I am trying to understand this problem from Algorithms. by S. Dasgupta, C.H. Papadimitriou, and U.V. Vazirani, chapter8, Pg281. Problem 8.19

A kite is a graph on an even number of vertices, say $2n$, in which $n$ of the vertices form a clique and the remaining $n$ vertices are connected in a “tail” that consists of a path joined to one of the vertices of the clique. Given a graph $G$ and a goal $g$, the KITE problem asks for a subgraph which is a kite and which contains $2g$ nodes. Prove that KITE is NP-complete.

Any pointers to start with this problem? I am completely lost with it.


1 Answer 1


You can reduce CLIQUE ($G$ has a clique of size $k$) to KITE: given $G=(V,E)$ and $k$, just build in polynomial time a new graph $G'$ in this way: for each node $v_i$ add a tail of $k$ new nodes.

If $G'$ has a kite of size $2k$ then the $G$ has a clique of size $k$ (the kite without the tail). Added nodes cannot introduce new cliques on G′, so $G$ contains exactly the same cliques of $G'$.

  • $\begingroup$ Why delete the degree 1 nodes? If $G$ has a $k$-clique, then $G'$ has a $2k$-kite, and if $G'$ has a $2k$-kite, then $G$ has a $k$-clique (with the incidental case that if $G$ has a kite so does $G'$). Unless we're asking for an induced subgraph, it's possible that $G$ after deleting the degree 1 vertices still has a $2k$-kite anyway. $\endgroup$ Sep 12, 2012 at 10:05
  • $\begingroup$ @LukeMathieson: you are right, it is not an induced subgraph. I changed the answer $\endgroup$
    – Vor
    Sep 12, 2012 at 10:41
  • $\begingroup$ Is it necessary to add $v_i$ tails of length k to G'? Wouldn't 1 tail of length k be sufficient? I assume $v_i$ means each vertex in the graph. $\endgroup$ Apr 5, 2019 at 13:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DanGoodrick You don't know which vertices from G constitute the clique of size $k$, so, for this particular problem formulation, you must attach a tail to every vertex in $V$ to ensure that no matter which vertices constitute the clique, the tail is attached. $\endgroup$
    – Josh
    Apr 18, 2022 at 22:57

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