerns dynamic matching algorithms under vertex updates, where in each update step a single vertex is either inserted or deleted along with its incident edges. A basic setting arising in online algorithms and studied by Bosek et al. [FOCS'14] and Bernstein et al. [SODA'18] is that of dynamic approximate maximum cardinality matching (MCM) in bipartite graphs in which one side is fixed and vertices on the other side either arrive or depart via vertex updates. In the BASIC-incremental setting, vertices only arrive, while in the BASIC-decremental setting vertices only depart. When vertices can both arrive and depart, we have the BASIC-dynamic setting. In this paper we also consider the setting in which both sides of the bipartite graph are dynamic. We call this the MEDIUM-dynamic setting, and MEDIUM-decremental is the restriction when vertices can only depart. The GENERAL-dynamic setting is when the graph is not necessarily bipartite and the vertices can both depart and arrive. Denote by K the total number of edges inserted and deleted to and from the graph throughout the entire update sequence. A well-studied measure, the recourse of a dynamic matching algorithm is the number of changes made to the matching per step. We largely focus on Maximal Matching (MM) which is a 2-approximation to the MCM. Our main results are as follows. - In the BASIC-dynamic setting, there is a straightforward algorithm for maintaining a MM, with a total runtime of O(K) and constant worst-case recourse. In fact, this algorithm never removes an edge from the matching; we refer to such an algorithm as irrevocable. - For the MEDIUM-dynamic setting we give a strong conditional lower bound that even holds in the MEDIUM-decremental setting: if for any fixed η > 0, there is an irrevocable decremental MM algorithm with a total runtime of O(K ⋅ n^{1-η}), this would refute the OMv conjecture; a similar (but weaker) hardness result can be achieved via a reduction from the Triangle Detection conjecture. - Next, we consider the GENERAL-dynamic setting, and design an MM algorithm with a total runtime of O(K) and constant worst-case recourse. We achieve this result via a 1-revocable algorithm, which may remove just one edge per update step. As argued above, an irrevocable algorithm with such a runtime is not likely to exist. - Finally, back to the BASIC-dynamic setting, we present an algorithm with a total runtime of O(K), which provides an (e/(e-1))-approximation to the MCM. To this end, we build on the classic "ranking" online algorithm by Karp et al. [STOC'90]. Beyond the results, our work draws connections between the areas of dynamic graph algorithms and online algorithms, and it proposes several open questions that seem to be overlooked thus far.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Dynamic graph algorithms
  • maximal matching
  • approximate matching
  • dynamic algorithm
  • vertex updates


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