## Abstract

In this paper we consider the p-ary transitive reduction (TR _{p} ) problem where p>0 is an integer; for p=2 this problem arises in inferring a sparsest possible (biological) signal transduction network consistent with a set of experimental observations with a goal to minimize false positive inferences even if risking false negatives. Special cases of TR _{p} have been investigated before in different contexts; the best previous results are as follows: (1) The minimum equivalent digraph problem, that correspond to a special case of TR _{1} with no critical edges, is known to be MAX-SNP-hard, admits a polynomial time algorithm with an approximation ratio of 1.617+ε for any constant ε>0 (Chiu and Liu in Sci. Sin. 4:1396-1400, 1965) and can be solved in linear time for directed acyclic graphs (Aho et al. in SIAM J. Comput. 1(2):131-137, 1972). (2) A 2-approximation algorithm exists for TR _{1} (Frederickson and JàJà in SIAM J. Comput. 10(2):270-283, 1981; Khuller et al. in 19th Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms, pp. 937-938, 1999). In this paper, our contributions are as follows: • We observe that TR _{p} , for any integer p>0, can be solved in linear time for directed acyclic graphs using the ideas in Aho et al. (SIAM J. Comput. 1(2):131-137, 1972). • We provide a 1.78-approximation for TR _{1} that improves the 2-approximation mentioned in (2) above. • We provide a 2+o(1)-approximation for TR _{p} on general graphs for any fixed prime p>1.

Original language | English (US) |
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Pages (from-to) | 129-159 |

Number of pages | 31 |

Journal | Algorithmica (New York) |

Volume | 51 |

Issue number | 2 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Jun 1 2008 |

## All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

- Computer Science(all)
- Computer Science Applications
- Applied Mathematics