Questions tagged [polynomial-time]

Use for algorithms, algorithm-analysis and complexity-theory questions that aim for polynomial running time resp. time complexity. Such questions often are are reference-requests or about runtime-analysis or time-complexity.

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41
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3answers
74k views

What exactly is polynomial time? [duplicate]

I'm trying to understand algorithm complexity, and a lot of algorithms are classified as polynomial. I couldn't find an exact definition anywhere. I assume it is the complexity that is not exponential....
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4answers
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Why is linear programming in P but integer programming NP-hard?

Linear programming (LP) is in P and integer programming (IP) is NP-hard. But since computers can only manipulate numbers with finite precision, in practice a computer is using integers for linear ...
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3answers
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Why not to take the unary representation of numbers in numeric algorithms?

A pseudo-polynomial time algorithm is an algorithm that has polynomial running time on input value (magnitude) but exponential running time on input size(number of bits). For example testing whether ...
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2answers
28k views

Finding shortest and longest paths between two vertices in a DAG

Given an unweighted DAG (directed acyclic graph) $D = (V,A)$ and two vertices $s$ and $t$, is it possible to find the shortest and longest path from $s$ to $t$ in polynomial time? Path lengths are ...
14
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1answer
1k views

If $n^{\log n}$ is not polynomial or exponential, then what this function is called?

I just found this sentence on page 6 of Garey and Johnson's "Computers and Intractability". Any algorithm whose time complexity function cannot be so bounded is called an exponential time algorithm ...
14
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2answers
377 views

Problems that feel exponential but are P

I'm trying to build a list of algorithms/problems that are "exceptionally useful", as in, solving problems that 'seem' very exponential in nature, but have some particularly clever algorithm that ...
13
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3answers
2k views

Problems conjectured but not proven to be easy

We have many problems, like factorization, that are strongly conjectured, but not proven, to be outside P. Are there any questions with the opposite property, namely, that they are strongly ...
13
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1answer
2k views

Is determining if there is a prime in an interval known to be in P or NP-complete?

I saw from this post on stackoverflow that there are some relatively fast algorithms for sieving an interval of numbers to see if there is a prime in that interval. However, does this mean that the ...
12
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1answer
14k views

What does the 2 in a 2-approximation algorithm mean?

Does the 2 in a 2-approximation algorithm mean the solution is within 2*OPT or OPT/2?
12
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1answer
2k views

Does linear programming admit a strongly polynomial-time algorithm?

The linear programming problem: find a strongly-polynomial time algorithm which for given matrix A ∈ Rm×n and b ∈ Rm decides whether there exists x ∈ Rn with Ax ≥ b. I know that Steve Smale's lists ...
9
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2answers
989 views

Why do we say that polynomial time is easy? [duplicate]

For years, I've been told (and I've been advocating) that problems which could be solved in polynomial time are "easy". But now I realize that I don't know the exact reason why this is so. ...
9
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0answers
306 views

P vs NP and the Time Hierarchy

Assuming $P\neq NP$, is it possible that there exists a $k$ such that $P\subseteq\textsf{NTIME}(t^k)$? There reason I ask this is that I assume the following: $$P=NP \implies \forall k\ \exists j.\ \...
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1k views

Any problem solved by a finite automaton is in P

After my Theory of Computation class today this question popped in my mind: If a problem can be solved by a finite automaton, this problem belongs to P. I think its true, since automata recognize ...
8
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3answers
502 views

Why are most (or all?) polynomial time algorithms practical?

I read an interesting comment in a paper recently about how weirdly useful maths turns out to be. It mentions how polynomial time doesn't have to mean efficient in reality (e.g., $O(n^{...
8
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1answer
533 views

Is a "local" version of 3-SAT NP-hard?

Below is my simplification of part of a larger research project on spatial Bayesian networks: Say a variable is "$k$-local" in a string $C \in 3\text{-CNF}$ if there are fewer than $k$ clauses ...
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3answers
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Why do most scientists believe that P≠NP?

I read that most scientists don't believe that P=NP. It might be subjective but can you simplify why not? I'm not informed enough to have an opinion but I'd like to know the definitions and some "...
8
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3answers
483 views

Isn't polynomial identity testing over arithmetic *expressions* trivial?

