Spanning trees and the complexity of flood-filling games
Article, Preprint, Other ORP type
- Publisher: Springer Verlag
QA | Computer Science - Data Structures and Algorithms | QA75
We consider problems related to the combinatorial game (Free-) Flood-It, in which players aim to make a coloured graph monochromatic with the minimum possible number of \ud flooding operations. We show that the minimum number of moves required to flood any given graph G is equal to the minimum, taken over all spanning trees T of G, of the number of moves required to flood T. This result is then applied to give two polynomial-time algorithms for flood-filling problems. Firstly, we can compute in polynomial time the minimum number of moves required to flood a graph with only a polynomial number of connected subgraphs. Secondly, given any coloured connected graph and a subset of the vertices of bounded size, the number of moves required to connect this subset can be computed in polynomial time.