The complexity of (List) edge-coloring reconfiguration problem

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Let G be a graph such that each edge has its list of available colors, and assume that each list is a subset of the common set consisting of k colors. Suppose that we are given two list edge-colorings f0 and fr of G, and asked whether there exists a sequence of list edge-colorings of G between f0 and fr such that each list edge-coloring can be obtained from the previous one by changing a color assignment of exactly one edge. This problem is known to be PSPACE-complete for every integer κ ≥ 6 and planar graphs of maximum degree three, but any computational hardness was unknown for the non-list variant in which every edge has the same list of k colors. In this paper, we first improve the known result by proving that, for every integer κ ≥ 4, the problem remains PSPACE-complete even for planar graphs of bounded bandwidth and maximum degree three. Since the problem is known to be solvable in polynomial time if κ ≥ 3, our result gives a sharp analysis of the complexity status with respect to the number k of colors. We then give the first computational hardness result for the non-list variant: For every integer κ ≥ 5, the non-list variant is PSPACEcomplete even for planar graphs of bandwidth quadratic in k and maximum degree k.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-238
Number of pages7
JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan


  • Combinatorial reconfiguration
  • Edge-coloring
  • PSPACE-complete
  • Planar graph


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