# Parameterized Complexity of Fair Bisection: FPT-Approximation meets Unbreakability

In the Minimum Bisection problem, input is a graph G and the goal is to partition the vertex set into two parts A and B, such that ||A|-|B|| ≤ 1 and the number k of edges between A and B is minimized. This problem can be viewed as a clustering problem where edges represent similarity, and the task is to partition the vertices into two equally sized clusters, while minimizing the number of pairs of similar objects that end up in different clusters. In this paper, we initiate the study of a fair version of Minimum Bisection. In this problem, the vertices of the graph are colored using one of c ≥ 1 colors. The goal is to find a bisection (A, B) with at most k edges between the parts, such that for each color i∈ [c], A has exactly r_i vertices of color i. We first show that Fair Bisection is W[1]-hard parameterized by c even when k = 0. On the other hand, our main technical contribution shows that is that this hardness result is simply a consequence of the very strict requirement that each color class i has exactly r_i vertices in A. In particular, we give an f(k,c,ϵ)n^O(1) time algorithm that finds a balanced partition (A, B) with at most k edges between them, such that for each color i∈ [c], there are at most (1±ϵ)r_i vertices of color i in A. Our approximation algorithm is best viewed as a proof of concept that the technique introduced by [Lampis, ICALP '18] for obtaining FPT-approximation algorithms for problems of bounded tree-width or clique-width can be efficiently exploited even on graphs of unbounded width. The key insight is that the technique of Lampis is applicable on tree decompositions with unbreakable bags (as introduced in [Cygan et al., SIAM Journal on Computing '14]). Along the way, we also derive a combinatorial result regarding tree decompositions of graphs.

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