Parameterized Complexity of Two-Interval Pattern Problem

Authors Prosenjit Bose, Saeed Mehrabi, Debajyoti Mondal

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Prosenjit Bose
  • School of Computer Science, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Saeed Mehrabi
  • School of Computer Science, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Debajyoti Mondal
  • Department of Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

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Prosenjit Bose, Saeed Mehrabi, and Debajyoti Mondal. Parameterized Complexity of Two-Interval Pattern Problem. In 17th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 162, pp. 16:1-16:10, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)


A 2-interval is the union of two disjoint intervals on the real line. Two 2-intervals D₁ and D₂ are disjoint if their intersection is empty (i.e., no interval of D₁ intersects any interval of D₂). There can be three different relations between two disjoint 2-intervals; namely, preceding (<), nested (⊏) and crossing (≬). Two 2-intervals D₁ and D₂ are called R-comparable for some R∈{<,⊏,≬}, if either D₁RD₂ or D₂RD₁. A set 𝒟 of disjoint 2-intervals is ℛ-comparable, for some ℛ⊆{<,⊏,≬} and ℛ≠∅, if every pair of 2-intervals in ℛ are R-comparable for some R∈ℛ. Given a set of 2-intervals and some ℛ⊆{<,⊏,≬}, the objective of the {2-interval pattern problem} is to find a largest subset of 2-intervals that is ℛ-comparable. The 2-interval pattern problem is known to be W[1]-hard when |ℛ|=3 and NP-hard when |ℛ|=2 (except for ℛ={<,⊏}, which is solvable in quadratic time). In this paper, we fully settle the parameterized complexity of the problem by showing that it is W[1]-hard for both ℛ={⊏,≬} and ℛ={<,≬} (when parameterized by the size of an optimal solution). This answers the open question posed by Vialette [Encyclopedia of Algorithms, 2008].

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Computational geometry
  • Theory of computation → Parameterized complexity and exact algorithms
  • Interval graphs
  • Two-interval pattern problem
  • Comparability
  • Multicoloured clique problem
  • Parameterized complexity
  • W[1]-hardness


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