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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 308, 32nd Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2024)

We study a general family of problems that form a common generalization of classic hitting (also referred to as covering or transversal) and packing problems. An instance of 𝒳-HitPack asks: Can removing k (deletable) vertices of a graph G prevent us from packing 𝓁 vertex-disjoint objects of type 𝒳? This problem captures a spectrum of problems with standard hitting and packing on opposite ends. Our main motivating question is whether the combination 𝒳-HitPack can be significantly harder than these two base problems. Already for one particular choice of 𝒳, this question can be posed for many different complexity notions, leading to a large, so-far unexplored domain at the intersection of the areas of hitting and packing problems.
At a high level, we present two case studies: (1) 𝒳 being all cycles, and (2) 𝒳 being all copies of a fixed graph H. In each, we explore the classical complexity as well as the parameterized complexity with the natural parameters k+𝓁 and treewidth. We observe that the combined problem can be drastically harder than the base problems: for cycles or for H being a connected graph on at least 3 vertices, the problem is Σ₂^𝖯-complete and requires double-exponential dependence on the treewidth of the graph (assuming the Exponential-Time Hypothesis). In contrast, the combined problem admits qualitatively similar running times as the base problems in some cases, although significant novel ideas are required. For 𝒳 being all cycles, we establish a 2^{poly(k+𝓁)}⋅ n^{𝒪(1)} algorithm using an involved branching method, for example. Also, for 𝒳 being all edges (i.e., H = K₂; this combines Vertex Cover and Maximum Matching) the problem can be solved in time 2^{poly(tw)}⋅ n^{𝒪(1)} on graphs of treewidth tw. The key step enabling this running time relies on a combinatorial bound obtained from an algebraic (linear delta-matroid) representation of possible matchings.

Jacob Focke, Fabian Frei, Shaohua Li, Dániel Marx, Philipp Schepper, Roohani Sharma, and Karol Węgrzycki. Hitting Meets Packing: How Hard Can It Be?. In 32nd Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2024). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 308, pp. 55:1-55:21, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2024)

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@InProceedings{focke_et_al:LIPIcs.ESA.2024.55, author = {Focke, Jacob and Frei, Fabian and Li, Shaohua and Marx, D\'{a}niel and Schepper, Philipp and Sharma, Roohani and W\k{e}grzycki, Karol}, title = {{Hitting Meets Packing: How Hard Can It Be?}}, booktitle = {32nd Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2024)}, pages = {55:1--55:21}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-338-6}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2024}, volume = {308}, editor = {Chan, Timothy and Fischer, Johannes and Iacono, John and Herman, Grzegorz}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ESA.2024.55}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-211261}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ESA.2024.55}, annote = {Keywords: Hitting, Packing, Covering, Parameterized Algorithms, Lower Bounds, Treewidth} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 297, 51st International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2024)

Treewidth serves as an important parameter that, when bounded, yields tractability for a wide class of problems. For example, graph problems expressible in Monadic Second Order (MSO) logic and Quantified SAT or, more generally, Quantified CSP, are fixed-parameter tractable parameterized by the treewidth {of the input’s (primal) graph} plus the length of the MSO-formula [Courcelle, Information & Computation 1990] and the quantifier rank [Chen, ECAI 2004], respectively. The algorithms generated by these (meta-)results have running times whose dependence on treewidth is a tower of exponents. A conditional lower bound by Fichte, Hecher, and Pfandler [LICS 2020] shows that, for Quantified SAT, the height of this tower is equal to the number of quantifier alternations. These types of lower bounds, which show that at least double-exponential factors in the running time are necessary, exhibit the extraordinary level of computational hardness for such problems, and are rare in the current literature: there are only a handful of such lower bounds (for treewidth and vertex cover parameterizations) and all of them are for problems that are #NP-complete, Σ₂^p-complete, Π₂^p-complete, or complete for even higher levels of the polynomial hierarchy.
Our results demonstrate, for the first time, that it is not necessary to go higher up in the polynomial hierarchy to achieve double-exponential lower bounds: we derive double-exponential lower bounds in the treewidth (tw) and the vertex cover number (vc), for natural, important, and well-studied NP-complete graph problems. Specifically, we design a technique to obtain such lower bounds and show its versatility by applying it to three different problems: Metric Dimension, Strong Metric Dimension, and Geodetic Set. We prove that these problems do not admit 2^{2^o(tw)}⋅n^𝒪(1)-time algorithms, even on bounded diameter graphs, unless the ETH fails (here, n is the number of vertices in the graph). In fact, for Strong Metric Dimension, the double-exponential lower bound holds even for the vertex cover number. We further complement all our lower bounds with matching (and sometimes non-trivial) upper bounds.
For the conditional lower bounds, we design and use a novel, yet simple technique based on Sperner families of sets. We believe that the amenability of our technique will lead to obtaining such lower bounds for many other problems in NP.

