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Simplex based Steiner tree instances yield large integrality gaps for the bidirected cut relaxation
arXiv - CS - Discrete Mathematics Pub Date : 2020-02-18 , DOI: arxiv-2002.07912
Robert Vicari

The bidirected cut relaxation is the characteristic representative of the bidirected relaxations ($\mathrm{\mathcal{BCR}}$) which are a well-known class of equivalent LP-relaxations for the NP-hard Steiner Tree Problem in Graphs (STP). Although no general approximation algorithm based on $\mathrm{\mathcal{BCR}}$ with an approximation ratio better than $2$ for STP is known, it is mostly preferred in integer programming as an implementation of STP, since there exists a formulation of compact size, which turns out to be very effective in practice. It is known that the integrality gap of $\mathrm{\mathcal{BCR}}$ is at most $2$, and a long standing open question is whether the integrality gap is less than $2$ or not. The best lower bound so far is $\frac{36}{31} \approx 1.161$ proven by Byrka et al. [BGRS13]. Based on the work of Chakrabarty et al. [CDV11] about embedding STP instances into simplices by considering appropriate dual formulations, we improve on this result by constructing a new class of instances and showing that their integrality gaps tend at least to $\frac{6}{5} = 1.2$. More precisely, we consider the class of equivalent LP-relaxations $\mathrm{\mathcal{BCR}}^{+}$, that can be obtained by strengthening $\mathrm{\mathcal{BCR}}$ by already known straightforward Steiner vertex degree constraints, and show that the worst case ratio regarding the optimum value between $\mathrm{\mathcal{BCR}}$ and $\mathrm{\mathcal{BCR}}^{+}$ is at least $\frac{6}{5}$. Since $\mathrm{\mathcal{BCR}}^{+}$ is a lower bound for the hypergraphic relaxations ($\mathrm{\mathcal{HYP}}$), another well-known class of equivalent LP-relaxations on which the current best $(\ln(4) + \varepsilon)$-approximation algorithm for STP by Byrka et al. [BGRS13] is based, this worst case ratio also holds for $\mathrm{\mathcal{BCR}}$ and $\mathrm{\mathcal{HYP}}$.
更新日期:2020-02-20

 

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