Approximating the Generalized Minimum Manhattan Network Problem

Aparna Das, Krzysztof Fleszar, Stephen G Kobourov, Joachim Spoerhase, Sankar Veeramoni, Alexander Wolff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


We consider the generalized minimum Manhattan network problem (GMMN). The input to this problem is a set R of n pairs of terminals, which are points in (Formula presented.). The goal is to find a minimum-length rectilinear network that connects every pair in R by a Manhattan path, that is, a path of axis-parallel line segments whose total length equals the pair’s Manhattan distance. This problem is a natural generalization of the extensively studied minimum Manhattan network problem (MMN) in which R consists of all possible pairs of terminals. Another important special case is the well-known rectilinear Steiner arborescence problem (RSA). As a generalization of these problems, GMMN is NP-hard. No approximation algorithms are known for general GMMN. We obtain an (Formula presented.)-approximation algorithm for GMMN. Our solution is based on a stabbing technique, a novel way of attacking Manhattan network problems. Some parts of our algorithm generalize to higher dimensions, yielding a simple (Formula presented.)-approximation algorithm for the problem in arbitrary fixed dimension d. As a corollary, we obtain an exponential improvement upon the previously best (Formula presented.)-ratio for MMN in d dimensions (ESA 2011). En route, we show that an existing (Formula presented.)-approximation algorithm for 2D-RSA generalizes to higher dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 2 2017


  • Approximation algorithms
  • Computational geometry
  • Minimum Manhattan Network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics

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  • Cite this

    Das, A., Fleszar, K., Kobourov, S. G., Spoerhase, J., Veeramoni, S., & Wolff, A. (Accepted/In press). Approximating the Generalized Minimum Manhattan Network Problem. Algorithmica, 1-21.