Algorithms and Complexity for the Almost Equal Maximum Flow Problem

04/12/2021 ∙ by Rebekka Haese, et al. ∙ 0

In the Equal Maximum Flow Problem (EMFP), we aim for a maximum flow where we require the same flow value on all edges in some given subsets of the edge set. In this paper, we study the closely related Almost Equal Maximum Flow Problems (AEMFP) where the flow values on edges of one homologous edge set differ at most by the valuation of a so called deviation function Δ. We prove that the integer almost equal maximum flow problem (integer AEMFP) is in general 𝒩𝒫-complete, and show that even the problem of finding a fractional maximum flow in the case of convex deviation functions is also 𝒩𝒫-complete. This is in contrast to the EMFP, which is polynomial time solvable in the fractional case. We provide inapproximability results for the integral AEMFP. For the integer AEMFP we state a polynomial algorithm for the constant deviation and concave case for a fixed number of homologous sets.

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