# Roman domination problem with uncertain positioning and deployment costs

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## Abstract

In a connected simple graph, the weighted Roman domination problem is considered at which the cost of positioning at each vertex is imposed in addition to the costs of potential deployments from a vertex to some of its neighboring vertices. Proper decision in practice is prone to a high degree of indeterminacy, mostly raised by unpredictable events that do not obey the rules and prerequisites of the probability theory. In this study, we model this problem with such assumptions in the context of the uncertainty theory initiated by Liu (Uncertainty theory. Studies in fuzziness and soft computing, Springer, Berlin, 2007). Two different optimization models are presented, and a concrete example is provided for illustrative purposes. Weaknesses of the probability theory and fuzzy theory in dealing with this problem are also mentioned in detail.

## Keywords

Roman-dominating set problem Positioning and deployment costs Integer linear programming Uncertainty theory Uncertain variable## 1 Introduction

Roman domination problem has historical significance and dates back to the fourth century when the emperor of Rome, Constantine the Great, decreed that two types of legions should be positioned in Roman provinces. The first type of legion was particularly skilled agile combatants who could be promptly deployed to an adjacent province for defending against any potential attack. The latter would behave as a local force permanently located in the given province. In addition, no legion could ever depart a province in order to defend another one, if such action leaves the base province unprotected.

In the graph theory language, the problem has been originally introduced by Ian Stewart as the “Roman domination problem” Stewart (1999), each province was denoted by a vertex and linkages between provinces were depicted as edges. The set of vertices in an instance positioned with one or two legions is referred to as a “Roman dominating set,” and minimum cardinality of such a set is known as “Roman domination number.”

In addition to army placement, the same sort of mathematics is also useful when a planner wants to know the best place in a town to construct a new public service facility such as hospital, fire station and emergency forces’ bases. Such optimization problems can be modeled by Roman domination or its variants. For instance in a fire station location problem, if necessity is declared as “The region, at which just one fire station is established, is allowed to serve its region only. While the region with no fire station must be adjacent to another region with two fire stations, and in the case of accidents in the region, one of the stations in the latter must cover its neighboring region with not fire station. This problem is an example of nonmilitary application of the Roman domination problem.

Another instance is the ad hoc wireless networks as a special type of wireless mobile networks in which a collection of mobile hosts with wireless network interfaces form a temporary network, without the aid of any established infrastructure or centralized administration. In these networks, wireless hubs are more expensive but can serve neighboring locations. The applications of ad hoc wireless networks range from civilian use (distributed computing, sensor networks) to disaster recovery (search-and-rescue) and military use (battlefield) Wu and Li (2000). This problem also can be readily modeled as a Roman domination problem and its variants.

Most of studies on this problem and its different versions have been focused on finding tighter bounds for the associated domination numbers [See, e.g., Burger et al. (2013), Chambers et al. (2009), Chun-Hung and Chang (2012)]. Meanwhile, exact solutions are available for some special graphs such as paths, cycles and their Cartesian products Pavlič and Žerovnik (2012). Optimization models are not only capable of identifying the Roman domination number itself in a general graph, but also provide an instance of the associated set. However, almost all models are in the form of linear binary program [See, e.g., Ivanović (2016); ReVelle and Rosing (2000)] which suffers from NP-hardness. Relaxations [See, e.g., Ghaffari-Hadigheh and Djahangiri (2015)] and evolutionary methods Hedar and Ismail (2010) enable reasonable approximations to the solution.

The Roman domination problem is away from practice to a great extent if the cost of positioning of legions and the expenditure imposed by the possible deployment of some legions to their neighboring provinces are overlooked. Moreover, exogenous and endogenous sources of uncertainty exist in the nature of the problem. In civilian applications, consider the problem of identifying fire stations places for a new establishing city for an instance. Construction costs of stations might have almost exact values, while deployment cost of a fire engine from an station to an accident is not known before establishment of the city and inhabitants settlement. One may argue this claim and say that there exist some data, collected in similar situations, which could be a basis for approximating a probability distribution of this unknown cost, and therefore stochastic approach is justifiable. However, a question here still is unanswered “Does this distribution good fit to the uncertain parameters of an unsettled city?”.

In some cases, this sort of data could be even misleading and result in disastrous consequences. Consider augmenting of temporary hospitals to the existing healthcare system as one solution for dealing with a surge of patients related to war, pandemic disease outbreaks or natural disasters. These situations are almost always unprecedented and unrepeatability characteristics of the problem in question, and lack of historical data does not permit the use of probability theory in the model.

