Tag Archives: Difficulty 4

Ratio Clique

Last week it was pointed out to me that my reduction for Balanced Complete Bipartite Subgraph was wrong, and in my searches to fix it, I found that the real reduction (by Johnson) used a variant of Clique that said (without proof)) that Clique is NP-Complete even if K was fixed to be |V|/2.  I looked up the Clique problem in G&J, and they say in the comments that it is NP-Complete for K = any fixed ratio of V.

I thought this was a neat easy problem that fit in the 3-6 difficulty range I mentioned last week and decided it was worth a post.  But thinking about this brings up some subtle issues relating to ratios and constants that are common sources of errors among students.  I’ll talk about that at the end.

The problem: I don’t know if there is an official name, so I’m calling it “Ratio Clique”.  It is mentioned in the comments to GT19 (Clique).

The description: For any fixed number r, 0< r < 1, does G have a clique of size r*|V| or more?

Example:  Here’s a graph we’ve used for a previous problem:

maximum fixed-length disjoint paths

If r = .5, then r*|V| = 3.5.  So we’re asking if a clique of 3.5 or more vertices exists (which really means a clique of 4 or more vertices).  It does not exist in this graph.  If r ≤ \frac{3}{7}, then we would be looking for a clique of size 3, which does exist in this graph (vertices b, c, and t)

The reduction: We will be reducing from the regular Clique problem.  Since we want to show this “for any fixed value of r”, we can’t change r inside our reduction.

So we’re given a graph G=(V, E) and a K as our instance of Clique. We need to build a graph G’=(V’, E’) that has a fixed K’ = ⌈r*|V’|⌉.

G’ will start with G, and will add new vertices to the graph.  The vertices we add depend on the ratio s of K to |V|    (K = ⌈s*|V|⌉).  K’ is initially K, but may change as vertices are added to the graph.

If r > s, then we need to add vertices to V’ that will connect to each other vertex in V’, and will increase K’ by 1.  This increases the ratio of \frac{K'}{|V'|}, and we keep adding vertices until that ratio is at least r.

If G has a clique of size K, then the extra vertices in K’ can be added to the clique to form a larger clique (since these new vertices connect to every other vertex)

If G’ has a clique of size K’, notice that it must contain at least K vertices that were initially in G. (We only added K’-K new vertices).  These vertices that exist in G are all connected to each other and so will form a clique in G.

If r < s, then we will add vertices to V’ that are isolated (have no edges connecting to them).  K’ will stay equal to K.  Each vertex we add will reduce the ratio of \frac{K'}{|V'|}, and we keep adding vertices until  K=⌈r*|V’|⌉.

Since these new vertices can not be part of any clique in G’, any clique in G’ must consist only of vertices from G.  Since K=K’, this gives us a clique of size K in both graphs.

It is probably also worth mentioning just how many vertices need to get added to the graph in each case, to make sure that we are adding a polynomial number.  If r>s, we will be adding w vertices to satisfy the equation: ⌈s*|V|⌉ + w = ⌈r*(|V|+w)⌉

(These are both ways of expressing K’)

Dropping the ceiling function (since it only leads to a difference of at most one vertex) Solving for w gets us w = \frac{(s|V|-r|V|)}{(r-1)}.  Since r > s, both sides of that division are negative, so w ends up being positive, and polynomial in |V|.

If r < s, we will be adding w vertices to satisfy the equation:

⌈s*|V|⌉ = ⌈r(|V|+w)⌉

(These are both ways of expressing K)

This can similarly be solved to w = s|V|-r|V|.  Since s > v, this is also a positive (and polynomial) number of new vertices.

A possible source of mistakes: I’m pretty sure this reduction works, but we need to be careful that there is a difference between “for any fixed ratio r of |V|” and “for any fixed K”.  Because for a fixed K (say, K=7) solving the “Does this graph have a 7-Clique?” problem can be solved in polynomial (by enumerating all subgraphs of size 7, for example.  There are n \choose 7 subgraphs, which is O(N^7)).  By choosing a ratio instead of a constant K, we gain the ability to scale the size of K’ along with the size of the graph and avoid this issue.  But it is worth mentioning this to students as a possible pitfall.  It’s very easy to do things in a way that effectively is treating r|V| as a constant K, which won’t work.

Difficulty: 3, but if you’re going to make students to the algebra to show the number of vertices that are added, bump it up to a 4.

Subset Product

I’m setting this to post automatically on the 27th.  Hopefully, it posts correctly.

Sp12 is Partition

Sp13 is Subset Sum

This next problem is related to those, but has a cool twist.

