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MADALGO Theory Seminar

MADALGO Seminar: Søren Dahlgaard (DIKU): "Popular Conjectures as a Barrier for Dynamic Planar Graph Algorithms"

Info about event


Wednesday 18 May 2016,  at 13:00 - 13:45


Nygaard 395

Popular Conjectures as a Barrier for Dynamic Planar Graph Algorithms

The dynamic shortest paths problem on planar graphs asks us to preprocess a planar graph G such that we may support insertions and deletions of edges in G as well as distance queries between any two nodes u,v subject to the constraint that the graph remains planar at all times. This problem has been extensively studied in both the theory and experimental communities over the past decades and gets solved millions of times every day by companies like Google, Microsoft, and Uber. The best known algorithm performs queries and updates in O~(n^{2/3}) time, based on ideas of a seminal paper by Fakcharoenphol and Rao [FOCS'01]. A (1+ε)-approximation algorithm of Abraham et al. [STOC'12] performs updates and queries in O~(n^{1/2}) time. An algorithm with 

O(polylog(n)) runtime would be a major breakthrough. However, such runtimes are only known for a (1+ε)-approximation in a model where only restricted weight updates are allowed due to Abraham et al. [SODA'16], or for easier problems like connectivity.

In this paper, we follow a recent and very active line of work on showing lower bounds for polynomial time problems based on popular conjectures, obtaining the first such results for natural problems in planar graphs. Such results were previously out of reach due to the highly non-planar nature of known reductions and the impossibility of "planarizing gadgets". We introduce a new framework which is inspired by techniques from the literatures on distance labelling schemes and on parameterized complexity.

Using our framework, we show that no algorithm for dynamic shortest paths or maximum weight bipartite matching in planar graphs can support both updates and queries in amortized O(n^{1/2-ε}) time, for any ε>0, unless the classical all-pairs-shortest-paths problem can be solved in truly subcubic time, which is widely believed to be impossible. We extend these results to obtain strong lower bounds for other related problems as well as for possible trade-offs between query and update time. Interestingly, our lower bounds hold even in very restrictive models where only weight updates are allowed.

See also: http://arxiv.org/abs/1605.03797 

Joint work w/ Amir Abboud, Stanford University

Kasper Green Larsen and Thomas Dueholm Hansen