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Postman Problems on Mixed Graphs

by Zaragoza Martinez, Francisco Javier

Abstract (Summary)
The mixed postman problem consists of finding a minimum cost tour of a mixed graph M = (V,E,A) traversing all its edges and arcs at least once. We prove that two well-known linear programming relaxations of this problem are equivalent. The extra cost of a mixed postman tour T is the cost of T minus the cost of the edges and arcs of M. We prove that it is NP-hard to approximate the minimum extra cost of a mixed postman tour. A related problem, known as the windy postman problem, consists of finding a minimum cost tour of an undirected graph G=(V,E) traversing all its edges at least once, where the cost of an edge depends on the direction of traversal. We say that G is windy postman perfect if a certain windy postman polyhedron O (G) is integral. We prove that series-parallel undirected graphs are windy postman perfect, therefore solving a conjecture of Win. Given a mixed graph M = (V,E,A) and a subset R ? E ? A, we say that a mixed postman tour of M is restricted if it traverses the elements of R exactly once. The restricted mixed postman problem consists of finding a minimum cost restricted tour. We prove that this problem is NP-hard even if R=A and we restrict M to be planar, hence solving a conjecture of Veerasamy. We also prove that it is NP-complete to decide whether there exists a restricted tour even if R=E and we restrict M to be planar. The edges postman problem is the special case of the restricted mixed postman problem when R=A. We give a new class of valid inequalities for this problem. We introduce a relaxation of this problem, called the b-join problem, that can be solved in polynomial time. We give an algorithm which is simultaneously a 4/3-approximation algorithm for the edges postman problem, and a 2-approximation algorithm for the extra cost of a tour. The arcs postman problem is the special case of the restricted mixed postman problem when R=E. We introduce a class of necessary conditions for M to have an arcs postman tour, and we give a polynomial-time algorithm to decide whether one of these conditions holds. We give linear programming formulations of this problem for mixed graphs arising from windy postman perfect graphs, and mixed graphs whose arcs form a forest.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Waterloo

School Location:Canada - Ontario

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:mathematics postman problems mixed graphs approximation algorithms combinatorial optimization

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2003

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