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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 284, 43rd IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2023)

We study the fine-grained complexity of listing all 4-cycles in a graph on n nodes, m edges, and t such 4-cycles. The main result is an Õ(min(n²,m^{4/3})+t) upper bound, which is best-possible up to log factors unless the long-standing O(min(n²,m^{4/3})) upper bound for detecting a 4-cycle can be broken. Moreover, it almost-matches recent 3-SUM-based lower bounds for the problem by Abboud, Bringmann, and Fischer (STOC 2023) and independently by Jin and Xu (STOC 2023). Notably, our result separates 4-cycle listing from the closely related triangle listing for which higher conditional lower bounds exist, and rule out such a "detection plus t" bound. We also show by simple arguments that our bound cannot be extended to mild generalizations of the problem such as reporting all pairs of nodes that participate in a 4-cycle.
[Independent work: Jin and Xu [Ce Jin and Yinzhan Xu, 2023] also present an algorithm with the same time bound.]

Amir Abboud, Seri Khoury, Oree Leibowitz, and Ron Safier. Listing 4-Cycles. In 43rd IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 284, pp. 25:1-25:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{abboud_et_al:LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2023.25, author = {Abboud, Amir and Khoury, Seri and Leibowitz, Oree and Safier, Ron}, title = {{Listing 4-Cycles}}, booktitle = {43rd IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2023)}, pages = {25:1--25:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-304-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {284}, editor = {Bouyer, Patricia and Srinivasan, Srikanth}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2023.25}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-193985}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2023.25}, annote = {Keywords: Graph algorithms, cycles listing, subgraph detection, fine-grained complexity} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 274, 31st Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2023)

We study the fundamental problem of finding the best string to represent a given set, in the form of the Closest String problem: Given a set X ⊆ Σ^d of n strings, find the string x^* minimizing the radius of the smallest Hamming ball around x^* that encloses all the strings in X. In this paper, we investigate whether the Closest String problem admits algorithms that are faster than the trivial exhaustive search algorithm. We obtain the following results for the two natural versions of the problem:
- In the continuous Closest String problem, the goal is to find the solution string x^* anywhere in Σ^d. For binary strings, the exhaustive search algorithm runs in time O(2^d poly(nd)) and we prove that it cannot be improved to time O(2^{(1-ε) d} poly(nd)), for any ε > 0, unless the Strong Exponential Time Hypothesis fails.
- In the discrete Closest String problem, x^* is required to be in the input set X. While this problem is clearly in polynomial time, its fine-grained complexity has been pinpointed to be quadratic time n^{2 ± o(1)} whenever the dimension is ω(log n) < d < n^o(1). We complement this known hardness result with new algorithms, proving essentially that whenever d falls out of this hard range, the discrete Closest String problem can be solved faster than exhaustive search. In the small-d regime, our algorithm is based on a novel application of the inclusion-exclusion principle. Interestingly, all of our results apply (and some are even stronger) to the natural dual of the Closest String problem, called the Remotest String problem, where the task is to find a string maximizing the Hamming distance to all the strings in X.

Amir Abboud, Nick Fischer, Elazar Goldenberg, Karthik C. S., and Ron Safier. Can You Solve Closest String Faster Than Exhaustive Search?. In 31st Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 274, pp. 3:1-3:17, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{abboud_et_al:LIPIcs.ESA.2023.3, author = {Abboud, Amir and Fischer, Nick and Goldenberg, Elazar and Karthik C. S. and Safier, Ron}, title = {{Can You Solve Closest String Faster Than Exhaustive Search?}}, booktitle = {31st Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2023)}, pages = {3:1--3:17}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-295-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {274}, editor = {G{\o}rtz, Inge Li and Farach-Colton, Martin and Puglisi, Simon J. 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.2023.3}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-186566}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ESA.2023.3}, annote = {Keywords: Closest string, fine-grained complexity, SETH, inclusion-exclusion} }

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