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45
A Survey of Combinatorial Gray Codes
 SIAM Review
, 1996
"... The term combinatorial Gray code was introduced in 1980 to refer to any method for generating combinatorial objects so that successive objects differ in some prespecified, small way. This notion generalizes the classical binary reflected Gray code scheme for listing nbit binary numbers so that ..."
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Cited by 132 (2 self)
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The term combinatorial Gray code was introduced in 1980 to refer to any method for generating combinatorial objects so that successive objects differ in some prespecified, small way. This notion generalizes the classical binary reflected Gray code scheme for listing nbit binary numbers so that successive numbers differ in exactly one bit position, as well as work in the 1960's and 70's on minimal change listings for other combinatorial families, including permutations and combinations. The area of combinatorial Gray codes was popularized by Herbert Wilf in his invited address at the SIAM Discrete Mathematics Conference in 1988 and his subsequent SIAM monograph in which he posed some open problems and variations on the theme. This resulted in much recent activity in the area and most of the problems posed by Wilf are now solved. In this paper, we survey the area of combinatorial Gray codes, describe recent results, variations, and trends, and highlight some open problems. ...
The Complexity of Counting in Sparse, Regular, and Planar Graphs
 SIAM Journal on Computing
, 1997
"... We show that a number of graphtheoretic counting problems remain NPhard, indeed #Pcomplete, in very restricted classes of graphs. In particular, it is shown that the problems of counting matchings, vertex covers, independent sets, and extremal variants of these all remain hard when restricted to ..."
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Cited by 91 (0 self)
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We show that a number of graphtheoretic counting problems remain NPhard, indeed #Pcomplete, in very restricted classes of graphs. In particular, it is shown that the problems of counting matchings, vertex covers, independent sets, and extremal variants of these all remain hard when restricted to planar bipartite graphs of bounded degree or regular graphs of constant degree. To achieve these results, a new interpolationbased reduction technique which preserves properties such as constant degree is introduced. In addition, the problem of approximately counting minimum cardinality vertex covers is shown to remain NPhard even when restricted to graphs of maximal degree 3. Previously, restrictedcase complexity results for counting problems were elusive; we believe our techniques may help obtain similar results for many other counting problems. 1 Introduction Ever since the introduction of NPcompleteness in the early 1970's, the primary focus of complexity theory has been on decision ...
Computing The Volume Of Convex Bodies: A Case Where Randomness Provably Helps
, 1991
"... We discuss the problem of computing the volume of a convex body K in IR n . We review worstcase results which show that it is hard to deterministically approximate volnK and randomised approximation algorithms which show that with randomisation one can approximate very nicely. We then provide som ..."
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Cited by 80 (7 self)
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We discuss the problem of computing the volume of a convex body K in IR n . We review worstcase results which show that it is hard to deterministically approximate volnK and randomised approximation algorithms which show that with randomisation one can approximate very nicely. We then provide some applications of this latter result. Supported by NATO grant RG0088/89 y Supported by NSF grant CCR8900112 and NATO grant RG0088/89 1 Introduction The mathematical study of areas and volumes is as old as civilization itself, and has been conducted for both intellectual and practical reasons. As far back as 2000 B.C., the Egyptians 1 had methods for approximating the areas of fields (for taxation purposes) and the volumes of granaries. The exact study of areas and volumes began with Euclid 2 and was carried to a high art form by Archimedes 3 . The modern study of this subject began with the great astronomer Johann Kepler's treatise 4 Nova stereometria doliorum vinariorum, wh...
Towards a Dichotomy Theorem for the Counting Constraint Satisfaction Problem
, 2006
"... The Counting Constraint Satisfaction Problem (#CSP) can be expressed as follows: given a set of variables, a set of values that can be taken by the variables, and a set of constraints specifying some restrictions on the values that can be taken simultaneously by some variables, determine the number ..."
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Cited by 51 (9 self)
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The Counting Constraint Satisfaction Problem (#CSP) can be expressed as follows: given a set of variables, a set of values that can be taken by the variables, and a set of constraints specifying some restrictions on the values that can be taken simultaneously by some variables, determine the number of assignments of values to variables that satisfy all the constraints. The #CSP provides a general framework for numerous counting combinatorial problems including counting satisfying assignments to a propositional formula, counting graph homomorphisms, graph reliability and many others. This problem can be parametrized by the set of relations that may appear in a constraint. In this paper we start a systematic study of subclasses of the #CSP restricted in this way. The ultimate goal of this investigation is to distinguish those restricted subclasses of the #CSP which are solvable in polynomial time from those which are not. We show that the complexity of any restricted #CSP class on a finite domain can be deduced from the properties of polymorphisms of the allowed constraints, similar to that for the decision constraint satisfaction problem. Then we prove that if a subclass of the #CSP is solvable in polynomial time, then constraints allowed by the class satisfy some very restrictive condition: they need to have a Mal’tsev polymorphism, that is a ternary operation m(x, y, z) such that m(x, y, y) = m(y, y, x) = x. This condition uniformly explains many existing complexity results for particular cases of the #CSP, including the dichotomy results for the problem of counting graph homomorphisms, and it allows us to obtain new results.
