DOI: 10.1002/net.22209 ISSN: 0028-3045

Algorithms and complexity for the almost equal maximum flow problem

Rebekka Haese, Till Heller, Sven O. Krumke
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Information Systems
  • Software


In the equal maximum flow problem (EMFP), we aim for a maximum flow where we require the same flow value on all arcs in some given subsets of the arc set, so called homologous arc sets. In this article, we study the closely related almost equal maximum flow problems (AEMFP) where the flow values on arcs of one homologous arc set differ at most by the valuation of a so called deviation function . We prove that the integer AEMFP is in general ‐complete, and show that even the problem of finding a fractional maximum flow in the case of convex deviation functions is also ‐complete. This is in contrast to the EMFP, which is polynomial time solvable in the fractional case. Additionally, we provide inapproximability results for the integral AEMFP. For the (fractional) concave AEMFP we state a strongly polynomial algorithm for the linear and concave piecewise polynomial deviation function case for a fixed number of homologous sets using a parametric search approach.

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