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Title: Minimum Cuts in Directed Graphs via Partial Sparsification
We give an algorithm to find a minimum cut in an edge-weighted directed graph with n vertices and m edges in O ̃(n · max{m^{2/3}, n}) time. This improves on the 30 year old bound of O ̃(nm) obtained by Hao and Orlin for this problem. Using similar techniques, we also obtain O ̃ (n^2 /ε^2 )-time (1+ε)-approximation algorithms for both the minimum edge and minimum vertex cuts in directed graphs, for any fixed ε. Before our work, no (1+ε)-approximation algorithm better than the exact runtime of O ̃(nm) is known for either problem. Our algorithms follow a two-step template. In the first step, we employ a partial sparsification of the input graph to preserve a critical subset of cut values approximately. In the second step, we design algorithms to find the (edge/vertex) mincut among the preserved cuts from the first step. For edge mincut, we give a new reduction to O ̃ (min{n/m^{1/3} , √n}) calls of any maxflow subroutine, via packing arborescences in the sparsifier. For vertex mincut, we develop new local flow algorithms to identify small unbalanced cuts in the sparsified graph.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
62nd IEEE Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS 2021, Denver, CO, USA, February 7-10, 2022
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1147 to 1158
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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