Florent Foucaud, Esther Galby, Liana Khazaliya, Shaohua Li, Fionn Mc Inerney, Roohani Sharma, and Prafullkumar Tale. Problems in NP Can Admit Double-Exponential Lower Bounds When Parameterized by Treewidth or Vertex Cover. In 51st International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2024). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 297, pp. 66:1-66:19, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2024)

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@InProceedings{foucaud_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2024.66, author = {Foucaud, Florent and Galby, Esther and Khazaliya, Liana and Li, Shaohua and Mc Inerney, Fionn and Sharma, Roohani and Tale, Prafullkumar}, title = {{Problems in NP Can Admit Double-Exponential Lower Bounds When Parameterized by Treewidth or Vertex Cover}}, booktitle = {51st International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2024)}, pages = {66:1--66:19}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-322-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2024}, volume = {297}, editor = {Bringmann, Karl and Grohe, Martin and Puppis, Gabriele and Svensson, Ola}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2024.66}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-202091}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2024.66}, annote = {Keywords: Parameterized Complexity, ETH-based Lower Bounds, Double-Exponential Lower Bounds, Kernelization, Vertex Cover, Treewidth, Diameter, Metric Dimension, Strong Metric Dimension, Geodetic Sets} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 293, 40th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2024)

The Multicut problem asks for a minimum cut separating certain pairs of vertices: formally, given a graph G and a demand graph H on a set T ⊆ V(G) of terminals, the task is to find a minimum-weight set C of edges of G such that whenever two vertices of T are adjacent in H, they are in different components of G⧵ C. Colin de Verdière [Algorithmica, 2017] showed that Multicut with t terminals on a graph G of genus g can be solved in time f(t,g) n^O(√{g²+gt+t}). Cohen-Addad et al. [JACM, 2021] proved a matching lower bound showing that the exponent of n is essentially best possible (for every fixed value of t and g), even in the special case of Multiway Cut, where the demand graph H is a complete graph.
However, this lower bound tells us nothing about other special cases of Multicut such as Group 3-Terminal Cut (where three groups of terminals need to be separated from each other). We show that if the demand pattern is, in some sense, close to being a complete bipartite graph, then Multicut can be solved faster than f(t,g) n^{O(√{g²+gt+t})}, and furthermore this is the only property that allows such an improvement. Formally, for a class ℋ of graphs, Multicut(ℋ) is the special case where the demand graph H is in ℋ. For every fixed class ℋ (satisfying some mild closure property), fixed g, and fixed t, our main result gives tight upper and lower bounds on the exponent of n in algorithms solving Multicut(ℋ).
In addition, we investigate a similar setting where, instead of parameterizing by the genus g of G, we parameterize by the minimum number k of edges of G that need to be deleted to obtain a planar graph. Interestingly, in this setting it makes a significant difference whether the graph G is weighted or unweighted: further nontrivial algorithmic techniques give substantial improvements in the unweighted case.

