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# Tractability of Packing Vertex-Disjoint A-Paths Under Length Constraints

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LIPIcs.MFCS.2024.16.pdf
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## Acknowledgements

We express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Karthik C. S. and Professor Saket Saurabh for their invaluable suggestions and enlightening discussions.

## Cite As

Susobhan Bandopadhyay, Aritra Banik, Diptapriyo Majumdar, and Abhishek Sahu. Tractability of Packing Vertex-Disjoint A-Paths Under Length Constraints. In 49th International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS 2024). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 306, pp. 16:1-16:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2024)
https://doi.org/10.4230/LIPIcs.MFCS.2024.16

## Abstract

Given an undirected graph G and a set A ⊆ V(G), an A-path is a path in G that starts and ends at two distinct vertices of A with intermediate vertices in V(G)⧵A. An A-path is called an (A,𝓁)-path if the length of the path is exactly 𝓁. In the (A, 𝓁)-Path Packing problem (ALPP), we seek to determine whether there exist k vertex-disjoint (A, 𝓁)-paths in G or not. The problem is already known to be fixed-parmeter tractable when parameterized by k+𝓁 via color coding while it remains Para-NP-hard when parameterized by k (Hamiltonian Path) or 𝓁 (P₃-Partition) alone. Therefore, a logical direction to pursue this problem is to examine it in relation to structural parameters. Belmonte et al. initiated a study along these lines and proved that ALPP parameterized by pw+|A| is W[1]-hard where pw is the pathwidth of G. In this paper, we strengthen their result and prove that it is unlikely that ALPP is fixed-parameter tractable even with respect to a bigger parameter (|A|+dtp) where dtp denotes the distance between G and a path graph (distance to path). We use a randomized reduction to achieve the mentioned result. Toward this, we prove a lemma similar to the influential "isolation lemma": Given a set system (X,ℱ) if the elements of X are assigned a weight uniformly at random from a set of values fairly large, then each subset in ℱ will have a unique weight with high probability. We believe that this result will be useful beyond the scope of this paper. ALPP being hard even for structural parameters like distance to path+|A| rules out the possibility of any FPT algorithms for many well-known other structural parameters, including FVS+|A| and treewidth+|A|. There is a straightforward FPT algorithm for ALPP parameterized by vc, the vertex cover number of the input graph. Following this, we consider the parameters CVD(cluster vertex deletion)+|A| and CVD+|𝓁| and show the problem to be FPT with respect to these parameters. Note that CVD is incomparable to the treewidth of a graph and has been in vogue recently.

## Subject Classification

##### ACM Subject Classification
• Theory of computation → Fixed parameter tractability
##### Keywords
• Parameterized complexity
• (A,𝓁)-Path Packing
• Kernelization
• Randomized-Exponential Time Hypothesis
• Graph Classes

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## References

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