Online Edge Coloring Algorithms via the Nibble Method

by   Sayan Bhattacharya, et al.

Nearly thirty years ago, Bar-Noy, Motwani and Naor [IPL'92] conjectured that an online (1+o(1))Δ-edge-coloring algorithm exists for n-node graphs of maximum degree Δ=ω(log n). This conjecture remains open in general, though it was recently proven for bipartite graphs under one-sided vertex arrivals by Cohen et al. [FOCS'19]. In a similar vein, we study edge coloring under widely-studied relaxations of the online model. Our main result is in the random-order online model. For this model, known results fall short of the Bar-Noy et al. conjecture, either in the degree bound [Aggarwal et al. FOCS'03], or number of colors used [Bahmani et al. SODA'10]. We achieve the best of both worlds, thus resolving the Bar-Noy et al. conjecture in the affirmative for this model. Our second result is in the adversarial online (and dynamic) model with recourse. A recent algorithm of Duan et al. [SODA'19] yields a (1+ϵ)Δ-edge-coloring with poly(log n/ϵ) recourse. We achieve the same with poly(1/ϵ) recourse, thus removing all dependence on n. Underlying our results is one common offline algorithm, which we show how to implement in these two online models. Our algorithm, based on the Rödl Nibble Method, is an adaptation of the distributed algorithm of Dubhashi et al. [TCS'98]. The Nibble Method has proven successful for distributed edge coloring. We display its usefulness in the context of online algorithms.


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