Reducibility among Combinatorial Problems

  • Richard M. Karp
Part of the The IBM Research Symposia Series book series (IRSS)


A large class of computational problems involve the determination of properties of graphs, digraphs, integers, arrays of integers, finite families of finite sets, boolean formulas and elements of other countable domains. Through simple encodings from such domains into the set of words over a finite alphabet these problems can be converted into language recognition problems, and we can inquire into their computational complexity. It is reasonable to consider such a problem satisfactorily solved when an algorithm for its solution is found which terminates within a number of steps bounded by a polynomial in the length of the input. We show that a large number of classic unsolved problems of covering, matching, packing, routing, assignment and sequencing are equivalent, in the sense that either each of them possesses a polynomial-bounded algorithm or none of them does.


Polynomial Time Turing Machine Regular Expression Combinatorial Problem Finite Alphabet 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard M. Karp
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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