Input: An undirected, unweighted graph $G=(V,E)$.

A cut is defined as a partition $V=A\dot\cup B$.

A bisection is defined as a partition $V=A\dot\cup B$ with $|A|=|B|$ if $|V|$ is even (or $|A|= |B|+1$ if $|V|$ is odd).

We define the value of a cut/bisection $V=A\dot\cup B$ as $E[A,B]$, i.e. as the number of edges between the partitions.


Is it NP-hard to solve the following problem:
Given an integer $k$, do there exist both a Cut and a Bisection of value $k$?

The problem is in NP, because given a cut and a bisection, we can efficiently check whether both have value $k$.

I'm also wondering whether there are somewhat general techniques that help one decide the NP-hardness of a problem which is more or less two NP-hard problems slapped together by an equality.


NP-completeness of Max-Cut: DOI:10.1016/0304-3975(76)90059-1

NP-completeness of Vertex Bisection: DOI=

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Jun 30 '21 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ The title of your question does not match the problem listed in the body of your question. I encourage you to edit the question to improve the title. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Jun 30 '21 at 21:22

Your problem is equivalent to the following:

Given an integer $k$, does there exist a bisection of value $k$?

In particular, every bisection is a cut, so if there exists a bisection of value $k$, then there also exists a cut of value $k$; if there does not exist a bisection of value $k$, then there does not exist both a cut and a bisection of value $k$.

This revised problem is NP-complete -- it follows from the NP-hardness of the maximum bisection problem. So, your problem is NP-complete, too (since it is the same problem).


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