Graph bisection algorithms with good average case behavior


In the paper, we describe a polynomial time algorithm that, for every input graph, either outputs the minimum bisection of the graph or halts without output. More importantly, we show that the algorithm chooses the former course with high probability for many natural classes of graphs. In particular, for every fixedd≧3, all sufficiently largen and allb=o(n 1−1/[(d+1)/2]), the algorithm finds the minimum bisection for almost alld-regular labelled simple graphs with 2n nodes and bisection widthb. For example, the algorithm succeeds for almost all 5-regular graphs with 2n nodes and bisection widtho(n 2/3). The algorithm differs from other graph bisection heuristics (as well as from many heuristics for other NP-complete problems) in several respects. Most notably:

  1. (i)

    the algorithm provides exactly the minimum bisection for almost all input graphs with the specified form, instead of only an approximation of the minimum bisection,

  2. (ii)

    whenever the algorithm produces a bisection, it is guaranteed to be optimal (i.e., the algorithm also produces a proof that the bisection it outputs is an optimal bisection),

  3. (iii)

    the algorithm works well both theoretically and experimentally,

  4. (iv)

    the algorithm employs global methods such as network flow instead of local operations such as 2-changes, and

  5. (v)

    the algorithm works well for graphs with small bisections (as opposed to graphs with large bisections, for which arbitrary bisections are nearly optimal).

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Additional information

This research was supported by Air Force contract AFOSR-82-0326, DARPA contract N00014-80-C-0622, and an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award with matching funds from Xerox.

A preliminary version of this paper appeared in the Proceedings of the 25th Symposium on the Foundations of Computer Science, (1984), 181–192.

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Bui, T.N., Chaudhuri, S., Leighton, F.T. et al. Graph bisection algorithms with good average case behavior. Combinatorica 7, 171–191 (1987).

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