On the Parameterized Approximability of Contraction to Classes of Chordal Graphs

Spoorthy Gunda, Pallavi Jain, Daniel Lokshtanov, Saket Saurabh, Prafullkumar Tale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A graph operation that contracts edges is one of the fundamental operations in the theory of graph minors. Parameterized Complexity of editing to a family of graphs by contracting k edges has recently gained substantial scientific attention, and several new results have been obtained. Some important families of graphs, namely, the subfamilies of chordal graphs, in the context of edge contractions, have proven to be significantly difficult than one might expect. In this article, we study the F-Contraction problem, where F is a subfamily of chordal graphs, in the realm of parameterized approximation. Formally, given a graph G and an integer k, F-Contraction asks whether there exists X ⊆ E(G) such that G/X ∈ F and |X| ≤ k. Here, G/X is the graph obtained from G by contracting edges in X. We obtain the following results for the F-Contraction problem: •Clique Contraction is known to be FPT. However, unless NP⊆ coNP/poly, it does not admit a polynomial kernel. We show that it admits a polynomial-size approximate kernelization scheme (PSAKS). That is, it admits a (1 + ϵ)-approximate kernel with O(kf(ϵ)) vertices for every ϵ > 0. •Split Contraction is known to be W[1]-Hard. We deconstruct this intractability result in two ways. First, we give a (2+ϵ)-approximate polynomial kernel for Split Contraction (which also implies a factor (2+ϵ)-FPT-approximation algorithm for Split Contraction). Furthermore, we show that, assuming Gap-ETH, there is no (5/4-δ)-FPT-approximation algorithm for Split Contraction. Here, ϵ, δ> 0 are fixed constants. •Chordal Contraction is known to be W[2]-Hard. We complement this result by observing that the existing W[2]-hardness reduction can be adapted to show that, assuming FPT ≠ W[1], there is no F(k)-FPT-approximation algorithm for Chordal Contraction. Here, F(k) is an arbitrary function depending on k alone. We say that an algorithm is an h(k)-FPT-approximation algorithm for the F-Contraction problem, if it runs in FPT time, and on any input (G, k) such that there exists X ⊆ E(G) satisfying G/X ∈ F and |X| ≤ k, it outputs an edge set Y of size at most h(k) · k for which G/Y is in F.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
JournalACM Transactions on Computation Theory
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • FPT-approximation
  • Graph contraction
  • inapproximability
  • lossy kernels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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