In such cases, a reasonable approach is to refer to an expert and model the human reasoning in a fashionable way. One may pose the fuzzy theory first. However, this theory has self-contradictory in using some fuzzy numbers which make the fuzzy theory far from applicability in dealing with indeterminacy of parameter [see Sect. 7 for detailed discussion]. In addition, one of the important questions (and still an open unsolved problem) in the fuzzy theory is the evaluation of an appropriate membership value. Moreover, it was shown that fuzzy theory may not be an appropriate tool to deal with large-scale decision-making problems Biswas (2016).

Uncertainty theory, introduced by Liu in (2007) and then completed in 2010 Liu (2010), is a mathematical framework to model human reasoning. Question and answers would be provided to express the uncertainty on parameters. For example, how much could be your belief that the cost of positioning a legion at province *i* is not less than a certain value, say \(a_i\)? What is your belief degree that this cost would not be more than an amount, say \(b_i\)? For a value \(x \in (a_i, b_i)\), what could be your belief rate that the cost is not more than *x*? Provided answers for such questions can be used to construct an uncertainty distribution to an uncertain parameter of the problem Liu (2007). Uncertainty theory has proved its ability in modeling such problems in many fields. Applications in decision making abound and include DEA [See for recent developments Lio and Liu (2017), Kang et al. (2014), Nejad and Ghaffari-Hadigheh (2018)] and weighted domination problem Djahangiri and Ghaffari-Hadigheh (2018), to name only a few.

In this paper, we consider the problem in the context of the uncertainty theory, at which costs of positioning and deployment are uncertain variables. Binary uncertain linear optimization models are introduced for solving the raised problem, and a simple illustrative example is are provided.

This paper is organized as follows. Definition of the weighted Roman domination problem with positioning and deployment costs is given in Sect. 2. A binary linear programming formulation is provided in this section as well. Some basic notions of the uncertainty theory are reviewed in Sect. 3. Uncertain version of the problem is studied in Sect. 4, and an associated optimization model is followed in Sect. 5. A simple concrete example is presented in Sect. 6. Drawbacks of the probability theory and the fuzzy theory in dealing with the problem under study are mentioned in detail in Sect. 7. Concluding remarks and outlook on the further works direction are given in the final section.

## 2 Problem definition

Let \(G = (V,E)\) represent an undirected simple graph with a vertex set *V* and edge set *E*. Here, each vertex \(v \in V\) represents a province and each edge \(e \in E\) represents an existing linkage between two adjacent provinces. The open neighborhood set \(N_v\) is the set at which each vertex \(u \in N_v\) is adjacent to vertex *v*. Additionally, the function \(f : V \rightarrow \{0, 1, 2\}\) corresponding to the number of legions assigned to a province (represented by vertex *v*). This function has to satisfy the condition that for every vertex \(v \in V\) with \(f(v) = 0\), there exists a vertex \(u \in N_v\) with \(f(u) = 2\). This means that an undefended province *v* must be adjacent to at least one province with two stationed legions, one of them is skilled and agile.

Let \(w_i\) denote the cost of positioning a legion at vertex *i* when \(f(i)=1\) and \(w'_i\) denote this cost when \(f(i)=2\). Naturally, \(w'_i \ge w_i\), while there is no proportional relation between them nor such restriction reduces the generality of the problem. Further, let there be an unavoidable cost of deployment from vertex *i* to vertex *j*, as \(c_{ij}\) only if \(f(i)=2\) and \(f(j)=0\).

### 2.1 Binary linear programming formulation

*f*, let

## 3 Some basic notions from uncertainty theory

Consider a nonempty set \(\varGamma \) as a universal set and a \(\sigma \)-algebra \({\mathcal {L}}\) over \(\varGamma \) consisting of its subsets. The pair \((\varGamma ,{\mathcal {L}})\) is called a measurable space, and each element of \({\mathcal {L}}\) is called an event. A measurable function *f* is a function from the measurable space \((\varGamma ,{\mathcal {L}})\) to \({\mathbb {R}}\) if \(f^{-1}(B)=\{\nu \in \varGamma \mid f(\nu )\in B\}\in {\mathcal {L}}\) for any Borel set *B* of real numbers.

An uncertain measure \({\mathcal {M}}\) is defined as a function from the \(\sigma \)-algebra \({\mathcal {L}}\) to [0, 1] satisfying the following axioms. Here, \({\mathcal {M}}\{\varLambda \}\) represents the belief degree that the event \(\varLambda \) will happen.

