Lecture series on the disjoint paths algorithm

Graph Theory Seminar
Monday, February 7, 2011 - 2:05pm
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 168
GT, Math and University of Rome
The k-disjoint paths problem takes as input a graph G and k pairs of vertices (s_1, t_1),..., (s_k, t_k) and determines if there exist internally disjoint paths P_1,..., P_k such that the endpoints of P_i are s_i and t_i for all i=1,2,...,k. While the problem is NP-complete when k is allowed to be part of the input, Robertson and Seymour showed that there exists a polynomial time algorithm for fixed values of k. The existence of such an algorithm is the major algorithmic result of the Graph Minors series. The original proof of Robertson and Seymour relies on the whole theory of graph minors, and consequently is both quite technical and involved. Recent results have dramatically simplified the proof to the point where it is now feasible to present the proof in its entirety. This seminar series will do just that, with the level of detail aimed at a graduate student level.