The traveling salesman problem: Low-dimensionality implies a polynomial time approximation scheme

Yair Bartal, Lee Ad Gottlieb, Robert Krauthgamer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

The traveling salesman problem (TSP) is among the most famous NP-hard optimization problems. We design for this problem an algorithm that for any fixed ∈ >0 computes in randomized polynomial time a (1 + ∈)-approximation to the optimal tour in TSP instances that form an arbitrary metric space with bounded intrinsic dimension. The celebrated results of Arora [J. ACM, 45 (1998), pp. 753-782] and Mitchell [SIAM J. Comput., 28 (1999), pp. 1298-1309] prove that the above result holds in the special case of TSP in a fixed-dimensional Euclidean space. Thus, our algorithm demonstrates that the algorithmic tractability of metric TSP depends on the dimensionality of the space and not on its specific geometry. This result resolves a problem that has been open since the quasi-polynomial time algorithm of Talwar [Proceedings of the 36th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, 2004, pp. 281-290].

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1563-1581
Number of pages19
JournalSIAM Journal on Computing
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 the authors.

Keywords

  • Approximation algorithm
  • Hierarchies
  • Traveling salesman

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