, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 203–225 | Cite as

Short Cycles Make W-hard Problems Hard: FPT Algorithms for W-hard Problems in Graphs with no Short Cycles



We show that several problems that are hard for various parameterized complexity classes on general graphs, become fixed parameter tractable on graphs with no small cycles.

More specifically, we give fixed parameter tractable algorithms for Dominating Set, t-Vertex Cover (where we need to cover at least t edges) and several of their variants on graphs with girth at least five. These problems are known to be W[i]-hard for some i≥1 in general graphs. We also show that the Dominating Set problem is W[2]-hard for bipartite graphs and hence for triangle free graphs.

In the case of Independent Set and several of its variants, we show these problems to be fixed parameter tractable even in triangle free graphs. In contrast, we show that the Dense Subgraph problem where one is interested in finding an induced subgraph on k vertices having at least l edges, parameterized by k, is W[1]-hard even on graphs with girth at least six.

Finally, we give an O(log p) ratio approximation algorithm for the Dominating Set problem for graphs with girth at least 5, where p is the size of an optimum dominating set of the graph. This improves the previous O(log n) factor approximation algorithm for the problem, where n is the number of vertices of the input graph.


Dominating set Independent set Set cover t-vertex cover Parameterized complexity 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Institute of Mathematical SciencesChennaiIndia

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