Complexity of the Maximum k-Path Vertex Cover Problem

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10755)


This paper introduces the maximum version of the k-path vertex cover problem, called the Maximum k-Path Vertex Cover problem (\(\mathsf{{Max}}{P_k}\mathsf{VC}\) for short): A path consisting of k vertices, i.e., a path of length \(k-1\) is called a k-path. If a k-path \(P_k\) includes a vertex v in a vertex set S, then we say that S or v covers \(P_k\). Given a graph \(G = (V, E)\) and an integer s, the goal of \(\mathsf{{Max}}{P_k}\mathsf{VC}\) is to find a vertex subset \(S\subseteq V\) of at most s vertices such that the number of k-paths covered by S is maximized. \(\mathsf{{Max}}{P_k}\mathsf{VC}\) is generally NP-hard. In this paper we consider the tractability/intractability of \(\mathsf{{Max}}{P_k}\mathsf{VC}\) on subclasses of graphs: We prove that \(\mathsf{{Max}}{P_3}\mathsf{VC}\) and \(\mathsf{{Max}}{P_4}\mathsf{VC}\) remain NP-hard even for split graphs and for chordal graphs, respectively. Furthermore, if the input graph is restricted to graphs with constant bounded treewidth, then \(\mathsf{{Max}}{P_3}\mathsf{VC}\) can be solved in polynomial time.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kyushu Institute of TechnologyIizukaJapan
  2. 2.Japan Advanced Institute of Science and TechnologyNomiJapan
  3. 3.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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