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On the Complexity of Restoring Corrupted Colorings

By Marzio De Biasi and Juho Lauri


In the \probrFix problem, we are given a graph $G$, a (non-proper) vertex-coloring $c : V(G) \to [r]$, and a positive integer $k$. The goal is to decide whether a proper $r$-coloring $c'$ is obtainable from $c$ by recoloring at most $k$ vertices of $G$. Recently, Junosza-Szaniawski, Liedloff, and Rz{\k{a}}{\.z}ewski [SOFSEM 2015] asked whether the problem has a polynomial kernel parameterized by the number of recolorings $k$. In a full version of the manuscript, the authors together with Garnero and Montealegre, answered the question in the negative: for every $r \geq 3$, the problem \probrFix does not admit a polynomial kernel unless $\NP \subseteq \coNP / \poly$. Independently of their work, we give an alternative proof of the theorem. Furthermore, we study the complexity of \probrFixSwap, where the only difference from \probrFix is that instead of $k$ recolorings we have a budget of $k$ color swaps. We show that for every $r \geq 3$, the problem \probrFixSwap is $\W[1]$-hard whereas \probrFix is known to be FPT. Moreover, when $r$ is part of the input, we observe both \probFix and \probFixSwap are $\W[1]$-hard parameterized by treewidth. We also study promise variants of the problems, where we are guaranteed that a proper $r$-coloring $c'$ is indeed obtainable from $c$ by some finite number of swaps. For instance, we prove that for $r=3$, the problems \probrFixPromise and \probrFixSwapPromise are $\NP$-hard for planar graphs. As a consequence of our reduction, the problems cannot be solved in $2^{o(\sqrt{n})}$ time unless the Exponential Time Hypothesis (ETH) fails.Comment: 14 pages, 3 figure

Topics: Computer Science - Computational Complexity
Year: 2017
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