The definition of "Single Connected" is that for every $u,v \in V$ there is at most a single simple path from $u$ to $v$, and at most a single simple path from $v$ to $u$.

The objective is to find an efficient algorithm to decide whether the graph is "single connected".

I've managed to come up with the following algorithm:

for all v in V:
      Perform DFS(v)
      for all e in E, check if:
          there is a forward edge
          there is a cross edge

if there is a forward edge/cross edge, we have found another simple path between $u$ and $v$, therefor the graph is not single connected.

This algorithm runs in $O(|V| \cdot (|V|+|E|))$ which is okay, but according to a colleague, this is solveable in linear time.

The most I've been able to think of is using tarjan's algorithm to reduce the graph to a DAG , however I am unsure on how to proceed from there.

I've also managed to find this question:

is it possible to determine using a single depth-first search, in O(V+E) time, whether a directed graph is singly connected?

yet it remains unanswered.

  • $\begingroup$ Shouldn't the condition be "exactly one path"? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 23:53
  • $\begingroup$ What is a "simple path" for you? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 4:52
  • $\begingroup$ The condition stated in the problem is “at most one simple path”. the definition of simple path is as usual: no cycles, no repeating vertices/edges. $\endgroup$
    – Aishgadol
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 9:28

1 Answer 1


Is your graph directed or undirected?

If your graph is undirected then the condition you mention is equivalent to your graph being a forest (every connected component is a tree).

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Consider a directed graph with edges $\overrightarrow{12},\overrightarrow{13},\overrightarrow{42},\overrightarrow{43}$. It is "single connected". Is the corresponding undirected graph a forest? $\endgroup$
    – John L.
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ A directed cycle is not singly connected — there are two simple paths from $1$ to itself. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 4:51
  • $\begingroup$ Apologies for not mentioning, the graph were trying to decide whether it is “single connected” is directed. $\endgroup$
    – Aishgadol
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 9:04

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