Multiple-source shortest paths in embedded graphs

Written with Sergio Cabello and Erin W. Chambers

SIAM Journal on Computing 42(4):1542–1571, 2013.

Preliminary version (without my contributions) in Proceedings of the 18th Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms, 89–97, 2007.

Let G be a directed graph with n vertices and non-negative weights in its directed edges, embedded on a surface of genus g, and let f be an arbitrary face of G. We describe a randomized algorithm to preprocess the graph in O(gn log n) time with high probability, so that the shortest-path distance from any vertex on the boundary of f to any other vertex in G can be retrieved in O(log n) time. Our result directly generalizes the O(n log n)-time algorithm of Klein for multiple-source shortest paths in planar graphs. Intuitively, our preprocessing algorithm maintains a shortest-path tree as its source point moves continuously around the boundary of f. As an application of our algorithm, we describe algorithms to compute a shortest non-contractible or non-separating cycle in embedded, undirected graphs in O(g²n log n) time with high probability. Our high-probability time bounds hold in the worst-case for generic edge weights, or with an additional O(log n) factor for arbitrary edge weights.

Publications - Jeff Erickson ( 04 Aug 2013