C-Planarity of Extrovert Clustered Graphs
A clustered graph has its vertices grouped into clusters in a hierarchical way via subset inclusion, thereby imposing a tree structure on the clustering relationship. The c-planarity problem is to determine if such a graph can be drawn in a planar way, with clusters drawn as nested regions and with each edge (drawn as a curve between vertex points) crossing the boundary of each region at most once. Unfortunately, as with the graph isomorphism problem, it is open as to whether the c-planarity problem is NP-complete or in P. In this paper, we show how to solve the c-planarity problem in polynomial time for a new class of clustered graphs, which we call extrovert clustered graphs. This class is quite natural (we argue that it captures many clustering relationships that are likely to arise in practice) and includes the clustered graphs tested in previous work by Dahlhaus, as well as Feng, Eades, and Cohen. Interestingly, this class of graphs does not include, nor is it included by, a class studied recently by Gutwenger et al.; therefore, this paper offers an alternative advancement in our understanding of the efficient drawability of clustered graphs in a planar way. Our testing algorithm runs in O(n3) time and implies an embedding algorithm with the same time complexity.
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