An effcient algorithm for the nearly equitable edge coloring problem

Xuzhen Xie*, Mutsunori Yagiura, Takao Ono, Tomio Hirata, Uri Zwick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An edge coloring of a multigraph is nearly equitable if, among the edges incident to each vertex, the numbers of edges colored with any two colors differ by at most two. It has been proved that the problem of finding a nearly equitable edge coloring can be solved in O(m2=k) time, where m and k are the numbers of edges and given colors, respectively. In this pa- per, we present a recursive algorithm that runs in O (mnlog (m=(kn) + 1)) time, where n is the number of vertices. This algorithm improves the best- known worst-case time complexity. When k = O(1), the time complexity of all known algorithms is O(m2), which implies that this time complex- ity remains to be the best for more than twenty years since 1982 when Hilton and de Werra gave a constructive proof for the existence of a nearly equitable edge coloring for any multigraph. Our result is the first that im- proves this time complexity when m=n grows to infinity; e.g., m = nθ for an arbitrary constant θ > 1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-399
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Graph Algorithms and Applications
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


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