The Full Degree Spanning Tree Problem

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1998-10-15

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The full degree spanning tree problem is defined as follows: given a connected graph $G=(V,E)$ find a spanning tree $T$ so as to maximize the number of vertices whose degree in $T$ is the same as in $G$ (these are called vertices of ``full'' degree). We show that this problem is NP-hard. We also present almost {\em optimal} approximation algorithms for it assuming $coR \neq NP$. For the case of general graphs our approximation factor is $\Theta(\sqrt{n})$. Using H{\aa}stad's result on the hardness of approximating clique, we can show that if there is a polynomial time approximation algorithm for our problem with a factor of $O(n^{\frac{1}{2}-\epsilon})$ then $coR=NP$. For the case of planar graphs, we present a polynomial time approximation
scheme. Additionally, we present some experimental results comparing our algorithm to the previous heuristic used for this problem. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS 98-47)

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