The problem: Subset Product.  This is problem SP14 in the appendix.

The description: Given a set A of positive integers, and a positive integer B, is there a subset A’ of A such that the product of the sizes all elements in A’ is exactly B?

(The G&J definition of the problem defines A as a set of generic elements, each with a positive integer “size”.  This is more general in that it allows for two different elements in A to have the same size.  But most of the time this and similar problems (for example: Subset Sum, Partition) are encountered, it is with the definition above)

Example: Let A = {1,2,3,4,5,6} .  If B = 60, then setting A’ to {2,4,5} solves the problem.  If B=61, then no subset of A will multiply to B.  61 is easy to see since it’s prime, but other non-prime numbers (like 35) also will not have a solution.

The reduction: G&J say to use X3C, and I’ll admit that this idea came to me while I was wrestling with the reductions for Comparative Containment and its relatives, with all of their work creating sets based on prime numbers.

We start with an instance of X3C: a set X with 3q elements, and a collection of 3-element subsets of X.

What we’re going to do is assign a prime number to each element in X- so the first 3q prime numbers will be allocated.

Each element in C will be represented by an element whose size is the product of the 3 prime numbers corresponding to the elements in C.   Notice that since each of the elements in X are represented by distinct prime numbers, the only way for two elements in C to generate the same number is if the two elements in C were exactly the same.  (In which case, the duplicate can be safely removed).

Our set A will be the collection of these C numbers, and our integer B will be the product of the first 3q primes.

So, if a cover C’ exists, multiplying all of the elements in C’ together will give us a number that is the product of the first 3q primes, because each element x in X will appear as a factor in some c in C’ exactly once, and thus each x’s prime number assignment will appear exactly once in the product of all of the numbers that represent the sets in C’.

If a subset A’ of A that multiplies to B exists, then the prime factorization of B gets us each of the first 3q prime numbers exactly once.  Each of the elements in A’ corresponds to a set in C, and the prime factorization of that element in A’ will “cover” three elements in X.  The union of all such coverings will cover X entirely.

The only hard part that remains is to decide whether we can actually find the first 3q prime numbers in polynomial time.  The prime number theorem says that the nth prime number is proportional to n log n, and brute-forcing whether a number is prime is O(\sqrt{n}).  Thus, we should be able to find the first 3q prime numbers in polynomial time just by checking each number individually, starting from 2.  Obviously, more efficient methods also exist.

Difficulty: 4.  It’s easy to go off in very different directions (for example, trying to compare this problem to Sum of Subsets by realizing that taking the logarithm of a product gets you a sum). Also the prime number theorem stuff isn’t obvious, and I don’t know how you mention its existence to students without spoiling the entire reduction.

Still, once they have that possibly obscure bit of knowledge, this is a good easy reduction that many students can follow.

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Monotone 3-Satisfiability

I told Daniel when he gave me his Monotone Satisfiability reduction that the actual problem mentioned in G&J was Monotone 3-Satisfiability.  So he went off and did that reduction too.
The Problem:
Monotone 3 SAT. This is a more restrictive case of Monotone SAT

The Description:
Given an formula of clauses F' = \wedge_{i=1}^{n} C'_{i} where each clause in F' contains all negated or non-negated variables, and each clause C_{i} contains at most 3 variables. Does there exist an assignment of the variables so that F' is satisfied?


\\ F_{1} = (x_{1} \vee x_{3}) \wedge \\ (\neg x_{2} \vee \neg x_{3} \vee \neg x_{4}) \wedge  \\ (x_{3} \vee x_{2} \vee x_{4}) \wedge \\ ( \neg x_{3} \vee \neg x_{5} \vee \neg x_{1})
the following assignment satisfies F'_{1}:
\\  x_{1} \mapsto True\\ x_{2} \mapsto False\\ x_{3} \mapsto True\\ x_{4} \mapsto True\\ x_{5} \mapsto False
\\ F_{2} = (\neg x_{1} \vee \neg x_{2} \vee \neg x_{3}) \wedge \\ (x_{1} \vee \neg x_{2} \vee \neg x_{3}) \wedge\\ (\neg x_{1} \vee x_{2} \vee \neg x_{3})\wedge \\ (\neg x_{1} \vee \neg x_{2} \vee x_{3})\wedge\\ (x_{1} \vee x_{2} \vee \neg x_{3})\wedge\\ (\neg x_{1} \vee x_{2} \vee x_{3})\wedge\\ (x_{1} \vee \neg x_{2} \vee x_{3})\wedge\\ (x_{1} \vee x_{2} \vee x_{3})
And the following is F_{2}' in Monotone  3SAT form:
\\ F_{2}' = (\neg x_{1} \vee \neg x_{2} \vee \neg x_{3}) \wedge \\ (\neg y_{1} \vee \neg x_{2} \vee \neg x_{3}) \wedge\\ (\neg x_{1} \vee \neg y_{2} \vee \neg x_{3})\wedge \\ (\neg x_{1} \vee \neg x_{2} \vee \neg y_{3})\wedge \\ (x_{1} \vee x_{2} \vee y_{3})\wedge\\ (y_{1} \vee x_{2} \vee x_{3})\wedge\\ (x_{1} \vee y_{2} \vee x_{3})\wedge\\ (x_{1} \vee x_{2} \vee x_{3}) \wedge \\ (y_{1} \vee x_{1}) \wedge (\neg y_{1} \vee \neg x_{1}) \wedge \\ (y_{1} \vee x_{2}) \wedge (\neg y_{2} \vee \neg x_{2})\wedge \\ (y_{1} \vee x_{3}) \wedge (\neg y_{3} \vee \neg x_{3})
are both unsatisfiable.