### Axiom 1

(*Normality*) \({\mathcal {M}}\{\varGamma \}=1\) for the universal set \(\varGamma \).

### Axiom 2

(*Duality*) \(\displaystyle {\mathcal {M}}\{\varLambda \}+{\mathcal {M}}\{\varLambda ^c\}=1\) for any event \(\varLambda .\)

### Axiom 3

(*Subadditivity*) \(\displaystyle {\mathcal {M}}\Big \{\bigcup\nolimits ^{\infty }_{k=1}\varLambda _k\Big \}\le \sum\nolimits^{\infty }_{k=1}{\mathcal {M}}\{\varLambda _k\}\) for every countable sequence of events \(\displaystyle \varLambda _k,k\ge 1.\)

The triplet \((\varGamma ,{\mathcal {L}},{\mathcal {M}})\) is referred to as an uncertainty space. Let \(\displaystyle (\varGamma _{k},{\mathcal {L}}_{k},{\mathcal {M}}_{k})\) be uncertainty spaces for \(k=1,2,\ldots \). Set \(\varGamma =\varGamma _1\times \varGamma _2\times \cdots \), a measurable rectangle in \(\varGamma \) is defined as \(\varLambda =\varLambda _1\times \varLambda _2\times \cdots \), where \(\varLambda _k\in \varGamma _k\) for \(k=1,2,\ldots \). The product \(\sigma \)-algebra \({\mathcal {L}}={\mathcal {L}}_1\times {\mathcal {L}}_2\times \cdots \) is the smallest \(\sigma \)-algebra containing all measurable rectangles of \(\varGamma \). The product uncertain measure \({\mathcal {M}}\) on the product \(\sigma \)-algebra \({\mathcal {L}}\) is defined by Liu (2010) as follows.

### Axiom 4

*Product*) For uncertainty spaces \(\displaystyle (\varGamma _{k},{\mathcal {L}}_{k},{\mathcal {M}}_{k})~k=1,2,\ldots \), the product uncertain measure \({\mathcal {M}}\) is the one satisfying

It is important to notice that this axiom differentiates the probability measure from the uncertainty measure Liu (2015).

### 3.1 Uncertain variable

*x*that \(0<\varPhi (x)<1,~\lim _{x\rightarrow -\infty }\varPhi (x)=0\) and \(\lim _{x\rightarrow +\infty }\varPhi (x)=1\) is said to be regular Liu (2010). A regular uncertainty distribution \(\varPhi (x)\) for which \(\varPhi (x)\in (0,1)\) has a well-defined inverse function \(\varPhi ^{-1}(\alpha )\) on (0, 1) and is called inverse uncertainty distribution of \(\xi \). Some uncertain variables which can be separately defined on different uncertainty spaces are independent. Formally, independency is defined as follows Liu (2009). Uncertain variables \(\xi _1,\ldots ,\xi _n\) satisfying

The following theorem plays a key role in reducing our uncertainty model to a deterministic optimization problem.

### Theorem 1

## 4 Uncertain weighted Roman domination models

*x*in \((a_i,b_i)\), he may consent to deliver his opinion as a linear uncertain variable. In this case, the uncertainty distribution of \(w_i\) is

*x*for \(x\in (a,b)\) is

*i*, \(w'_{i}\), could be considered as a linear uncertain variable with the uncertainty distribution

## 5 Uncertain optimization models

## 6 Illustrative example

Provinces and expected values of positioning costs of legions

Vertex ( | Province | \(E[w_i]\) | \(E[w'_{i}]\) |
---|---|---|---|

1 | Asia Minor | 3 | 5 |

2 | Britain | 2 | 2 |

3 | Egypt | 3 | 3 |

4 | Gaul | 2 | 4 |

5 | Iberia | 1 | 3 |

6 | Italy | 4 | 4 |

7 | North Africa | 2 | 2 |

8 | Thracia | 1 | 3 |

Expected values of deployment costs between provinces

Link | (1,3) | (1,8) | (2,4) | (2,5) | (3,6) | (3,7) | (3,8) |

\(E[c_{ij}]\) | 2 | 1 | 4 | 4 | 2 | 1 | 1 |

Link | (4,5) | (4,6) | (5,6) | (5,7) | (6,7) | (6,8) | |

\(E[c_{ij}]\) | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 4 | 1 |

The objective function value of this instance is 13, and vertices in the optimal solution are partitioned into three parts. Vertices 2, 4, 5 and 7 are positioned with one legion, Vertex 8 is with 2 legions and the others with no legions. The result is shown in Fig 1. The first type of vertices is in green, the second is in red and the others are in gray. The potential edges for legions deployments are in blue. As it is seen from the result, six legions are required respecting the costs. However, disregarding the costs leads to identifying only vertices 3 and 5, or vertices 8 and 5; each is positioned with two legions. The number of required legions is four, therefore.

