Online edge coloring of paths and trees with a fixed number of colors

Lene M. Favrholdt*, Jesper W. Mikkelsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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We study a version of online edge coloring, where the goal is to color as many edges as possible using only a given number, k, of available colors. All of our results are with regard to competitive analysis. Previous attempts to identify optimal algorithms for this problem have failed, even for bipartite graphs. Thus, in this paper, we analyze even more restricted graph classes, paths and trees. For paths, we consider k= 2 , and for trees, we consider any k≥ 2. We prove that a natural greedy algorithm called FIRST-FIT is optimal among deterministic algorithms, on paths as well as trees. For paths, we give a randomized algorithm, which is optimal and better than the best possible deterministic algorithm. For trees, we prove that to obtain a better competitive ratio than FIRST-FIT, the algorithm would have to be both randomized and unfair (i.e., reject edges that could have been colored), and even such algorithms cannot be much better than FIRST-FIT.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Informatica
Pages (from-to)57-80
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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