Randomized Algorithms over Finite Fields for the Exact Parity Base Problem

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We present three randomized pseudo-polynomial algorithms for the problem of finding a base of specified value in a weighted represented matroid subject to parity conditions. These algorithms, the first two being an improved version of those presented by P. M. Camerini et al. (1992, J. Algorithms 13, 258–273) use fast arithmetic working over a finite field chosen at random among a set of appropriate fields. We show that the choice of a best algorithm among those presented depends on a conjecture related to the best value of the so-called Linnik constant concerning the distribution of prime numbers in arithmetic progressions. This conjecture, which we call the C-conjecture, is a strengthened version of a conjecture formulated in 1934 by S. Chowla. If the C-conjecture is true, the choice of a best algorithm is simple, since the last algorithm exhibits the best performance, either when the performance is measured in arithmetic operations, or when it is measured in bit operations and mild assumptions hold. If the C-conjecture is false we are still able to identify a best algorithm, but in this case the choice is between the first two algorithms and depends on the asymptotic growth of m with respect to those of U and n, where 2n, 2m, U are the rank, the number of elements, and the maximum weight assigned to the elements of the matroid, respectively. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

Keywords: exact problems; matroids; randomized algorithms

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento di Informatica e Sistemistica, Università di Pavia, Italy 2: Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione, Politecnico di Milano, Italy 3: Dipartimento di Matematica, Università di Pisa, Italy

Publication date: December 1, 1999

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