Grid Recognition: Classical and Parameterized Computational Perspectives.

Siddharth Gupta, Guy Sa'ar, Meirav Zehavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Grid graphs, and, more generally, k × r grid graphs, form one of the most basic classes of geometric graphs. Over the past few decades, a large body of works studied the (in)tractability of various computational problems on grid graphs, which often yield substantially faster algorithms than general graphs. Unfortunately, the recognition of a grid graph (given a graph G, decide whether
it is a grid graph) is particularly hard—it was shown to be NP-hard even on trees of pathwidth 3 already in 1987. Yet, in this paper, we provide several positive results in this regard in the framework of parameterized complexity (additionally, we present new and complementary hardness results). Specifically, our contribution is threefold. First, we show that the problem is fixed-parameter
tractable (FPT) parameterized by k+mcc where mcc is the maximum size of a connected component of G. This also implies that the problem is FPT parameterized by td + k where td is the treedepth of G (to be compared with the hardness for pathwidth 2 where k = 3). (We note that when k and r are unrestricted, the problem is trivially FPT parameterized by td.) Further, we derive as a corollary that strip packing is FPT with respect to the height of the strip plus the maximum of the dimensions of the packed rectangles, which was previously only known to be in XP. Second, we present a new parameterization, denoted aG, relating graph distance to geometric distance, which may be of independent interest. We show that the problem is para-NP-hard parameterized by aG,
but FPT parameterized by aG on trees, as well as FPT parameterized by k + aG. Third, we show that the recognition of k×r grid graphs is NP-hard on graphs of pathwidth 2 where k = 3. Moreover, when k and r are unrestricted, we show that the problem is NP-hard on trees of pathwidth 2, but trivially solvable in polynomial time on graphs of pathwidth 1.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2021


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