Abstract: | A graph is said to be 2-edge-connected if it remains connected after the deletion of any single edge. Given an unweighted bridgeless graph G with n vertices, the minimum size 2-edge-connected spanning subgraph problem (2EC) is that of finding a 2-edge-connected spanning subgraph of G with the minimum number of edges. This problem has important applications in the design of survivable networks. However, because
the problem is NP-hard, it is unlikely that efficient methods exist for solving it. Thus efficient methods that find solutions that are provably close to optimal are sought.
In this thesis, an approximation algorithm is presented for 2EC on bridgeless cubic graphs which guarantees to be within 5/4 of the optimal solution value, improving on the previous best proven approximation guarantee of 5/4+ε for this problem. We also focus on the linear programming (LP) relaxation of 2EC, which provides important lower bounds for 2EC in useful solution techniques like branch and bound. The “goodness” of this lower bound is measured by the integrality gap of the LP relaxation for 2EC, denoted by α2EC. Through a computational study, we find the exact value of α2EC for graphs with small n. Moreover, a significant improvement is found for the lower bound on the value of α2EC for bridgeless subcubic graphs, which improves the known best lower bound on α2EC from 9/8 to 8/7. |