Popular matchings: structure and algorithms

McDermid, E. and Irving, R. (2011) Popular matchings: structure and algorithms. Journal of Combinatorial Optimization, 22(3), pp. 339-358. (doi: 10.1007/s10878-009-9287-9)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10878-009-9287-9


An instance of the popular matching problem (POP-M) consists of a set of applicants and a set of posts. Each applicant has a preference list that strictly ranks a subset of the posts. A matching M of applicants to posts is popular if there is no other matching M′ such that more applicants prefer M′ to M than prefer M to M′. Abraham et al. (SIAM J. Comput. 37:1030–1045, 2007) described a linear time algorithm to determine whether a popular matching exists for a given instance of POP-M, and if so to find a largest such matching. A number of variants and extensions of POP-M have recently been studied. This paper provides a characterization of the set of popular matchings for an arbitrary POP-M instance in terms of a structure called the switching graph, a directed graph computable in linear time from the preference lists. We show that the switching graph can be exploited to yield efficient algorithms for a range of associated problems, including the counting and enumeration of the set of popular matchings, generation of a popular matching uniformly at random, finding all applicant-post pairs that can occur in a popular matching, and computing popular matchings that satisfy various additional optimality criteria. Our algorithms for computing such optimal popular matchings improve those described in a recent paper by Kavitha and Nasre (Proceedings of MATCH-UP: Matching Under Preferences—Algorithms and Complexity, 2008).

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Irving, Dr Robert and McDermid, Mr Eric
Authors: McDermid, E., and Irving, R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Journal Name:Journal of Combinatorial Optimization
ISSN (Online):1573-2886

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