## 68Q25 Analysis of algorithms and problem complexity [See also 68W40]

Nowadays most data networks use shortest path protocols such as OSPF or IS-IS to route traffic. Given administrative routing lengths for the links of a network, all data packets are sent along shortest paths with respect to these lengths from their source to their destination. One of the most fundamental problems in planning shortest path networks is to decide whether a given set of routing paths forms a valid routing and, if this is not the case, to find a small subset of the given paths that cannot be shortest paths simultaneously for any routing lengths. In this paper we show that it is NP-hard to approximate the size of the smallest shortest path conflict by a factor less than 7/6.

In this paper, we discuss the relation of unsplittable shortest path routing (USPR) to other routing schemes and study the approximability of three USPR network planning problems. Given a digraph $D=(V,A)$ and a set $K$ of directed commodities, an USPR is a set of flow paths $\Phi_{(s,t)}$, $(s,t)\in K$, such that there exists a metric $\lambda=(\lambda_a)\in \mathbb{Z}^A_+$ with respect to which each $\Phi_{(s,t)}$ is the unique shortest $(s,t)$-path. In the \textsc{Min-Con-USPR} problem, we seek for an USPR that minimizes the maximum congestion over all arcs. We show that this problem is hard to approximate within a factor of $\mathcal{O}(|V|^{1-\epsilon})$, but easily approximable within min$(|A|,|K|)$ in general and within $\mathcal{O}(1)$ if the underlying graph is an undirected cycle or a bidirected ring. We also construct examples where the minimum congestion that can be obtained by USPR is a factor of $\Omega(|V|^2)$ larger than that achievable by unsplittable flow routing or by shortest multi-path routing, and a factor of $\Omega(|V|)$ larger than by unsplittable source-invariant routing. In the CAP-USPR problem, we seek for a minimum cost installation of integer arc capacities that admit an USPR of the given commodities. We prove that this problem is $\mathcal{NP}$-hard to approximate within $2-\epsilon$ (even in the undirected case), and we devise approximation algorithms for various special cases. The fixed charge network design problem \textsc{Cap-USPR}, where the task is to find a minimum cost subgraph of $D$ whose fixed arc capacities admit an USPR of the commodities, is shown to be $\mathcal{NPO}$-complete. All three problems are of great practical interest in the planning of telecommunication networks that are based on shortest path routing protocols. Our results indicate that they are harder than the corresponding unsplittable flow or shortest multi-path routing problems.

P=NP?
(2002)

Hinter der für den Uneingeweihten etwas kryptischen Frage "P = NP?" verbirgt sich das derzeit wichtigste Problem der Komplexitätstheorie. Dieser Artikel erläutert einige Aspekte der Theorie und erklärt informell, was "P = NP?" bedeutet. Es geht nicht nur um komplizierte algorithmische Mathematik und Informatik, sondern um grundsätzliche Fragen unserer Lebensumwelt. Kann man vielleicht beweisen, dass es für viele Probleme unseres Alltags keine effizienten Lösungsmethoden gibt?