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We are given an undirected graph $ G $ and a positive parameter $ k \geq 0 $. The problem is to decide if there exists a set $ S \subseteq V(G) $ of size at most $ k $ such that $ G − S $ does not have any path on three vertices.

Is there any deterministic kernel algorithm for this problem with $ \Theta (k^2) $ vertices?

Kernelization algorithm definition: Given $ (G,k) $, output an equivalent instance $ (G’,k’) $ of the same problem in polynomial time, such that $ |G’| \leq f(k) $ and $ k’ \leq k $.

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  • $\begingroup$ Does "$G-S$ does not have any path on three vertices" mean that each connected component of $G-S$ is of size at most $2$? $\endgroup$
    – Nathaniel
    Apr 11, 2021 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ Probably, although it's not completely obvious. If it's as you say, then the problem is the same as the 1-BDD problem posted about the other day (bounded degree deletion). $\endgroup$
    – Pål GD
    Apr 12, 2021 at 7:33
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    $\begingroup$ Do you mean induced paths of length three, or any paths at all on three vertices, i.e., that every connected component has size at most two? $\endgroup$
    – Pål GD
    Jan 10, 2022 at 19:36

1 Answer 1

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Your problem can be stated as $3$-path vertex cover problem. A simple google search gives this paper. The authors design a kernel of size $5k$ for this problem.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think there was misunderstanding, I mean to $ \Theta (k^2) $ vertices. $\endgroup$
    – John19
    Apr 12, 2021 at 16:53
  • $\begingroup$ @John19 A kernel of $5k$ vertices is also a kernel of $O(k^2)$ vertices. So what is the issue here? $\endgroup$ Apr 12, 2021 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ @John19 If you want to make it $\Omega(k^2)$, you can always stop the algorithm when $\Theta(k^2)$ vertices are reached $\endgroup$ Apr 12, 2021 at 17:18

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