Consider a problem $X$ can be reduced to 3-partition problem. So, when 3-partition has a solution then $X$ has a solution. But if 3-partition does not have a solution, they $X$ may or may not have a solution. In this case, is it legal to say that the problem $X$ is np-complete?


1 Answer 1


No, that doesn't prove NP-completeness.

  1. The thing you describe isn't a reduction. It must be that the instance of $X$ has a solution if, and only if, the instance of 3-partition has a solution.

  2. Reducing $X$ to 3-partition just proves that $X$ is in NP. To prove completeness, you need to reduce an NP-complete problem to $X$.

I suggest that you revise the basic concepts from your class notes, textbook or online resources.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Just to add something to the previous answer (i can't comment yet :)) the reduction you are searching must be a polynomial time function (you can find some time expensive reductions from an Np-Complete problem to your problem X, however those are not making the NP-Complete problem any simpler!) $\endgroup$
    – doze
    Aug 5, 2016 at 19:58

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