We study a point pattern detection problem on networks, motivated by applications in geographical analysis, such as crime hotspot detection. Given a network N (a connected graph with non-negative edge lengths) together with a set of sites, which lie on the edges or vertices of N, we look for a connected subnetwork F of N of small total length that contains many sites. The edges of F can form parts of the edges of N. We consider different variants of this problem where N is either a general graph or restricted to a tree, and the subnetwork F that we are looking for is either a simple path, a path with self-intersections at vertices, or a tree. We give polynomial-time algorithms, NPhardness and NP-completeness proofs, approximation algorithms, and also fixed-parameter tractable algorithms.
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