Complexity of counting subgraphs: Only the boundedness of the vertex-cover number counts

Curticapean, Radu and Marx, Dániel (2014) Complexity of counting subgraphs: Only the boundedness of the vertex-cover number counts. In: 55th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS 2014. IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, pp. 130-139. ISBN 9781479965175 10.1109/FOCS.2014.22


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For a class C of graphs, #Sub(C) is the counting problem that, given a graph H from C and an arbitrary graph G, asks for the number of subgraphs of G isomorphic to H. It is known that if C has bounded vertex-cover number (equivalently, the size of the maximum matching in C is bounded), then #Sub(C) is polynomial-time solvable. We complement this result with a corresponding lower bound: if C is any recursively enumerable class of graphs with unbounded vertex-cover number, then #Sub(C) is #W[1]-hard parameterized by the size of H and hence not polynomial-time solvable and not even fixed-parameter tractable, unless FPT is equal to #W[1]. As a first step of the proof, we show that counting k-matchings in bipartite graphs is #W[1]-hard. Recently, Curticapean [ICALP 2013] proved the #W[1]-hardness of counting k-matchings in general graphs, our result strengthens this statement to bipartite graphs with a considerably simpler proof and even shows that, assuming the Exponential Time Hypothesis (ETH), there is no f(k)∗no(k/log(k)) time algorithm for counting k-matchings in bipartite graphs for any computable function f. As a consequence, we obtain an independent and somewhat simpler proof of the classical result of Flum and Grohe [SICOMP 2004] stating that counting paths of length k is #W[1]-hard, as well as a similar almost-tight ETH-based lower bound on the exponent.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics and Computer Science > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science / számítástechnika, számítógéptudomány
Divisions: Informatics Laboratory
SWORD Depositor: MTMT Injector
Depositing User: MTMT Injector
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2015 19:17
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2016 19:00

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