Computing Height-Optimal Tangles Faster

19 Jan 2019  ·  Oksana Firman, Philipp Kindermann, Alexander Ravsky, Alexander Wolff, Johannes Zink ·

We study the following combinatorial problem. Given a set of $n$ y-monotone wires, a tangle determines the order of the wires on a number of horizontal layers such that the orders of the wires on any two consecutive layers differ only in swaps of neighboring wires... Given a multiset $L$ of swaps (that is, unordered pairs of numbers between 1 and $n$) and an initial order of the wires, a tangle realizes $L$ if each pair of wires changes its order exactly as many times as specified by $L$. The aim is to find a tangle that realizes $L$ using the smallest number of layers. We show that this problem is NP-hard, and we give an algorithm that computes an optimal tangle for $n$ wires and a given list $L$ of swaps in $O((2|L|/n^2+1)^{n^2/2} \cdot \varphi^n \cdot n)$ time, where $\varphi \approx 1.618$ is the golden ratio. We can treat lists where every swap occurs at most once in $O(n!\varphi^n)$ time. We implemented the algorithm for the general case and compared it to an existing algorithm. Finally, we discuss feasibility for lists with a simple structure. read more

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