We study the problem of finding a maximum cardinality minimal separator of a graph. This problem is known to be NP-hard even for bipartite graphs. In this paper, we strengthen this hardness by showing that for planar bipartite graphs, the problem remains NP-hard. Moreover, for co-bipartite graphs and for line graphs, the problem also remains NP-hard. On the positive side, we give an algorithm deciding whether an input graph has a minimal separator of size at least k that runs in time 2O(k)nO(1). We further show that there is no 2o(n)nO(1)-time algorithm unless the Exponential Time Hypothesis (ETH) fails. Finally, we discuss a lower bound for polynomial kernelizations of this problem.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Theoretical Computer Science
- Computer Science(all)