Uncertain positioning costs of legions at each province

Vertex ( | Province | \(w_i= {\mathcal {L}}(a_i, b_i)\) | \(w'_i= {\mathcal {L}}(a'_i, b'_i)\) |
---|---|---|---|

1 | Asia Minor | (2,4) | (3,7) |

2 | Britain | (1,3) | (0.5,3.5) |

3 | Egypt | (2,4) | (2.5,3.5) |

4 | Gaul | (1,3) | (2,6) |

5 | Iberia | (0.5,1.5) | (2,4) |

6 | Italy | (3,5) | (3,5) |

7 | North Africa | (1,3) | (1,3) |

8 | Thracia | (0.5,1.5) | (2,4) |

Uncertain deployment costs between provinces

Link | (1,3) | (1,8) | (2,4) | (2,5) | |

\(c_{ij}= {\mathcal {L}}(a_{ij}, b_{ij})\) | (1,3) | (0.25,1.75) | (3,5) | (2,6) | |

Link | (3, 6) | (3, 7) | (3, 8) | (4, 5) | (4, 6) |

\(c_{ij}= {\mathcal {L}}(a_{ij}, b_{ij})\) | (1,3) | (0.5,1.5) | (0.5,1.5) | (1,5) | (0,4) |

Link | (5,6) | (5,7) | (6,7) | (6,8) | |

\(c_{ij}= {\mathcal {L}}(a_{ij}, b_{ij})\) | (1.5,2.5) | (0.5,1.5) | (1,7) | (0.75,1.25) |

Note that similarity of solutions is not the case in general.

## 7 Challenge in other approaches

There are different approaches in dealing with indeterminacy. Here, we only consider the unbefitting of probability theory and fuzzy theory for the problem under consideration.

*Axiom*4), which is more compatible with the expectation.

## 8 How to obtain the uncertainty distributions?

A methodology for collecting and interpreting expert’s experimental data by uncertainty theory has been started in (2010) by Liu. The author proposed a questionnaire survey for collecting expert’s experimental data. Inviting some domain experts for completing a questionnaire about the notion of an uncertain variable is the starting point. For instance, let \(w_i\) be the uncertain cost of positioning one legion in the province *i*. Therefore, the question might be “How much could the cost of positioning one legion in the province *i*.”

*x*(say $5000) that the uncertain variable \(w_i\) may take, and then question him “How likely is \(w_i\) less than or equal to

*x*?” Denoting the belief degree of the expert with \(\alpha \), the pair of \((x, \alpha )\) is obtained. Recall that the expert’s belief degree of \(w_i\) greater than

*x*must be \(1 -\alpha \) due to the self-duality of uncertain measure. Repeating this process, the following expert’s experimental data are obtained by the questionnaire,

When there are more several experts of domain, one may use the convex combination of different uncertainty distributions to obtain a single one Liu (2010). Delphi method that was originally developed in the 1950s by the RAND Corporation may also be used to identify a suitable uncertainty distribution Wang et al. (2012). For more detail and illustrative examples, we refer the interested reader to Liu (2015).

## 9 Concluding remarks

In this paper, we considered the uncertain weighted Roman domination problem at which not only vertices have uncertain costs as weights, but also each link has a nominal uncertain deployment cost. The problem was modeled as an uncertain optimization problem, and the results were depicted by a simple example. This point of view can be applied in other similar situations, such as eternal domination problem, where referring to an expert is the only sensible option. An eternal dominating set Cockayne et al. (2004) is a set of locations on which mobile guards are initially located (at most one guard may be located on any vertex), and this set must be such that for any infinite sequence of attacks occurring sequentially at vertices, the set can be adjusted by moving a guard from an adjacent vertex to the attacked vertex, provided the attacked vertex has no guard on it at the time it is attacked. This problem has a very important application in protecting the Web sites and data centers against infinitely hacking attacks, while the parameters are facing much higher degree of uncertainty on their nature.

## Notes

### Acknowledgements

The author would like to appreciate Prof. Baoding Liu for his support and fruitful discussion during the visit in the summer of 2018 from Uncertainty Laboratory, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

### Compliance with ethical standards

### Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

### Informed consent

Further, the research involves no human participants and animals and consequently there is no need for informed consent.

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