ICS Theory Group

ICS 269, Fall 2005: Theory Seminar

The Weighted Maximum-Mean Subtree and Other Bicriterion Subtree Problems

Josiah Carlson

October 7, 2005, in CS 259


We consider problems in which we are given a rooted tree as input, and must find a subtree with the same root, optimizing some objective function of the nodes in the subtree. When this function is the sum of constant node weights, the problem is trivially solved in linear time. When the objective is the sum of weights that are linear functions of a parameter, we show how to list all optima for all possible parameter values in O(n log n) time; this parametric optimization problem can be used to solve many bicriterion optimizations problems, in which each node has two values xi and yi associated with it, and the objective function is a bivariate function f(SUM(xi),SUM(yi)) of the sums of these two values. A special case, when f is the ratio of the two sums, is the Weighted Maximum-Mean Subtree Problem, or equivalently the Fractional Prize-Collecting Steiner Tree Problem on Trees; for this special case, we provide a linear time algorithm for this problem when all weights are positive, improving a previous O(n log n) solution, and prove that the problem is NP-complete when negative weights are allowed.

(Joint work with D. Eppstein.)