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Comparing universal covers in polynomial time.

Fiala, J. and Paulusma, Daniel (2008) 'Comparing universal covers in polynomial time.', in Computer science – theory and applications, Third International Computer Science Symposium in Russia, CSR 2008, 7-12 June 2008, Moscow, Russia ; proceedings. Berlin ; Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 158-167. Lecture notes in computer science. (5010).


The universal cover T G of a connected graph G is the unique (possible infinite) tree covering G, i.e., that allows a locally bijective homomorphism from T G to G. Universal covers have major applications in the area of distributed computing. It is well-known that if a graph G covers a graph H then their universal covers are isomorphic, and that the latter can be tested in polynomial time by checking if G and H share the same degree refinement matrix. We extend this result to locally injective and locally surjective homomorphisms by following a very different approach. Using linear programming techniques we design two polynomial time algorithms that check if there exists a locally injective or a locally surjective homomorphism, respectively, from a universal cover T G to a universal cover T H . This way we obtain two heuristics for testing the corresponding locally constrained graph homomorphisms. As a consequence, we have obtained a new polynomial time algorithm for testing (subgraph) isomorphism between universal covers, and for checking if there exists a role assignment (locally surjective homomorphism) from a given tree to an arbitrary fixed graph H.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Date of first online publication:2008
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