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TS-Reconfiguration of k-Path Vertex Covers in Caterpillars

by   Duc A. Hoang, et al.

A k-path vertex cover (k-PVC) of a graph G is a vertex subset I such that each path on k vertices in G contains at least one member of I. Imagine that a token is placed on each vertex of a k-PVC. Given two k-PVCs I, J of a graph G, the k-Path Vertex Cover Reconfiguration (k-PVCR) under Token Sliding (𝖳𝖲) problem asks if there is a sequence of k-PVCs between I and J where each intermediate member is obtained from its predecessor by sliding a token from some vertex to one of its unoccupied neighbors. This problem is known to be π™Ώπš‚π™Ώπ™°π™²π™΄-complete even for planar graphs of maximum degree 3 and bounded treewidth and can be solved in polynomial time for paths and cycles. Its complexity for trees remains unknown. In this paper, for k β‰₯ 4, we present a polynomial-time algorithm that solves k-PVCR under 𝖳𝖲 for caterpillars (i.e., trees formed by attaching leaves to a path).


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