On the locality of some NP-complete problems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We consider the distributed message-passing model. In this model a communication network is represented by a graph where vertices host processors, and communication is performed over the edges. Computation proceeds in synchronous rounds. The running time of an algorithm is the number of rounds from the beginning until all vertices terminate. Local computation is free. An algorithm is called local if it terminates within a constant number of rounds. The question of what problems can be computed locally was raised by Naor and Stockmeyer [16] in their seminal paper in STOC'93. Since then the quest for problems with local algorithms, and for problems that cannot be computed locally, has become a central research direction in the field of distributed algorithms [9,11,13,17]. We devise the first local algorithm for an NP-complete problem. Specifically, our randomized algorithm computes, with high probability, an O(n 1/2∈+∈ε ·χ)-coloring within O(1) rounds, where ε∈>∈0 is an arbitrarily small constant, and χ is the chromatic number of the input graph. (This problem was shown to be NP-complete in [21].) On our way to this result we devise a constant-time algorithm for computing (O(1), O(n 1/2∈+∈ε ))-network-decompositions. Network-decompositions were introduced by Awerbuch et al. [1], and are very useful for solving various distributed problems. The best previously-known algorithm for network-decomposition has a polylogarithmic running time (but is applicable for a wider range of parameters) [15]. We also devise a Δ1∈+∈ε-coloring algorithm for graphs with sufficiently large maximum degree Δ that runs within O(1) rounds. It improves the best previously-known result for this family of graphs, which is O(log* n) [19].

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAutomata, Languages, and Programming - 39th International Colloquium, ICALP 2012, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages13
EditionPART 2
ISBN (Print)9783642315848
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event39th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming, ICALP 2012 - Warwick, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Jul 201213 Jul 2012

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
NumberPART 2
Volume7392 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference39th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming, ICALP 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


Dive into the research topics of 'On the locality of some NP-complete problems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this