Parameterized Complexity of Two Edge Contraction Problems with Degree Constraints
Motivated by recent results of Mathieson and Szeider (J. Comput. Syst. Sci. 78(1): 179–191, 2012), we study two graph modification problems where the goal is to obtain a graph whose vertices satisfy certain degree constraints. The Regular Contraction problem takes as input a graph G and two integers d and k, and the task is to decide whether G can be modified into a d-regular graph using at most k edge contractions. The Bounded Degree Contraction problem is defined similarly, but here the objective is to modify G into a graph with maximum degree at most d. We observe that both problems are fixed-parameter tractable when parameterized jointly by k and d. We show that when only k is chosen as the parameter, Regular Contraction becomes W-hard, while Bounded Degree Contraction becomes W-hard even when restricted to split graphs. We also prove both problems to be NP-complete for any fixed d ≥ 2. On the positive side, we show that the problem of deciding whether a graph can be modified into a cycle using at most k edge contractions, which is equivalent to Regular Contraction when d = 2, admits an O(k) vertex kernel. This complements recent results stating that the same holds when the target is a path, but that the problem admits no polynomial kernel when the target is a tree, unless NP ⊆ coNP/poly (Heggernes et al., IPEC 2011).
KeywordsRegular Graph Parameterized Complexity Polynomial Kernel Reduction Rule Optimal Cycle
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