Paper by Erik D. Demaine

Katsuhisa Yamanaka, Erik D. Demaine, Takehiro Ito, Jun Kawahara, Masashi Kiyomi, Yoshio Okamoto, Toshiki Saitoh, Akira Suzuki, Kei Uchizawa, and Takeaki Uno, “Swapping Labeled Tokens on Graphs”, in Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Fun with Algorithms (FUN 2014), Lipari Island, Italy, July 1–3, 2014, pages 364–375.

Consider a puzzle consisting of n tokens on an n-vertex graph, where each token has a distinct starting vertex and a distinct target vertex it wants to reach, and the only allowed transformation is to swap the tokens on adjacent vertices. We prove that every such puzzle is solvable in O(n2) token swaps, and thus focus on the problem of minimizing the number of token swaps to reach the target token placement. We give a polynomial-time 2-approximation algorithm for trees, and using this, obtain a polynomial-time 2α-approximation algorithm for graphs whose tree α-spanners can be computed in polynomial time. Finally, we show that the problem can be solved exactly in polynomial time on complete bipartite graphs.

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Related papers:
TokenReconfiguration_TCS (Swapping Labeled Tokens on Graphs)

See also other papers by Erik Demaine.
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Last updated May 17, 2017 by Erik Demaine.