The class $FPT$ (fixed-parameter tractable) is defined here. However, there is only one "parameter" that is studied from the given problem/language.

Is there an equivalently defined class that can take $O(1)$ parameters? It may be useful for defining this for problems that are not driven by a single parameter. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any material on extra parameters, including in the book Parameterized Complexity Theory.


1 Answer 1


Yes, it's exactly the same class. You can take any constant size list of parameters and combine them just using addition. This is particularly obvious in Flum and Grohe's formulation of $FPT$ where problems are equipped with a parameterization $\kappa : x \rightarrow \mathbb{N}$.

So for example, you can take a problem with two parameters $k$ and $r$, and produce a combined parameter $k+r$ (or indeed using any moderately sane function), as if the running time is bounded by some function $f(k,r)$ (we can ignore the $|x|^{O*(1)}$ part for the moment)), then it is bounded by the function $f(g(k+r),h(k+r)) = f'(k+r)$, where $g$ and $h$ do whatever is necessary to turn $k+r$ into a sufficiently usable form (in most cases, this is nothing).

Note that this produces the intuition you expect. If $(\Pi,\kappa) \in FPT$, then it is still in $FPT$ when you add a new parameter, however it is not necessarily true that if $(\Pi,\kappa_{1} + \kappa_{2}) \in FPT$ then either $(\Pi,\kappa_{1}) \in FPT$ or $(\Pi,\kappa_{2}) \in FPT$.

As an example, deleting $k$ vertices to obtain an $r$-regular graph is $W[1]$-hard with parameter $k$, $paraNP$-complete with parameter $r$ but in $FPT$ with parameter $k+r$.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. I saw their $FPT$ definition (with $\kappa$ as a function instead of an integer) after I posted, and was originally thinking of it as an integer. $\endgroup$ Jun 8, 2015 at 2:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Ryan in a sense, the point of using a function is that you can just think of it as an integer. If you go back and look at the original definition, you could use anything as a parameter, and the "turning it into a number" part was handled in the running time, whereas Flum and Grohe formalised it into the definition. (Imagine parameterizing by a graph. It makes perfect sense after a while, but it's not the most natural way to start) $\endgroup$ Jun 8, 2015 at 2:58

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