New Graph Algorithms via Polyhedral Techniques

In this thesis we give new algorithms for two fundamental graph problems. We develop novel ways of using linear programming formulations, even exponential-sized ones, to extract structure from problem instances and to guide algorithms in making progress. Somewhat surprisingly, similar polyhedral techniques can be harnessed in the two seemingly disparate settings. In the first part of the thesis we address a benchmark problem in combinatorial optimization: the asymmetric traveling salesman problem (ATSP). It consists in finding the shortest tour that visits all vertices of a given directed graph with weights on edges. Due to its NP-hardness, the theoretical study of algorithms for ATSP has focused on approximation algorithms: ones that are provably both efficient and give solutions competitive with the optimum. Specifically, a rho-approximation algorithm for ATSP is one that runs in polynomial time and always outputs a tour that is at most rho times longer than the shortest tour. Finding such an approximation algorithm with rho bounded (i.e., a constant factor) had been a long-standing open problem. In this thesis, we give such an algorithm. Our approximation guarantee is analyzed with respect to the standard linear programming relaxation, and thus our result also confirms the conjectured constant integrality gap of that relaxation. Our techniques build upon the constant-factor approximation algorithm for the special case of node-weighted metrics due to Svensson. In particular, we give a generic reduction to structured instances that resemble but are more general than those arising from node-weighted metrics. This reduction takes advantage of a laminar family of vertex sets that arises from the linear programming relaxation. In the second part of the thesis we address the perfect matching problem. The first polynomial-time algorithm for it, given by Edmonds in 1965, is historically associated with the introduction of the class P and our notion that ``polynomial-time'' means ``efficient''. That algorithm is sequential and deterministic. We have also known since the 1980s that the matching problem has efficient parallel algorithms if the use of randomness is allowed. Formally, it is in the class RNC, i.e., it has randomized algorithms that use polynomially many processors and run in polylogarithmic time. However, we do not know if randomness is necessary - that is, whether the matching problem is in the class NC. In this thesis we show that the matching problem is in quasi-NC. That is, we give a deterministic parallel algorithm that runs in O(log^3 n) time on n^{O(log^2 n)} processors. The result is obtained by a derandomization of the Isolation Lemma for perfect matchings, which was introduced in the classic paper by Mulmuley, Vazirani and Vazirani to obtain an RNC algorithm. Our proof extends the framework of Fenner, Gurjar and Thierauf, who proved the analogous result in the special case of bipartite graphs. Compared to that setting, several new ingredients are needed due to the significantly more complex structure of perfect matchings in general graphs. In particular, our proof heavily relies on the laminar structure of the faces of the perfect matching polytope.


Advisor(s):
Svensson, Ola Nils Anders
Year:
2019
Publisher:
Lausanne, EPFL
Keywords:
Laboratories:
THL2




 Record created 2019-06-19, last modified 2019-07-09

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