Jacob Focke, Florian Hörsch, Shaohua Li, and Dániel Marx. Multicut Problems in Embedded Graphs: The Dependency of Complexity on the Demand Pattern. In 40th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2024). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 293, pp. 57:1-57:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2024)

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@InProceedings{focke_et_al:LIPIcs.SoCG.2024.57, author = {Focke, Jacob and H\"{o}rsch, Florian and Li, Shaohua and Marx, D\'{a}niel}, title = {{Multicut Problems in Embedded Graphs: The Dependency of Complexity on the Demand Pattern}}, booktitle = {40th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2024)}, pages = {57:1--57:15}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-316-4}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2024}, volume = {293}, editor = {Mulzer, Wolfgang and Phillips, Jeff M.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2024.57}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-200021}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2024.57}, annote = {Keywords: MultiCut, Multiway Cut, Parameterized Complexity, Tight Bounds, Embedded Graph, Planar Graph, Genus, Surface, Exponential Time Hypothesis} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 214, 16th International Symposium on Parameterized and Exact Computation (IPEC 2021)

The Metric Dimension problem asks for a minimum-sized resolving set in a given (unweighted, undirected) graph G. Here, a set S ⊆ V(G) is resolving if no two distinct vertices of G have the same distance vector to S. The complexity of Metric Dimension in graphs of bounded treewidth remained elusive in the past years. Recently, Bonnet and Purohit [IPEC 2019] showed that the problem is W[1]-hard under treewidth parameterization. In this work, we strengthen their lower bound to show that Metric Dimension is NP-hard in graphs of treewidth 24.

Shaohua Li and Marcin Pilipczuk. Hardness of Metric Dimension in Graphs of Constant Treewidth. In 16th International Symposium on Parameterized and Exact Computation (IPEC 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 214, pp. 24:1-24:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{li_et_al:LIPIcs.IPEC.2021.24, author = {Li, Shaohua and Pilipczuk, Marcin}, title = {{Hardness of Metric Dimension in Graphs of Constant Treewidth}}, booktitle = {16th International Symposium on Parameterized and Exact Computation (IPEC 2021)}, pages = {24:1--24:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-216-7}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {214}, editor = {Golovach, Petr A. and Zehavi, Meirav}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.IPEC.2021.24}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-154071}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.IPEC.2021.24}, annote = {Keywords: Graph algorithms, parameterized complexity, width parameters, NP-hard} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 187, 38th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2021)

Given a graph G = (V,E) and an integer k, the Cluster Editing problem asks whether we can transform G into a union of vertex-disjoint cliques by at most k modifications (edge deletions or insertions). In this paper, we study the following variant of Cluster Editing. We are given a graph G = (V,E), a packing ℋ of modification-disjoint induced P₃s (no pair of P₃s in H share an edge or non-edge) and an integer 𝓁. The task is to decide whether G can be transformed into a union of vertex-disjoint cliques by at most 𝓁+|H| modifications (edge deletions or insertions). We show that this problem is NP-hard even when 𝓁 = 0 (in which case the problem asks to turn G into a disjoint union of cliques by performing exactly one edge deletion or insertion per element of H) and when each vertex is in at most 23 P₃s of the packing. This answers negatively a question of van Bevern, Froese, and Komusiewicz (CSR 2016, ToCS 2018), repeated by C. Komusiewicz at Shonan meeting no. 144 in March 2019. We then initiate the study to find the largest integer c such that the problem remains tractable when restricting to packings such that each vertex is in at most c packed P₃s. Van Bevern et al. showed that the case c = 1 is fixed-parameter tractable with respect to 𝓁 and we show that the case c = 2 is solvable in |V|^{2𝓁 + O(1)} time.

Shaohua Li, Marcin Pilipczuk, and Manuel Sorge. Cluster Editing Parameterized Above Modification-Disjoint P₃-Packings. In 38th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 187, pp. 49:1-49:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{li_et_al:LIPIcs.STACS.2021.49, author = {Li, Shaohua and Pilipczuk, Marcin and Sorge, Manuel}, title = {{Cluster Editing Parameterized Above Modification-Disjoint P₃-Packings}}, booktitle = {38th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2021)}, pages = {49:1--49:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-180-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {187}, editor = {Bl\"{a}ser, Markus and Monmege, Benjamin}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2021.49}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-136945}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2021.49}, annote = {Keywords: Graph algorithms, fixed-parameter tractability, parameterized complexity} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 181, 31st International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2020)

