Treewidth-Pliability and PTAS for Max-CSPs

11/08/2019 ∙ by Miguel Romero, et al. ∙ 0

We identify a sufficient condition, treewidth-pliability, that gives a polynomial-time approximation scheme (PTAS) for a large class of Max-2-CSPs parametrised by the class of allowed constraint graphs (with arbitrary constraints on an unbounded alphabet). Our result applies more generally to the maximum homomorphism problem between two rational-valued structures. The condition unifies the two main approaches for designing PTASes. One is Baker's layering technique, which applies to sparse graphs such as planar or excluded-minor graphs. The other is based on Szemerédi's regularity lemma and applies to dense graphs. Albeit with some limitations, we extend the applicability of both techniques to new classes of Max-CSPs. Treewidth-pliability turns out to be a robust notion that can be defined in several equivalent ways, including characterisations via size, treedepth, or the Hadwiger number. We show connections to the notions of fractional-treewidth-fragility from structural graph theory, hyperfiniteness from the area of property testing, and regularity partitions from the theory of dense graph limits. These may be of independent interest. In particular we show that a monotone class of graphs is hyperfinite if and only if it is fractionally-treewidth-fragile and has bounded degree.

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