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The Complexity of Counting Eulerian Tours in 4-regular Graphs


We investigate the complexity of counting Eulerian tours (#ET) and its variations from two perspectives—the complexity of exact counting and the complexity w.r.t. approximation-preserving reductions (AP-reductions, Dyer et al., Algorithmica 38(3):471–500, 2004). We prove that #ET is #P-complete even for planar 4-regular graphs.

A closely related problem is that of counting A-trails (#A-trails) in graphs with rotational embedding schemes (so called maps). Kotzig (Theory of Graphs, Proc. Colloq., Tihany, 1966, pp. 219–230, Academic Press, San Diego, 1968) showed that #A-trails can be computed in polynomial time for 4-regular plane graphs (embedding in the plane is equivalent to giving a rotational embedding scheme). We show that for 4-regular maps the problem is #P-hard. Moreover, we show that from the approximation viewpoint #A-trails in 4-regular maps captures the essence of #ET, that is, we give an AP-reduction from #ET in general graphs to #A-trails in 4-regular maps. The reduction uses a fast mixing result for a card shuffling problem (Wilson, Ann. Appl. Probab. 14(1):274–325, 2004).

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Correspondence to Qi Ge.

Additional information

Research supported, in part, by NSF grant CCF-0910584. This paper is an extension of the previous work presented at the 9th Latin American Theoretical Informatics Symposium (LATIN 2010) [9].

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Ge, Q., Štefankovič, D. The Complexity of Counting Eulerian Tours in 4-regular Graphs. Algorithmica 63, 588–601 (2012).

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  • Eulerian tours
  • A-trails
  • #P-complete
  • AP-reduction
  • Fully polynomial randomized approximation scheme