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Complexity of (arc)-connectivity problems involving arc-reversals or deorientations

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posted on 2024-03-25, 13:29 authored by Jørgen Bang-Jensen, Florian HörschFlorian Hörsch, Matthias Kriesell

By a well known theorem of Robbins, a graph G has a strongly connected orientation if and only if G is 2-edge-connected and it is easy to find, in linear time, either a cut edge of G or a strong orientation of G.

A result of Durand de Gevigny shows that for every k≥3 it is NP-hard to decide if a given graph G has a k-strong orientation. Thomassen showed that one can check in polynomial time whether a given graph has a 2-strong orientation. This implies that for a given digraph D we can determine in polynomial time whether we can reorient (=reverse) some arcs of D=(V,A) to obtain a 2-strong digraph D′=(V,A′). This naturally leads to the question of determining the minimum number of such arcs to reverse before the resulting graph is 2-strong. In this paper we show that finding this number is NP-hard.

If a 2-connected graph G has no 2-strong orientation, we may ask how many of its edges we may orient so that the resulting mixed graph is still 2-strong. Similarly, we may ask for a 2-edge-connected graph G how many of its edges we can orient such that the resulting mixed graph remains 2-arc-strong. We prove that when restricted to graphs satisfying suitable connectivity conditions, both of these problems are equivalent to finding the minimum number of edges we must double in a 2-edge-connected graph in order to obtain a 4-edge-connected graph. Using this, we show that all these three problems are NP-hard.

Finally, we consider the operation of deorienting an arc uv of a digraph D meaning replacing it by an undirected edge between the same vertices. In terms of connectivity properties, this is equivalent to adding the opposite arc vu to D. We prove that for every ℓ≥3 it is NP-hard to find the minimum number of arcs to deorient in a digraph D in order to obtain an ℓ-strong digraph D′.


Primary Research Area

  • Algorithmic Foundations and Cryptography


Theoretical Computer Science



Page Range




Open Access Type

  • Green

Sub Type

  • Article


@article{Bang-Jensen:Hörsch:Kriesell:2023, title = "Complexity of (arc)-connectivity problems involving arc-reversals or deorientations", author = "Bang-Jensen, Jørgen" AND "Hörsch, Florian" AND "Kriesell, Matthias", year = 2023, month = 9, journal = "Theoretical Computer Science", pages = "114097--114097", publisher = "Elsevier", issn = "0304-3975", doi = "10.1016/j.tcs.2023.114097" }