Similarity-First Search: a new algorithm with application to Robinsonian matrix recognition
We present a new efficient combinatorial algorithm for recognizing if a given symmetric matrix is Robinsonian, i.e., if its rows and columns can be simultaneously reordered so that entries are monotone nondecreasing in rows and columns when moving toward the diagonal. As main ingredient we introduce a new algorithm, named Similarity-First-Search (SFS), which extends Lexicographic Breadth-First Search (Lex-BFS) to weighted graphs and which we use in a multisweep algorithm to recognize Robinsonian matrices. Since Robinsonian binary matrices correspond to unit interval graphs, our algorithm can be seen as a generalization to weighted graphs of the 3-sweep Lex-BFS algorithm of Corneil for recognizing unit interval graphs. This new recognition algorithm is extremely simple and, for an n×n nonnegative matrix with m nonzero entries, it terminates in n−1 SFS sweeps, with overall running time O(n^2+nmlogn).