Computational Optimization and Applications

, Volume 74, Issue 3, pp 895–918 | Cite as

Two new integer linear programming formulations for the vertex bisection problem

  • Norberto Castillo-García
  • Paula Hernández HernándezEmail author


The vertex bisection problem (VBP) is an NP-hard combinatorial optimization problem with important practical applications in the context of network communications. The problem consists in finding a partition of the set of vertices of a generic undirected graph into two subsets (A and B) of approximately the same cardinality in such a way that the number of vertices in A with at least one adjacent vertex in B is minimized. In this article, we propose two new integer linear programming (ILP) formulations for VBP. Our first formulation (ILPVBP) is based on the redefinition of the objective function of VBP. The redefinition consists in computing the objective value from the vertices in B rather than from the vertices in A. As far as we are aware, this is the first time that this representation is used to solve VBP. The second formulation (MILP) reformulates ILPVBP in such a way that the number of variables and constraints is reduced. In order to assess the performance of our formulations, we conducted a computational experiment and compare the results with the best ILP formulation available in the literature (ILPLIT). The experimental results clearly indicate that our formulations outperform ILPLIT in (i) average objective value, (ii) average computing time and (iii) number of optimal solutions found. We statistically validate the results of the experiment through the well-known Wilcoxon rank sum test for a confidence level of 99.9%. Additionally, we provide 404 new optimal solutions and 73 new upper and lower bounds for 477 instances from 13 different groups of graphs.


Vertex bisection problem Exact optimization Linear programming 



The authors would like to thank Tecnológico Nacional de México, and especially the authorities of Instituto Tecnológico de Altamira for their support in this research. We also thank the Mexican Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) for its support through the Mexican National System of Researchers (SNI) (Grant Nos. 72282, SNI-70157). We are deeply grateful with Pallavi Jain and her research group for kindly sharing some of the instances used in this study.

Supplementary material

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EngineeringTecnológico Nacional de México/I.T. AltamiraAltamiraMexico

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