DIMACS TR: 96-59

Approximating Dense Cases of Covering Problems

Authors: Marek Karpinski, Alexander Zelikovsky


We study dense cases of several covering problems. An instance of the set cover problem with $m$ sets is dense if there is $\epsilon>0$ such that any element belongs to at least $\epsilon m$ sets. We show that the dense set cover problem can be approximated with the performance ratio $c\log n$ for any $c>0$ and it is unlikely to be NP-hard. We construct a polynomial-time approximation scheme for the dense Steiner tree problem in $n$-vertex graphs, i.e. for the case when each terminal is adjacent to at least $\epsilon n$ vertices. We also study the vertex cover problem in $\epsilon$-dense graphs. Though this problem is shown to be still MAX-SNP-hard as in general graphs, we find a better approximation algorithm with the performance ratio $2\over{1+\epsilon}$. The {\em superdense} cases of all these problems are shown to be solvable in polynomial time.

Paper Available at: ftp://dimacs.rutgers.edu/pub/dimacs/TechnicalReports/TechReports/1996/96-59.ps.gz
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