An Improved Approximation Algorithm for Vertex Cover with Hard Capacities
In this paper we study the capacitated vertex cover problem, a generalization of the well-known vertex cover problem. Given a graph G = (V, E), the goal is to cover all the edges by picking a minimum cover using the vertices. When we pick a vertex, we can cover up to a pre-specified number of edges incident on this vertex (its capacity). The problem is clearly NP-hard as it generalizes the well-known vertex cover problem. Previously, 2-approximation algorithms were developed with the assumption that multiple copies of a vertex may be chosen in the cover. If we are allowed to pick at most a given number of copies of each vertex, then the problem is significantly harder to solve. Chuzhoy and Naor (Proc. IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, 481–489, 2002) have recently shown that the weighted version of this problem is at least as hard as set cover; they have also developed a 3-approximation algorithm for the unweighted version. We give a 2-approximation algorithm for the unweighted version, improving the Chuzhoy-Naor bound of 3 and matching (up to lower-order terms) the best approximation ratio known for the vertex cover problem.
Keywords and PhrasesApproximation algorithms capacitated covering set cover vertex cover linear programming randomized rounding
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