Algorithms and Lower Bounds for Replacement Paths under Multiple Edge Failures

Virginia Vassilevska Williams, Eyob Woldeghebriel, Yinzhan Xu

This paper considers a natural fault-tolerant shortest paths problem: for some constant integer $f$, given a directed weighted graph with no negative cycles and two fixed vertices $s$ and $t$, compute (either explicitly or implicitly) for every tuple of $f$ edges, the distance from $s$ to $t$ if these edges fail. We call this problem $f$-Fault Replacement Paths ($f$FRP). We first present an $\tilde{O}(n^3)$ time algorithm for $2$FRP in $n$-vertex directed graphs with arbitrary edge weights and no negative cycles. As $2$FRP is a generalization of the well-studied Replacement Paths problem (RP) that asks for the distances between $s$ and $t$ for any single edge failure, $2$FRP is at least as hard as RP. Since RP in graphs with arbitrary weights is equivalent in a fine-grained sense to All-Pairs Shortest Paths (APSP) [Vassilevska Williams and Williams FOCS'10, J.~ACM'18], $2$FRP is at least as hard as APSP, and thus a substantially subcubic time algorithm in the number of vertices for $2$FRP would be a breakthrough. Therefore, our algorithm in $\tilde{O}(n^3)$ time is conditionally nearly optimal. Our algorithm implies an $\tilde{O}(n^{f+1})$ time algorithm for the $f$FRP problem, giving the first improvement over the straightforward $O(n^{f+2})$ time algorithm. Then we focus on the restriction of $2$FRP to graphs with small integer weights bounded by $M$ in absolute values. Using fast rectangular matrix multiplication, we obtain a randomized algorithm that runs in $\tilde{O}(M^{2/3}n^{2.9153})$ time. This implies an improvement over our $\tilde{O}(n^{f+1})$ time arbitrary weight algorithm for all $f>1$. We also present a data structure variant of the algorithm that can trade off pre-processing and query time. In addition to the algebraic algorithms, we also give an $n^{8/3-o(1)}$ conditional lower bound for combinatorial $2$FRP algorithms in directed unweighted graphs.

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