Polynomial identity testing is the standard example of a problem known to be in co-RP but not known to be in P. Over arithmetic circuits, it does indeed seem hard, since the degree of the polynomial ...
7
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3answers
446 views

When did polynomial-time algorithm become of interest?

I would like to understand why and when polynomial algorithms became of interest. When did people realize the role and importance of efficient versus non-efficient algorithms? Did that happen when ...
7
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4answers
571 views

Problems that are NP but polynomial on graphs of bounded treewidth

I heard here that the Hamiltonian cycle problem is polynomial on graphs of bounded treewidth. I am interested in examples/references to different problems which is essentially hard but having ...
7
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2answers
992 views

Is SAT in P if there are exponentially many clauses in the number of variables?

I define a long CNF to contain at least $2^\frac{n}{2}$ clauses, where $n$ is the number of its variables. Let $\text{Long-SAT}=\{\phi: \phi$ is a satisfiable long CNF formula$\}$. I'd like to know ...
7
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3answers
8k views

NP-completeness: Reduce to or reduce from?

Very simple question, but a mistake I make often enough that I'd love to have a standard reference. I'm showing that a problem $P$ is NP-Hard by assuming I have a polynomial time algorithm to solve $...
7
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1answer
3k views

Does two languages being in P imply reduction to each other?

Given two languages $L_1$ and $L_2$ that are in $\mathsf{P}$, can it be proven that there is a polynomial time reduction from $L_1$ to $L_2$ and vice versa? If so, how? I noticed that if $L_1$ is the ...
7
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2answers
151 views

Common method for solving satisfiability problems which lie in P

I know from Schaefer's Dichotomy Theorem that only a few types of satisfiability problems are in P and any other problem is NP-complete. However, all of the algorithms I know for them use specific ...
7
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1answer
271 views

Find small superset of at least k of n given sets

Say we're given $n$ sets and the size of their union is $m$. We would like to construct a small set which contains at least $k$ of the $n$ given sets. Lets assume that $m$ is less than some ...
7
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1answer
914 views

Algorithms that run in polynomial time if P=NP

On Wikipedia, it says that that there are some algorithms that would run in polynomial time if and only if P=NP. They gave one example (without citation), but are there any others? I tried looking ...
7
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3answers
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What is the utility of proving P=NP if we can't find an algorithm that can solve any NP problem in polynomial time?

Here we see a very interesting attempt to show that $\mathrm{P} \ne \mathrm{NP}$ by Norbert Blum. Here we see 116 previous attempts at solving P vs. NP. Here we see the P vs NP problem defined as: ...
7
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1answer
260 views

sequence of problems that take $\Theta(n^k)$ for increasing $k$?

Do we know an infinite sequence of decision problems where the most efficient algorithm for each problem takes $\Theta(n^k)$ time, where $k$ increases unboundedly? Suppose for example that we would ...
6
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4answers
39k views

How to check whether a graph is connected in polynomial time?

I have to solve the following problem: Consider the problem Connected: Input: An unweighted, undirected graph $G$. Output: True if and only if $G$ is connected. Show that Connected ...
6
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2answers
334 views

Does P=NP imply polynomial solutions to #P?

Is it true that $\#P$-complete problems could possibly be solved in polynomial time if P=NP? I know that even some counting problems related to polynomial time decision problems are $\#P$-complete, so ...
6
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1answer
2k views

What is the decidable language in $P/poly$ but not in $P$?

Except for the undecidable unaries I have no idea if there is anything in the gap between $P/poly$ and $P$
6
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1answer
735 views

Complexity of Linear Diophantine equations

My question is simply, can linear Diophantine equations be solved in polynomial time? Specifically, I am looking at equations of the form $a_1 x_1+a_2 x_2 + ... + a_n x_n = k$, where $a_i,x_i,k$ are ...
6
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1answer
2k views

How do we know for sure that EXPTIME ≠ P?

I'm a beginner in learning about computational complexity and this has stumped me. I've read that by the time hierarchy theorem, it's known that EXP-complete problems are not in P. (Wikipedia) It ...
6
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2answers
139 views

Time complexity of art gallery-like problem

Suppose that $G = (V,E)$ is a directed graph such that each vertex in $V$ is in at least one edge in $E$. We'd like to decide whether or not $w$ watchmen can be placed on $w$ distinct vertices in $G$ ...
6
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1answer
261 views

Finding a perfect matching using an LP

I have a basic question about the power of Linear Programming that has been bothering me for some time. I believe there is something simple I am missing. Linear Programming is $\mathsf{P}$-complete, ...
6
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2answers
278 views

motivation and idea of defining non-deterministic Turing machine

This is a very basic question but I spent some time reading and find no answer. I am not computer science majored but have read some basic algorithm stuff, for example, some basic sorting algorithms ...
5
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1answer
4k views

Are all languages in P?

