Politician’s Firefighting

  • Allan E. Scott
  • Ulrike Stege
  • Norbert Zeh
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4288)


Firefighting is a combinatorial optimization problem on graphs that models the problem of determining the optimal strategy to contain a fire and save as much from the fire as possible. We introduce and study a new version of firefighting, Politician’s Firefighting, which exhibits more locality than the classical one-firefighter version. We prove that this locality allows us to develop an O(bn)-time algorithm on trees, where b is the number of nodes initially on fire. We further prove that Politician’s Firefighting is NP-hard on planar graphs of degree at most 5. We present an O(m+ k 2.5 4 k )-time algorithm for this problem on general graphs, where k is the number of nodes that burn using the optimal strategy, thereby proving that it is fixed-parameter tractable. We present experimental results that show that our algorithm’s search-tree size is in practice much smaller than the worst-case bound of 4 k .


Optimal Strategy Bipartite Graph Planar Graph Search Tree Vertex Cover 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allan E. Scott
    • 1
  • Ulrike Stege
    • 1
  • Norbert Zeh
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Computer ScienceDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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