Holiest Minimum-Cost Paths and Flows in Surface Graphs



Erickson, J.
Fox, Kyle J.
Lkhamsuren, L.


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Association for Computing Machinery



Let G be an edge-weighted directed graph with n vertices embedded on an orientable surface of genus g. We describe a simple deterministic lexicographic perturbation scheme that guarantees uniqueness of minimum-cost flows and shortest paths in G. The perturbations take O(gn) time to compute. We use our perturbation scheme in a black box manner to derive a deterministic O(n log log n) time algorithm for minimum cut in directed edge-weighted planar graphs and a deterministic O(g² n log n) time proprocessing scheme for the multiple-source shortest paths problem of computing a shortest path oracle for all vertices lying on a common face of a surface embedded graph. The latter result yields faster deterministic near-linear time algorithms for a variety of problems in constant genus surface embedded graphs. Finally, we open the black box in order to generalize a recent linear-time algorithm for multiple-source shortest paths in unweighted undirected planar graphs to work in arbitrary orientable surfaces. Our algorithm runs in O(g² n log g) time in this setting, and it can be used to give improved linear time algorithms for several problems in unweighted undirected surface embedded graphs of constant genus including the computation of minimum cuts, shortest topologically non-trivial cycles, and minimum homology bases.


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Engineering graphics, Surfaces, Computational learning theory, Flowgraphs, Engineering—Graphic methods, Algorithms, Directed graphs, Graph theory


NSF grants CCF-1408763, IIS-1408846, IIS-1447554, CCF-1513816, CCF-1546392, CCF-1527084, and CCF-1535972; by ARO grant W911NF15-1-0408, and by grant 2012/229 from the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation.


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