, Volume 12, Issue 1-2, pp 83-96
Date: 27 Jun 2006

Finding disjoint paths with related path costs

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We consider routing in survivable networks that provide protection against node or link failures. In these networks resilience against failures is provided by routing connections on pairs of disjoint paths called primary and backup paths. The primary path of a connection carries its traffic under normal circumstances and in the eventuality of a network failure effecting the primary path the connection traffic (all or some portion of it) is rerouted over its backup path. In an online setting as connection requests arrive a pair of disjoint primary and backup paths of least total cost (under some link cost metric) are selected to route the connections. In many situations the cost metric used for the primary path differs from the cost metric used for the backup path. Also in many realistic settings these two cost metrics are related to each other.

In this paper we study the problem of finding a pair of edge or node disjoint paths of least total cost where the cost of the primary path is the total cost of its links while the cost for the backup path is α times the sum of the cost of its links, for some given α < 1. We show that the problem is hard to approximate to within a factor \(\Omega((\frac{1}{\alpha})^{1-\epsilon})\) for any positive \(\epsilon \le 1\) . In addition we show that the problem is complete for a set of hard to approximate problems. On the positive side we show that a simple algorithm achieves an approximation ratio of \(O(\frac{1}{\alpha})\) for the problem.