Are all languages in $\mathbf{P}$? Note: The definitions of all the symbols and functions here follow the document [1]. The following is my attempt to answer the question. Assume that we design a ...
5
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3answers
676 views

3SAT analogous problem in P

Is there a problem like 3 SAT like problem in P where if we find an algorithm for this problem, we can solve all problems in P? For instance if we solve this problem in P, may be we can solve prime ...
5
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4answers
2k views

How can an algorithm have exponential space complexity but polynomial time complexity?

For enumerating the minimal feedback vertex sets of a graph Schwikowski and Speckenmeyer show an algorithm "GENERATE-MFVS" in their publication "On enumerating all minimal solutions of feedback ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Propositional formula in DNF can be decided in polynomial time?

For a given propositional formula f in DNF, one can decide in polynomial time, if the formula is satisfiable: Just walk through all subformulas (l_1 and ... and l_k) and check, wheter it has NO ...
5
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1answer
578 views

Can we show that non-determinism adds no power, for some specific running time?

$NP = \cup_{k \in \mathbb{N}} NTIME(n^k)$ $P = \cup_{k \in \mathbb{N}} TIME(n^k)$ Can we show that $NTIME(n^k) = TIME(n^k)$ for a specific $k$? For how large of a $k$ can we show the above ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Why is it important to solve a problem in Polynomial time, In cryptography?

I have just started to learn Cryptography. I am trying to learn "Merkle-Hellman Knapsack Cryptosystem". So, right at the beginning of the discussion, a question came in my mind: Why is it important ...
5
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2answers
59 views

Given $k$ points in $n$-dimensions, such that $n\geq3$, is there a polytime algorithm for finding a curve that splits them into 2 sets of points?

So in this math exchange question I asked, it was proven that for $n>2$ dimensions, you can always find a curve that separates $k$ points in $n$-dimensional space into $2$ arbitrary sets that you ...
5
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1answer
613 views

Polynomial time algorithm for finding two or more vertex-disjoint cycles

The cycle detection problem for a directed graph has well-known polynomial time solutions, graph traversal algorithms such as Dijkstra algorithm can be used to find whether or not a cycle exists in a ...
5
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1answer
187 views

Proving that a language is not in P using diagonalization

Pardon me if i'm missing something which is very obvious here but i cant seem to figure it out. $E=\{ \langle M, w \rangle \mid \text{ Turing Machine encoded by $M$ accepts input $w$ after at most $ ...
5
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1answer
702 views

Linear programming restricted to rational coefficients

I'm reading the appendix A of Williamson's "the design of approximation algorithms" about linear programming. In the definition of a linear programming it restricted the coefficients of cost function ...
5
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2answers
218 views

Implicit complexity and interpretation of total languages

In implicit complexity theory we construct languages that characterize what can be computed in various complexity classes. One major result is Bellantoni and Cook where they show that $FP$ can be ...
5
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1answer
513 views

Understanding the Sipser-Gacs-Lautemann theorem

The class $BPP$ contains all the languages decided by a probabilistic Turing machine in polynomial time with probability of success more that 2/3 for every input. The class $\Sigma^p_2$ contains all ...
5
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1answer
312 views

Algorithm for a special case of SAT/#SAT

Does anyone know of an algorithm that can solve the following special case of SAT in polynomial time? Are there any algorithms that can solve the counting (#SAT) version of it in polynomial time? ...
5
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0answers
142 views

Is Geometric Disjoint Set Cover in P?

I have come across the following optimisation subproblem: Geometric Disjoint Set Cover. Consider a collection $C$ of (not necessarily distinct) ranges taken from a universe range $X \subset \mathbb{...
5
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0answers
147 views

A matrix rank problem over finite fields

I have already asked a similar question here, but since I have not got an acceptable answer, I decided to ask a simpler version of the question here. Let $M|\mathbf w$, where $M$ is a matrix and $\...

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