A sparsifier of a graph G (Benczúr and Karger; Spielman and Teng) is a sparse weighted subgraph G that approximately retains the same cut structure of G. For general graphs, non-trivial sparsification is possible only by using weighted graphs in which different edges have different weights. Even for graphs that admit unweighted sparsifiers (that is, sparsifiers in which all the edge weights are equal to the same scaling factor), there are no known polynomial time algorithms that find such unweighted sparsifiers. We study a weaker notion of sparsification suggested by Oveis Gharan, in which the number of cut edges in each cut (S, S) is not approximated within a multiplicative factor (1+ε), but is, instead, approximated up to an additive term bounded by ε times d⋅|S| + vol (S), where d is the average degree of the graph and vol (S) is the sum of the degrees of the vertices in S. We provide a probabilistic polynomial time construction of such sparsifiers for every graph, and our sparsifiers have a near-optimal number of edges O(ε^-2 npolylog (1/ε)). We also provide a deterministic polynomial time construction that constructs sparsifiers with a weaker property having the optimal number of edges O(ε^-2 n). Our constructions also satisfy a spectral version of the “additive sparsification'' property. Notions of sparsification have also been studied for hypergraphs. Our construction of “additive sparsifiers'' with O_ε (n) edges also works for hypergraphs, and provides the first non-trivial notion of sparsification for hypergraphs achievable with O(n) hyperedges when ε and the rank r of the hyperedges are constant. Finally, we provide a new construction of spectral hypergraph sparsifiers, according to the standard definition, with poly (ε^-1, r) n log n hyperedges, improving over the previous spectral construction (Soma and Yoshida) that used Õ(n^3) hyperedges even for constant r and ε.

Algorithms, Graphs, Sparsification
Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science
Networks and Optimization

Bansal, N, Svensson, O, & Trevisan, L. (2019). New notions and constructions of sparsification for graphs and hypergraphs. In Proceedings of FOCS (pp. 910–928). doi:10.1109/FOCS.2019.00059