Steiner Point Removal with Distortion $O(\log k)$

Arnold Filtser

In the Steiner point removal (SPR) problem, we are given a weighted graph $G=(V,E)$ and a set of terminals $K\subset V$ of size $k$. The objective is to find a minor $M$ of $G$ with only the terminals as its vertex set, such that the distance between the terminals will be preserved up to a small multiplicative distortion. Kamma, Krauthgamer and Nguyen [KKN15] used a ball-growing algorithm with exponential distributions to show that the distortion is at most $O(\log^5 k)$. Cheung [Che17] improved the analysis of the same algorithm, bounding the distortion by $O(\log^2 k)$. We improve the analysis of this ball-growing algorithm even further, bounding the distortion by $O(\log k)$.

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