Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher.
Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?
Some links on this page may take you to nonfederal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

Free, publiclyaccessible full text available June 10, 2025

Free, publiclyaccessible full text available January 7, 2025

The maximum bipartite matching problem is among the most fundamental and wellstudied problems in combinatorial optimization. A beautiful and celebrated combinatorial algorithm of Hopcroft and Karp [26] shows that maximum bipartite matching can be solved in O(m√n) time on a graph with n vertices and m edges. For the case of very dense graphs, a different approach based on fast matrix multiplication was subsequently developed [27, 39], that achieves a running time of O(n2.371). For the next several decades, these results represented the fastest known algorithms for the problem until in 2013, a groundbreaking work of Madry [36] gave a significantly faster algorithm for sparse graphs. Subsequently, a sequence of works developed increasingly faster algorithms for solving maximum bipartite matching, and more generally directed maximum flow, culminating in a spectacular recent breakthrough [9] that gives an m1+o(1) time algorithm for maximum bipartite matching (and more generally, for min cost flows). These more recent developments collectively represented a departure from earlier combinatorial approaches: they all utilized continuous techniques based on interiorpoint methods for solving linear programs. This raises a natural question: are continuous techniques essential to obtaining fast algorithms for the bipartite matching problem? Our work makes progress on this question by presenting a new, purely combinatorial algorithm for bipartite matching, that, on moderately dense graphs outperforms both Hopcroft Karp and the fast matrix multiplication based algorithms. Similar to the classical algorithms for bipartite matching, our approach is based on iteratively augmenting a current matching using augmenting paths in the (directed) residual flow network. A common method for designing fast algorithms for directed flow problems is via the multiplicative weights update (MWU) framework, that effectively reduces the flow problem to decremental singlesource shortest paths (SSSP) in directed graphs. Our main observation is that a slight modification of this reduction results in a special case of SSSP that appears significantly easier than general decremental directed SSSP. Our main technical contribution is an efficient algorithm for this special case of SSSP, that outperforms the current state of the art algorithms for general decremental SSSP with adaptive adversary, leading to a deterministic algorithm for bipartite matching, whose running time is Õ(m1/3n5/3). This new algorithm thus starts to outperform the HopcroftKarp algorithm in graphs with m = ω(n7/4), and it also outperforms the fast matrix multiplication based algorithms on dense graphs. We believe that this framework for obtaining faster combinatorial algorithms for bipartite matching by exploiting the special properties of the resulting decremental SSSP instances is one of the main conceptual contributions of our work that we hope paves the way for even faster combinatorial algorithms for bipartite matching. Finally, using a standard reduction from the maximum vertexcapacitated st flow problem in directed graphs to maximum bipartite matching, we also obtain an O(m1/3n5/3) time deterministic algorithm for maximum vertexcapacitated st flow when all vertex capacities are identical.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available January 1, 2025

Free, publiclyaccessible full text available January 7, 2025

Bringmann, Karl ; Grohe, Martin ; Puppis, Gabriele ; Svensson, Ola (Ed.)Recently, a number of variants of the notion of cutpreserving hypergraph sparsification have been studied in the literature. These variants include directed hypergraph sparsification, submodular hypergraph sparsification, general notions of approximation including spectral approximations, and more general notions like sketching that can answer cut queries using more general data structures than just sparsifiers. In this work, we provide reductions between these different variants of hypergraph sparsification and establish new upper and lower bounds on the space complexity of preserving their cuts. Specifically, we show that: 1) (1 ± ε) directed hypergraph spectral (respectively cut) sparsification on n vertices efficiently reduces to (1 ± ε) undirected hypergraph spectral (respectively cut) sparsification on n² + 1 vertices. Using the work of Lee and Jambulapati, Liu, and Sidford (STOC 2023) this gives us directed hypergraph spectral sparsifiers with O(n² log²(n) / ε²) hyperedges and directed hypergraph cut sparsifiers with O(n² log(n)/ ε²) hyperedges by using the work of Chen, Khanna, and Nagda (FOCS 2020), both of which improve upon the work of Oko, Sakaue, and Tanigawa (ICALP 2023). 2) Any cut sketching scheme which preserves all cuts in any directed hypergraph on n vertices to a (1 ± ε) factor (for ε = 1/(2^{O(√{log(n)})})) must have worstcase bit complexity n^{3  o(1)}. Because directed hypergraphs are a subclass of submodular hypergraphs, this also shows a worstcase sketching lower bound of n^{3  o(1)} bits for sketching cuts in general submodular hypergraphs. 3) (1 ± ε) monotone submodular hypergraph cut sparsification on n vertices efficiently reduces to (1 ± ε) symmetric submodular hypergraph sparsification on n+1 vertices. Using the work of Jambulapati et. al. (FOCS 2023) this gives us monotone submodular hypergraph sparsifiers with Õ(n / ε²) hyperedges, improving on the O(n³ / ε²) hyperedge bound of Kenneth and Krauthgamer (arxiv 2023). At a high level, our results use the same general principle, namely, by showing that cuts in one class of hypergraphs can be simulated by cuts in a simpler class of hypergraphs, we can leverage sparsification results for the simpler class of hypergraphs.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available January 1, 2025

Free, publiclyaccessible full text available January 7, 2025