Improved Approximation for Tree Augmentation: Saving by Rewiring

by   Fabrizio Grandoni, et al.

The Tree Augmentation Problem (TAP) is a fundamental network design problem in which we are given a tree and a set of additional edges, also called links. The task is to find a set of links, of minimum size, whose addition to the tree leads to a 2-edge-connected graph. A long line of results on TAP culminated in the previously best known approximation guarantee of 1.5 achieved by a combinatorial approach due to Kortsarz and Nutov [ACM Transactions on Algorithms 2016], and also by an SDP-based approach by Cheriyan and Gao [Algorithmica 2017]. Moreover, an elegant LP-based (1.5+ϵ)-approximation has also been found very recently by Fiorini, Groß, Könemann, and Sanitá [SODA 2018]. In this paper, we show that an approximation factor below 1.5 can be achieved, by presenting a 1.458-approximation that is based on several new techniques.



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