Given a directed graph G and a pair of nodes s and t, an s-t bridge of G is an edge whose removal breaks all s-t paths of G (and thus appears in all s-t paths). Computing all s-t bridges of G is a basic graph problem, solvable in linear time. In this paper, we consider a natural generalisation of this problem, with the notion of "safety" from bioinformatics. We say that a walk W is safe with respect to a set W of s-t walks, if W is a subwalk of all walks in W. We start by considering the maximal safe walks when W consists of: all s-t paths, all s-t trails, or all s-t walks of G. We show that the solutions for the first two problems immediately follow from finding all s-t bridges after incorporating simple characterisations. However, solving the third problem requires non-trivial techniques for incorporating its characterisation. In particular, we show that there exists a compact representation computable in linear time, that allows outputting all maximal safe walks in time linear in their length. Our solutions also directly extend to multigraphs, except for the second problem, which requires a more involved approach. We further generalise these problems, by assuming that safety is defined only with respect to a subset of visible edges. Here we prove a dichotomy between the s-t paths and s-t trails cases, and the s-t walks case: the former two are NP-hard, while the latter is solvable with the same complexity as when all edges are visible. We also show that the same complexity results hold for the analogous generalisations of s-t articulation points (nodes appearing in all s-t paths). We thus obtain the best possible results for natural "safety"-generalisations of these two fundamental graph problems. Moreover, our algorithms are simple and do not employ any complex data structures, making them ideal for use in practice.

Safety in s-t Paths, Trails and Walks

Romeo Rizzi;
2021

Abstract

Given a directed graph G and a pair of nodes s and t, an s-t bridge of G is an edge whose removal breaks all s-t paths of G (and thus appears in all s-t paths). Computing all s-t bridges of G is a basic graph problem, solvable in linear time. In this paper, we consider a natural generalisation of this problem, with the notion of "safety" from bioinformatics. We say that a walk W is safe with respect to a set W of s-t walks, if W is a subwalk of all walks in W. We start by considering the maximal safe walks when W consists of: all s-t paths, all s-t trails, or all s-t walks of G. We show that the solutions for the first two problems immediately follow from finding all s-t bridges after incorporating simple characterisations. However, solving the third problem requires non-trivial techniques for incorporating its characterisation. In particular, we show that there exists a compact representation computable in linear time, that allows outputting all maximal safe walks in time linear in their length. Our solutions also directly extend to multigraphs, except for the second problem, which requires a more involved approach. We further generalise these problems, by assuming that safety is defined only with respect to a subset of visible edges. Here we prove a dichotomy between the s-t paths and s-t trails cases, and the s-t walks case: the former two are NP-hard, while the latter is solvable with the same complexity as when all edges are visible. We also show that the same complexity results hold for the analogous generalisations of s-t articulation points (nodes appearing in all s-t paths). We thus obtain the best possible results for natural "safety"-generalisations of these two fundamental graph problems. Moreover, our algorithms are simple and do not employ any complex data structures, making them ideal for use in practice.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1057337
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