## Abstract

Let H be a graph, and let C _{H} (G) be the number of (subgraph isomorphic) copies of H contained in a graph G. We investigate the fundamental problem of estimating C _{H} (G). Previous results cover only a few specific instances of this general problem, for example, the case when H has degree at most one (monomer-dimer problem). In this paper, we present the first general subcase of the subgraph isomorphism counting problem which is almost always efficiently approximable. The results rely on a new graph decomposition technique. Informally, the new decomposition is a labeling of the vertices generating a sequence of bipartite graphs. The decomposition permits us to break the problem of counting embeddings of large subgraphs into that of counting embeddings of small subgraphs. Using this, we present a simple randomized algorithm for the counting problem. For all decomposable graphs H and all graphs G, the algorithm is an unbiased estimator. Furthermore, for all graphs H having a decomposition where each of the bipartite graphs generated is small and almost all graphs G, the algorithm is a fully polynomial randomized approximation scheme. We show that the graph classes of H for which we obtain a fully polynomial randomized approximation scheme for almost all G includes graphs of degree at most two, bounded-degree forests, bounded-width grid graphs, subdivision of bounded-degree graphs, and major subclasses of outerplanar graphs, series-parallel graphs and planar graphs, whereas unbounded-width grid graphs are excluded.

Original language | English (US) |
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Title of host publication | Approximation, Randomization and Combinatorial Optimization |

Subtitle of host publication | Algorithms and Techniques - 11th International Workshop, APPROX 2008 and 12th International Workshop, RANDOM 2008, Proceedings |

Pages | 416-429 |

Number of pages | 14 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 2008 |

Event | 11th International Workshop on Approximation Algorithms for Combinatorial Optimization Problems, APPROX 2008 and 12th International Workshop on Randomization and Computation, RANDOM 2008 - Boston, MA, United States Duration: Aug 25 2008 → Aug 27 2008 |

### Publication series

Name | Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) |
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Volume | 5171 LNCS |

ISSN (Print) | 0302-9743 |

ISSN (Electronic) | 1611-3349 |

### Other

Other | 11th International Workshop on Approximation Algorithms for Combinatorial Optimization Problems, APPROX 2008 and 12th International Workshop on Randomization and Computation, RANDOM 2008 |
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Country/Territory | United States |

City | Boston, MA |

Period | 8/25/08 → 8/27/08 |

## All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

- Theoretical Computer Science
- General Computer Science