Robust Exponential Worst Cases for Divide-et-Impera Algorithms for Parity Games

09/07/2017 ∙ by Massimo Benerecetti, et al. ∙ 0

The McNaughton-Zielonka divide et impera algorithm is the simplest and most flexible approach available in the literature for determining the winner in a parity game. Despite its theoretical worst-case complexity and the negative reputation as a poorly effective algorithm in practice, it has been shown to rank among the best techniques for the solution of such games. Also, it proved to be resistant to a lower bound attack, even more than the strategy improvements approaches, and only recently a family of games on which the algorithm requires exponential time has been provided by Friedmann. An easy analysis of this family shows that a simple memoization technique can help the algorithm solve the family in polynomial time. The same result can also be achieved by exploiting an approach based on the dominion-decomposition techniques proposed in the literature. These observations raise the question whether a suitable combination of dynamic programming and game-decomposition techniques can improve on the exponential worst case of the original algorithm. In this paper we answer this question negatively, by providing a robustly exponential worst case, showing that no intertwining of the above mentioned techniques can help mitigating the exponential nature of the divide et impera approaches.



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