# Relative Survivable Network Design

One of the most important and well-studied settings for network design is edge-connectivity requirements. This encompasses uniform demands such as the Minimum k-Edge-Connected Spanning Subgraph problem (k-ECSS), as well as nonuniform demands such as the Survivable Network Design problem. A weakness of these formulations, though, is that we are not able to ask for fault-tolerance larger than the connectivity. We introduce and study new variants of these problems under a notion of relative fault-tolerance. Informally, we require not that two nodes are connected if there are a bounded number of faults (as in the classical setting), but that two nodes are connected if there are a bounded number of faults and the two nodes are connected in the underlying graph post-faults. That is, the subgraph we build must "behave" identically to the underlying graph with respect to connectivity after bounded faults. We define and introduce these problems, and provide the first approximation algorithms: a (1+4/k)-approximation for the unweighted relative version of k-ECSS, a 2-approximation for the weighted relative version of k-ECSS, and a 27/4-approximation for the special case of Relative Survivable Network Design with only a single demand with a connectivity requirement of 3. To obtain these results, we introduce a number of technical ideas that may of independent interest. First, we give a generalization of Jain's iterative rounding analysis that works even when the cut-requirement function is not weakly supermodular, but instead satisfies a weaker definition we introduce and term local weak supermodularity. Second, we prove a structure theorem and design an approximation algorithm utilizing a new decomposition based on important separators, which are structures commonly used in fixed-parameter algorithms that have not commonly been used in approximation algorithms.

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