Publication Overview

Julian Dörfler and Marc Roth and Johannes Schmitt and Philip Wellnitz

Counting Induced Subgraphs: An Algebraic Approach to #W[1]-hardness

We study the problem #IndSub(P) of counting all induced subgraphs of size k in a graph G that satisfy the property P. This problem was introduced by Jerrum and Meeks and shown to be #W[1]-hard when parameterized by k for some families of properties P including, among others, connectivity [JCSS 15] and even- or oddness of the number of edges [Combinatorica 17]. Very recently [IPEC 18], two of the authors introduced a novel technique for the complexity analysis of #IndSub(P), inspired by the "topological approach to evasiveness" of Kahn, Saks and Sturtevant [FOCS 83] and the framework of graph motif parameters due to Curticapean, Dell and Marx [STOC 17], allowing them to prove hardness of a wide range of properties P. In this work, we refine this technique for graph properties that are non-trivial on edge-transitive graphs with a prime power number of edges. In particular, we fully classify the case of monotone bipartite graph properties: It is shown that, given any graph property P that is closed under the removal of vertices and edges, and that is non-trivial for bipartite graphs, the problem #IndSub(P) is #W[1]-hard and cannot be solved in time f(k)*n^{o(k)} for any computable function f, unless the Exponential Time Hypothesis fails. This holds true even if the input graph is restricted to be bipartite and counting is done modulo a fixed prime. A similar result is shown for properties that are closed under the removal of edges only.

Published in: 44th International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science, MFCS 2019, August 26-30, 2019, Aachen, Germany, to appear
Year: 2019