, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 525-547
Date: 25 Feb 2012

Fast local search for the maximum independent set problem

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Abstract

Given a graph G=(V,E), the independent set problem is that of finding a maximum-cardinality subset S of V such that no two vertices in S are adjacent. We introduce two fast local search routines for this problem. The first can determine in linear time whether a maximal solution can be improved by replacing a single vertex with two others. The second routine can determine in O(mΔ) time (where Δ is the highest degree in the graph) whether there are two solution vertices than can be replaced by a set of three. We also present a more elaborate heuristic that successfully applies local search to find near-optimum solutions to a wide variety of instances. We test our algorithms on instances from the literature as well as on new ones proposed in this paper.