Programming in Networks and Graphs

On the Combinatorial Background and Near-Equivalence of Network Flow and Matching Algorithms

  • Ulrich Derigs

Part of the Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems book series (LNE, volume 300)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XI
  2. Preliminaries

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Ulrich Derigs
      Pages 2-6
    3. Ulrich Derigs
      Pages 7-16
    4. Ulrich Derigs
      Pages 17-25
  3. The Class of General Matching Problems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 27-27
    2. Ulrich Derigs
      Pages 28-40
    3. Ulrich Derigs
      Pages 41-60
  4. Network Flow Algorithms Revisited

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 61-62
    2. Ulrich Derigs
      Pages 78-107
    3. Ulrich Derigs
      Pages 108-118
  5. Bipartite Matching Problems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 119-120
    2. Ulrich Derigs
      Pages 134-171
    3. Ulrich Derigs
      Pages 172-182
  6. The 1-Matching Problem

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 183-184
    2. Ulrich Derigs
      Pages 185-199
    3. Ulrich Derigs
      Pages 200-253
  7. The b-Matching Problem

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 255-256
    2. Ulrich Derigs
      Pages 257-286
    3. Ulrich Derigs
      Pages 287-298
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 299-315

About this book


Network flow and matching are often treated separately in the literature and for each class a variety of different algorithms has been developed. These algorithms are usually classified as primal, dual, primal-dual etc. The question the author addresses in this work is that of the existence of a common combinatorial principle which might be inherent in all those apparently different approaches. It is shown that all common network flow and matching algorithms implicitly follow the so-called shortest augmenting path. This can be interpreted as a greedy-like decision rule where the optimal solution is built up through a sequence of local optimal solutions. The efficiency of this approach is realized by combining this myopic decision rule with an anticipant organization. The approach of this work is organized as follows. For several standard flow and matching problems the common solution procedures are first reviewed. It is then shown that they all reduce to a common basic principle, that is, they all perform the same computational steps if certain conditions are set properly and ties are broken according to a common rule. Recognizing this near-equivalence of all commonly used algorithms the question of the best method has to be modified - all methods are (only) different implementations of the same algorithm obtained by different views of the problem.


algorithms combinatorial optimization efficiency linear optimization optimization

Authors and affiliations

  • Ulrich Derigs
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität BayreuthBayreuthGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-540-18969-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-51713-6
  • Series Print ISSN 0075-8442
  • Series Online ISSN 2196-9957
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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