Minimum bounded chains and minimum homologous chains in embedded simplicial complexes

30 Mar 2020 Borradaile Glencora Maxwell William Nayyeri Amir

We study two optimization problems on simplicial complexes with homology over $\mathbb{Z}_2$, the minimum bounded chain problem: given a $d$-dimensional complex $\mathcal{K}$ embedded in $\mathbb{R}^{d+1}$ and a null-homologous $(d-1)$-cycle $C$ in $\mathcal{K}$, find the minimum $d$-chain with boundary $C$, and the minimum homologous chain problem: given a $(d+1)$-manifold $\mathcal{M}$ and a $d$-chain $D$ in $\mathcal{M}$, find the minimum $d$-chain homologous to $D$. We show strong hardness results for both problems even for small values of $d$; $d = 2$ for the former problem, and $d=1$ for the latter problem... (read more)

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