On the minimum caterpillar problem in digraphs

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Suppose that each arc in a digraph D = (V, A) has two costs of non-negative integers, called a spine cost and a leaf cost. A caterpillar is a directed tree consisting of a single directed path (of spine arcs) and leaf vertices each of which is incident to the directed path by exactly one incoming arc (leaf arc). For a given terminal set K ⊆ V, we study the problem of finding a caterpillar in D such that it contains all terminals in K and its total cost is minimized, where the cost of each arc in the caterpillar depends on whether it is used as a spine arc or a leaf arc. In this paper, we first study the complexity status of the problem with respect to the number of terminals: the problem is solvable in polynomial time for any digraph with two terminals, while it is NP-hard for three terminals. We then give a linear-time algorithm to solve the problem for digraphs with bounded treewidth, where the treewidth for a digraph D is defined as the one for the underlying graph of D. Our algorithm runs in linear time even if |K| = O(|V|).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputing and Combinatorics - 19th International Conference, COCOON 2013, Proceedings
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event19th International Computing and Combinatorics Conference, COCOON 2013 - Hangzhou, China
Duration: 2013 Jun 212013 Jun 21

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume7936 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference19th International Computing and Combinatorics Conference, COCOON 2013


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