Given a graph $G = (V,E)$ and an integer $k$, the 1-BDD problem asks if there exists a subset $D$ of at most $k$ vertices such that the degree of any vertex in $G[V \setminus D]$ is at most one.

Is there any FPT algorithm for the above problem running in time $O^*(2^k)$?

  • $\begingroup$ An earlier version explicitly contained the conjectured running time. Why did you delete it? $\endgroup$ Apr 8 at 7:34
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, thought it would have been more general. $\endgroup$ Apr 10 at 14:52

Let $v$ be an arbitrary vertex in your graph, of degree $d$. In any solution $D$, either $v \in D$, or at least $d-1$ of its neighbors are in $D$. In this case, we have one branch with parameter $k-1$, and $d$ branches with parameter $k-(d-1)$ (which is progress as long as $d \geq 2$).

If $d = 1$, then we can say more. Let $u$ be the unique neighbor of $v$. If $D$ is any feasible solution, then so is $D \setminus \{v\} \cup \{u\}$. In other words, we can assume without loss of generality that any solution does not contain $v$. Any such solution either contains $u$ or all neighbors of $u$ apart from $v$. If $u$ also has degree $1$ then there is clearly a solution not containing either $u$ or $v$, so we can assume that in this case $u$ has degree at least $2$. In this case, we have one branch with parameter $k-1$, and one branch with parameter $k-(d-1)$.

Denoting by $T(k)$ the worst-case size of the search tree when the parameter in $k$, our ideas so far show that $$ T(k) = T(k-1) + \max_{d \geq 2} (dT(k-(d-1)). $$ Unfortunately, if we choose $d = 2$ then we get $T(k) \geq 3T(k-1)$, whose solution is $T(k) = \Omega(3^k)$.

We can improve on this algorithm by noting that if all vertices have degree $2$ then the problem is easy to solve, since the graph is a union of disjoint cycles, and a cycle of length $\ell$ requires spending $\lceil \ell/2 \rceil$ vertices of $D$. Hence either $v$ has degree at least $3$, or $v$ has degree $1$ (and $u$ has degree at least $2$). This leads to the improved recurrence $$ T(k) = T(k-1) + \max(T(k-1),\max_{d \geq 3} dT(k-(d-1))). $$ Unfortunately, if we choose $d = 3$ then we get $T(k) \geq T(k-1) + 3T(k-2)$, whose solution is $T(k) = \Omega(\bigl(\frac{\sqrt{13}+1}{2}\bigr)^k)$, with a base of roughly $2.3$.

We can improve on this as follows. We can assume that the minimum degree is $2$. Let $v$ be a vertex of degree $d \geq 3$. Any solution either contains $v$, or all of its neighbors, or it contains all but a single neighbor $w$, and all the remaining neighbors of $w$. This leads to one branch with parameter $k-1$, one branch with parameter $k-d$, and $d$ branches with parameters at most $k-d$. Thus $$ T(k) = T(k-1) + \max(\max_{d \geq 1} T(k-d), \max_{d \geq 3}(T(k-d) + \max_{e_1,\ldots,e_d \geq 2} T(k-(d-1)+(e_1-1)) + \cdots + T(k-(d-1)+(e_d-1)))). $$ Using monotonicity, this reduces to $$ T(k) = T(k-1) + \max(T(k-1), \max_{d \geq 3} (d+1)T(k-d)). $$ Using base case of $T(0) = 1$, we can prove by induction that $T(k) = 2^k$. The lower bound is clear. For the upper bound, we need to prove that $(d+1) 2^{k-d} \leq 2^{k-1}$ for all $d \geq 3$, which reduces to $d+1 \leq 2^{d-1}$, an inequality which can be checked directly.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much!!! $\endgroup$ Apr 6 at 8:43
  • $\begingroup$ Yuval, In the last improvement, the following statement: $$ T(k) = T(k-1) + \max(\max_{d \geq 1} T(k-d), \max_{d \geq 3}(T(k-d) + \max_{e_1,\ldots,e_d \geq 2} T(k-(d-1)+(e_1-1)) + \cdots + T(k-(d-1)+(e_d-1)))). $$ Does not hold when $$ N(u) \subseteq N(v) $$ because $$ T(k−(d−1)+(e_1−1)) = T(k-(d-1)) $$. What can be done In this case? $\endgroup$
    – John19
    May 7 at 5:51
  • $\begingroup$ That’s an excellent question for you. $\endgroup$ May 7 at 6:44
  • $\begingroup$ The truth is I have been trying to solve it for a long time without success. If you can help me please I would be very happy. By the way, there is no more elegant way to solve It In this running time? $\endgroup$
    – John19
    May 7 at 12:06
  • $\begingroup$ That's what I could find. You're welcome to search for the original paper proving this bound and to take a peek. $\endgroup$ May 7 at 13:47

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