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Constant-degree graph expansions that preserve treewidth

By Igor Markov and Yaoyun Shi


Many hard algorithmic problems dealing with graphs, circuits, formulas and constraints admit polynomialtime upper bounds if the underlying graph has small treewidth. The same problems often encourage reducing the maximal degree of vertices to simplify theoretical arguments or address practical concerns. Such degree reduction can be performed through a sequence of splittings of vertices, resulting in an expansion of the original graph. We observe that the treewidth of a graph may increase dramatically if the splittings are not performed carefully. In this context we address the following natural question: is it possible to reduce the maximum degree to a constant without substantially increasing the treewidth? Our work answers the above question affirmatively. We prove that any simple undirected graph G = (V,E) admits an expansion G ′ = (V ′,E ′ ) with the maximum degree ≤ 3 and treewidth(G ′ ) ≤ treewidth(G)+ 1. Furthermore, such an expansion will have no more than 2|E | + |V | vertices and 3|E | edges; it can be computed efficiently from a tree-decomposition of G. We also construct a family of examples for which the increase by 1 in treewidth cannot be avoided

Topics: Treewidth, graph expansion, constant degree, ternary graph, algorithms
Year: 2009
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