The complexity of the counting constraint satisfaction problem
 In ICALP (1
, 2008
"... The Counting Constraint Satisfaction Problem (#CSP(H)) over a finite relational structureH can be expressed as follows: given a relational structure G over the same vocabulary, determine the number of homomorphisms from G toH. In this paper we characterize relational structuresH for which#CSP(H) can ..."
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Cited by 45 (7 self)
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The Counting Constraint Satisfaction Problem (#CSP(H)) over a finite relational structureH can be expressed as follows: given a relational structure G over the same vocabulary, determine the number of homomorphisms from G toH. In this paper we characterize relational structuresH for which#CSP(H) can be solved in polynomial time and prove that for all other structures the problem is #Pcomplete. 1
Inapproximability of the Tutte polynomial
, 2008
"... The Tutte polynomial of a graph G is a twovariable polynomial T(G; x, y) that encodes many interesting properties of the graph. We study the complexity of the following problem, for rationals x and y: take as input a graph G, and output a value which is a good approximation to T(G; x, y). Jaeger, V ..."
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Cited by 31 (8 self)
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The Tutte polynomial of a graph G is a twovariable polynomial T(G; x, y) that encodes many interesting properties of the graph. We study the complexity of the following problem, for rationals x and y: take as input a graph G, and output a value which is a good approximation to T(G; x, y). Jaeger, Vertigan and Welsh have completely mapped the complexity of exactly computing the Tutte polynomial. They have shown that this is #Phard, except along the hyperbola (x − 1)(y − 1) = 1 and at four special points. We are interested in determining for which points (x, y) there is a fully polynomial randomised approximation scheme (FPRAS) for T(G; x, y). Under the assumption RP = NP, we prove that there is no FPRAS at (x, y) if (x, y) is is in one of the halfplanes x < −1 or y < −1 (excluding the easytocompute cases mentioned above). Two exceptions to this result are the halfline x < −1, y = 1 (which is still open) and the portion of the hyperbola (x − 1)(y − 1) = 2 corresponding to y < −1 which we show
On Enumerating All Minimal Solutions of Feedback Problems
"... We present an alg orithm thatg enerates all (inclusionwise) minimal feedback vertex sets of a directedg raph G =(V,E). The feedback vertex sets of G areg enerated with a polynomial delay of O # V  2 (V  + E) # . We further show that the underlying technique can be tailored tog enerate all ..."
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Cited by 23 (0 self)
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We present an alg orithm thatg enerates all (inclusionwise) minimal feedback vertex sets of a directedg raph G =(V,E). The feedback vertex sets of G areg enerated with a polynomial delay of O # V  2 (V  + E) # . We further show that the underlying technique can be tailored tog enerate all minimal solutions for the undirected case and the directed feedback arc set problem, both with a polynomial delay of O # V E (V  + E) # . Finally we prove that computing the number of minimal feedback arc sets is #Phard.
From a zoo to a zoology: Towards a general theory of graph polynomials
 Theory of Computing Systems
, 2007
"... Abstract. We outline a general theory of graph polynomials which covers all the examples we found in the vast literature, in particular, the chromatic polynomial, various generalizations of the Tutte polynomial, matching polynomials, interlace polynomials, and the cover polynomial of digraphs. We in ..."
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Cited by 23 (8 self)
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Abstract. We outline a general theory of graph polynomials which covers all the examples we found in the vast literature, in particular, the chromatic polynomial, various generalizations of the Tutte polynomial, matching polynomials, interlace polynomials, and the cover polynomial of digraphs. We introduce two classes of (hyper)graph polynomials definable in second order logic, and outline a research program for their classification in terms of definability and complexity considerations, and various notions of reducibilities. 1
The Complexity of Counting Graph Homomorphisms
 In 11th ACM/SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms
, 1999
"... The problem of counting graph homomorphisms is considered. We show that the counting problem corresponding to a given graph is #Pcomplete unless every connected component of the graph is an isolated vertex without a loop, a complete graph with all loops present, or a complete unlooped bipartite gra ..."
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Cited by 23 (5 self)
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The problem of counting graph homomorphisms is considered. We show that the counting problem corresponding to a given graph is #Pcomplete unless every connected component of the graph is an isolated vertex without a loop, a complete graph with all loops present, or a complete unlooped bipartite graph. 1 Introduction Many combinatorial counting problems on graphs can be restated as the problem of counting the number of homomorphisms to a particular graph H. The vertices of H correspond to colours, and the edges show which colours may be adjacent. The graph H may contain loops. Specifically, let C be a set of k colours, where k is a constant. Let H = (C; EH ) be a graph with vertex set C. Given a graph G = (V; E) with vertex set V , a map X : V 7! C is called a Hcolouring if fX(v); X(w)g 2 EH for all fv; wg 2 E: In other words, X is a homomorphism from G to H. Let\Omega H (G) denote the set of all Hcolourings of G. Two wellknown combinatorial counting problems which can be c...