FPT Algorithms for Diverse Collections of Hitting Sets
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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In this work, we study the d-Hitting Set and Feedback Vertex Set problems through the paradigm of finding diverse collections of r solutions of size at most k each, which has recently been introduced to the field of parameterized complexity. This paradigm is aimed at addressing the loss of important side information which typically occurs during the abstraction process that models real-world problems as computational problems. We use two measures for the diversity of such a collection: the sum of all pairwise Hamming distances, and the minimum pairwise Hamming distance. We show that both problems are fixed-parameter tractable in k+r for both diversity measures. A key ingredient in our algorithms is a (problem independent) network flow formulation that, given a set of ‘base’ solutions, computes a maximally diverse collection of solutions. We believe that this could be of independent interest.