, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 3-14
Date: 09 Sep 2005

Matching Algorithms Are Fast in Sparse Random Graphs

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Abstract

We present an improved average case analysis of the maximum cardinality matching problem. We show that in a bipartite or general random graph on n vertices, with high probability every non-maximum matching has an augmenting path of length O(log n). This implies that augmenting path algorithms like the Hopcroft-Karp algorithm for bipartite graphs and the Micali-Vazirani algorithm for general graphs, which have a worst case running time of O(m√n), run in time O(m log n) with high probability, where m is the number of edges in the graph. Motwani proved these results for random graphs when the average degree is at least ln (n) [Average Case Analysis of Algorithms for Matchings and Related Problems, Journal of the ACM, 41(6):1329-1356, 1994]. Our results hold if only the average degree is a large enough constant. At the same time we simplify the analysis of Motwani.