Hardness and Algorithms for Rainbow Connectivity
University of Chicago, U.S.A.
An edge-colored graph G is "rainbow connected" if any two vertices are connected by a path whose edges have distinct colors. The "rainbow connectivity" of a connected graph G, denoted rc(G), is the smallest number of colors that are needed in order to make G rainbow connected. In addition to being a natural combinatorial problem, the rainbow connectivity problem is motivated by applications in cellular networks. In this paper we give the first proof that computing rc(G) is NP-Hard. In fact, we prove that it is already NP-Complete to decide if rc(G)=2, and also that it is NP-Complete to decide whether a given edge-colored (with an unbounded number of colors) graph is rainbow connected. On the positive side, we prove that for every \epsilon >0, a connected graph with minimum degree at least \epsilon n has bounded rainbow connectivity, where the bound depends only on \epsilon, and the corresponding coloring can be constructed in polynomial time. Additional non-trivial upper bounds, as well as open problems and conjectures are also presented