Tight Lower Bounds for Directed Cut Sparsification and Distributed Min-Cut

Yu Cheng, Max Li,Honghao Lin, Zi-Yi Tai,David P. Woodruff, Jason Zhang

Proceedings of the ACM on Management of Data(2024)

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In this paper, we consider two fundamental cut approximation problems on large graphs. We prove new lower bounds for both problems that are optimal up to logarithmic factors. The first problem is approximating cuts in balanced directed graphs. In this problem, we want to build a data structure that can provide (1 ± ε)-approximation of cut values on a graph with n vertices. For arbitrary directed graphs, such a data structure requires Ω(n 2 ) bits even for constant ε. To circumvent this, recent works study β-balanced graphs, meaning that for every directed cut, the total weight of edges in one direction is at most β times the total weight in the other direction. We consider the for-each model, where the goal is to approximate each cut with constant probability, and the for-all model, where all cuts must be preserved simultaneously. We improve the previous Ømega(n √β/ε) lower bound in the for-each model to ~Ω (n √β /ε) and we improve the previous Ω(n β/ε) lower bound in the for-all model to Ω(n β/ε 2 ). This resolves the main open questions of (Cen et al., ICALP, 2021). The second problem is approximating the global minimum cut in a local query model, where we can only access the graph via degree, edge, and adjacency queries. We prove an ΩL(min m, m/ε 2 k R) lower bound for this problem, which improves the previous ΩL(m/k R) lower bound, where m is the number of edges, k is the minimum cut size, and we seek a (1+ε)-approximation. In addition, we show that existing upper bounds with minor modifications match our lower bound up to logarithmic factors.
communication complexity,data structures,distributed algorithms,graph sparsification,minimum cut
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