The reduction:
In the following reduction we are given an instance of 3SAT,
F = \wedge_{i=1}^{n} C_{i}. Here each clause is of the form:
C_{i} = x_{i1} \vee ... \vee x_{ik_i} where
k_{i} < 4
and each x_{ik_i} is a literal of the form \neg z_{l} \ or \ z_{l} .
We use the following construction to build an instance of Monotone  3 SAT out of the above instance of 3SAT :
In each clause C_{i} we have at most one literal, z_{l} \ or \ \neg z_{l} that is not of the same parity as the rest of the literals in the clause. For every such literal, we may preform the following substitution:
z_{l} \rightarrow \neg y_{l} \ or \ \neg z_{l} \rightarrow y_{l} this yields a modified clause C'_{i}.
Now we must be able to guarantee that z_{l} and y_{l} are mapped to opposite truth values, so we introduce the new clause:
C''_{i} \ = \ ( z_{l} \vee y_{l}) \wedge ( \neg z_{l} \vee \neg y_{l}) and conjunct it onto our old formula F producing a new formula F'.

For example:
C_{i} \ = \ (z_{l_1} \vee z_{l_2} \vee \neg z_{l_3}) so we preform the substitution
\neg z_{l_3} \rightarrow y_{l_3}
so C'_{i} \ = \ (z_{l_1} \vee z_{l_2} \vee y_{l_3}) and C''_{i} \ = \ (z_{l_3} \vee y_{l_3}) \wedge ( \neg z_{l_3} \vee \neg y_{l_3})

Now repeating this procedure will result in a new formula: F' = (\wedge_{i=1}^{n} C'_{i}) \wedge (\wedge_{k=1}^{m} C''_{k}).
We claim logical equivalence between the C_{i} \wedge C''_{i} and C'_{i} \wedge C''_{i} This is semantically intuitive as the C''_{i} clause requires all substituted literal y_{l} in C'_{i} to take the value opposite of z_{l} this was the stipulation for the substitution initially. It is also verifiable by truth table construction for:
\\ (z_{l_1} \vee z_{l_2} \vee \neg z_{l_3}) \wedge (z_{l_3} \vee y_{l_3}) \wedge ( \neg z_{l_3} \vee \neg y_{l_3}) \Leftrightarrow \\  (z_{l_1} \vee z_{l_2} \vee y_{l_3}) \wedge (z_{l_3} \vee y_{l_3}) \wedge ( \neg z_{l_3} \vee \neg y_{l_3})

True_{3SAT} \Rightarrow True_{Monotone \ 3 \ SAT}:
If there exists a truth assignment \phi_{F} that satisfies F, then we may extent this truth assignment to produce \phi_{G} which will satisfy
G = F \wedge (\wedge_{k=1}^{m} C''_{k}) by letting \phi_{G} (z_{l}) = \phi_{F} (x_{l}) for all l and letting \phi_{G}(y_{l}) = \neg \phi_{F}(z_{l}) for all l.
Obviously if F is satisfiable G must be by the above construction of \phi_{G}. So by the above claim we have that \phi_{G} will satisfy F'.
True_{Monotone \ 3 \ SAT} \Rightarrow True_{3SAT}:
Continuing from the above, if we have a truth assignment \phi_{F'} that satisfies F', then by the claim above it also must satisfy G. And F is a sub-formula of G so any truth assignment that satisfies G must also satisfy F.

(Back to me)

Difficulty: 4, since it’s a little harder than the regular Monotone Sat one.

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