The notion of forbidden-transition graphs allows for a robust generalization of walks in graphs. In a forbidden-transition graph, every pair of edges incident to a common vertex is permitted or forbidden; a walk is compatible if all pairs of consecutive edges on the walk are permitted. Forbidden-transition graphs and related models have found applications in a variety of fields, such as routing in optical telecommunication networks, road networks, and bio-informatics.
We initiate the study of fundamental connectivity problems from the point of view of parameterized complexity, including an in-depth study of tractability with regards to various graph-width parameters. Among several results, we prove that finding a simple compatible path between given endpoints in a forbidden-transition graph is W[1]-hard when parameterized by the vertex-deletion distance to a linear forest (so it is also hard when parameterized by pathwidth or treewidth). On the other hand, we show an algebraic trick that yields tractability when parameterized by treewidth of finding a properly colored Hamiltonian cycle in an edge-colored graph; properly colored walks in edge-colored graphs is one of the most studied special cases of compatible walks in forbidden-transition graphs.

Thomas Bellitto, Shaohua Li, Karolina Okrasa, Marcin Pilipczuk, and Manuel Sorge. The Complexity of Connectivity Problems in Forbidden-Transition Graphs And Edge-Colored Graphs. In 31st International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 181, pp. 59:1-59:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{bellitto_et_al:LIPIcs.ISAAC.2020.59, author = {Bellitto, Thomas and Li, Shaohua and Okrasa, Karolina and Pilipczuk, Marcin and Sorge, Manuel}, title = {{The Complexity of Connectivity Problems in Forbidden-Transition Graphs And Edge-Colored Graphs}}, booktitle = {31st International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2020)}, pages = {59:1--59:15}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-173-3}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2020}, volume = {181}, editor = {Cao, Yixin and Cheng, Siu-Wing and Li, Minming}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ISAAC.2020.59}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-134036}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ISAAC.2020.59}, annote = {Keywords: Graph algorithms, fixed-parameter tractability, parameterized complexity} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 173, 28th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2020)

We study the Many Visits TSP problem, where given a number k(v) for each of n cities and pairwise (possibly asymmetric) integer distances, one has to find an optimal tour that visits each city v exactly k(v) times. The currently fastest algorithm is due to Berger, Kozma, Mnich and Vincze [SODA 2019, TALG 2020] and runs in time and space O*(5ⁿ). They also show a polynomial space algorithm running in time O(16^{n+o(n)}). In this work, we show three main results:
- A randomized polynomial space algorithm in time O*(2^n D), where D is the maximum distance between two cities. By using standard methods, this results in a (1+ε)-approximation in time O*(2ⁿε^{-1}). Improving the constant 2 in these results would be a major breakthrough, as it would result in improving the O*(2ⁿ)-time algorithm for Directed Hamiltonian Cycle, which is a 50 years old open problem.
- A tight analysis of Berger et al.’s exponential space algorithm, resulting in an O*(4ⁿ) running time bound.
- A new polynomial space algorithm, running in time O(7.88ⁿ).

Łukasz Kowalik, Shaohua Li, Wojciech Nadara, Marcin Smulewicz, and Magnus Wahlström. Many Visits TSP Revisited. In 28th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 173, pp. 66:1-66:22, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{kowalik_et_al:LIPIcs.ESA.2020.66, author = {Kowalik, {\L}ukasz and Li, Shaohua and Nadara, Wojciech and Smulewicz, Marcin and Wahlstr\"{o}m, Magnus}, title = {{Many Visits TSP Revisited}}, booktitle = {28th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2020)}, pages = {66:1--66:22}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-162-7}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2020}, volume = {173}, editor = {Grandoni, Fabrizio and Herman, Grzegorz and Sanders, Peter}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ESA.2020.66}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-129329}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ESA.2020.66}, annote = {Keywords: many visits traveling salesman problem, exponential algorithm} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 115, 13th International Symposium on Parameterized and Exact Computation (IPEC 2018)

