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This course is about designing fast algorithms for NP-hard graph theoretic problems, where the running time depends on multiple parameters of the input. For example, while a database may contain a very large amount of data, the size of the database queries is typically extremely small in comparison. The aim would be to obtain algorithms that have a small dependence on the database size, but possibly a larger dependence on the query size. Such an algorithm would be fast when the queries are small.
We will see several algorithmic techniques to design fast algorithms for NP-hard problems in this setting, called Fixed Parameter Tractable (FPT) algorithms, as well as an overview of the lower-bound methods. We will also learn about preprocessing or data-reduction algorithms in this setting, called Kernelization algorithms, which run in polynomial time and reduce a given instance of a NP-hard problem to an equivalent but much smaller instance.
Two hours of lectures every week and two hours of tutorials every other week.
Basic knowledge of algorithms, graph theory and probability will be assumed.