Diameter computation on H-minor free graphs and graphs of bounded (distance) VC-dimension

by   Guillaume Ducoffe, et al.

We propose to study unweighted graphs of constant distance VC-dimension as a broad generalization of many graph classes for which we can compute the diameter in truly subquadratic-time. In particular for any fixed H, the class of H-minor free graphs has distance VC-dimension at most |V(H)|-1. Our first main result is that on graphs of distance VC-dimension at most d, for any fixed k we can either compute the diameter or conclude that it is larger than k in time Õ(k· mn^1-ε_d), where ε_d ∈ (0;1) only depends on d. Then as a byproduct of our approach, we get the first truly subquadratic-time algorithm for constant diameter computation on all the nowhere dense graph classes. Finally, we show how to remove the dependency on k for any graph class that excludes a fixed graph H as a minor. More generally, our techniques apply to any graph with constant distance VC-dimension and polynomial expansion. As a result for all such graphs one obtains a truly subquadratic-time algorithm for computing their diameter. Our approach is based on the work of Chazelle and Welzl who proved the existence of spanning paths with strongly sublinear stabbing number for every hypergraph of constant VC-dimension. We show how to compute such paths efficiently by combining the best known approximation algorithms for the stabbing number problem with a clever use of ε-nets, region decomposition and other partition techniques.


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