#### The Power of Data Reduction for Matching

##### George B. Mertzios, André Nichterlein, Rolf Niedermeier

Finding maximum-cardinality matchings in undirected graphs is arguably one of the most central graph primitives. For $m$-edge and $n$-vertex graphs, it is well-known to be solvable in $O(m\sqrt{n})$ time; however, for several applications this running time is still too slow. We investigate how linear-time (and almost linear-time) data reduction (used as preprocessing) can alleviate the situation. More specifically, we focus on (almost) linear-time kernelization. We start a deeper and systematic study both for general graphs and for bipartite graphs. Our data reduction algorithms easily comply (in form of preprocessing) with every solution strategy (exact, approximate, heuristic), thus making them attractive in various settings.

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