In this paper, we study multi-budgeted variants of the classic minimum cut problem and graph separation problems that turned out to be important in parameterized complexity: Skew Multicut and Directed Feedback Arc Set. In our generalization, we assign colors 1,2,...,l to some edges and give separate budgets k_1,k_2,...,k_l for colors 1,2,...,l. For every color i in {1,...,l}, let E_i be the set of edges of color i. The solution C for the multi-budgeted variant of a graph separation problem not only needs to satisfy the usual separation requirements (i.e., be a cut, a skew multicut, or a directed feedback arc set, respectively), but also needs to satisfy that |C cap E_i| <= k_i for every i in {1,...,l}.
Contrary to the classic minimum cut problem, the multi-budgeted variant turns out to be NP-hard even for l = 2. We propose FPT algorithms parameterized by k=k_1 +...+ k_l for all three problems. To this end, we develop a branching procedure for the multi-budgeted minimum cut problem that measures the progress of the algorithm not by reducing k as usual, by but elevating the capacity of some edges and thus increasing the size of maximum source-to-sink flow. Using the fact that a similar strategy is used to enumerate all important separators of a given size, we merge this process with the flow-guided branching and show an FPT bound on the number of (appropriately defined) important multi-budgeted separators. This allows us to extend our algorithm to the Skew Multicut and Directed Feedback Arc Set problems.
Furthermore, we show connections of the multi-budgeted variants with weighted variants of the directed cut problems and the Chain l-SAT problem, whose parameterized complexity remains an open problem. We show that these problems admit a bounded-in-parameter number of "maximally pushed" solutions (in a similar spirit as important separators are maximally pushed), giving somewhat weak evidence towards their tractability.

Stefan Kratsch, Shaohua Li, Dániel Marx, Marcin Pilipczuk, and Magnus Wahlström. Multi-Budgeted Directed Cuts. In 13th International Symposium on Parameterized and Exact Computation (IPEC 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 115, pp. 18:1-18:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{kratsch_et_al:LIPIcs.IPEC.2018.18, author = {Kratsch, Stefan and Li, Shaohua and Marx, D\'{a}niel and Pilipczuk, Marcin and Wahlstr\"{o}m, Magnus}, title = {{Multi-Budgeted Directed Cuts}}, booktitle = {13th International Symposium on Parameterized and Exact Computation (IPEC 2018)}, pages = {18:1--18:14}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-084-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {115}, editor = {Paul, Christophe and Pilipczuk, Michal}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.IPEC.2018.18}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-102194}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.IPEC.2018.18}, annote = {Keywords: important separators, multi-budgeted cuts, Directed Feedback Vertex Set, fixed-parameter tractability, minimum cut} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 83, 42nd International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS 2017)

Given a set \cal P of points in the Euclidean plane and two triangulations of \cal P, the flip distance between these two triangulations is the minimum number of flips required to transform one triangulation into the other. The Parameterized Flip Distance problem is to decide if the flip distance between two given triangulations is equal to a given integer k. The previous best FPT algorithm runs in time O^*(k\cdot c^k) (c\leq 2\times 14^11), where each step has fourteen possible choices, and the length of the action sequence is bounded by 11k. By applying the backtracking strategy and analyzing the underlying property of the flip sequence, each step of our algorithm has only five possible choices. Based on an auxiliary graph G, we prove that the length of the action sequence for our algorithm is bounded by 2|G|. As a result, we present an FPT algorithm running in time O^*(k\cdot 32^k).

Shaohua Li, Qilong Feng, Xiangzhong Meng, and Jianxin Wang. An Improved FPT Algorithm for the Flip Distance Problem. In 42nd International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 83, pp. 65:1-65:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{li_et_al:LIPIcs.MFCS.2017.65, author = {Li, Shaohua and Feng, Qilong and Meng, Xiangzhong and Wang, Jianxin}, title = {{An Improved FPT Algorithm for the Flip Distance Problem}}, booktitle = {42nd International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS 2017)}, pages = {65:1--65:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-046-0}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {83}, editor = {Larsen, Kim G. and Bodlaender, Hans L. and Raskin, Jean-Francois}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.MFCS.2017.65}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-81100}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.MFCS.2017.65}, annote = {Keywords: triangulation, flip distance, FPT algorithm} }

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