Approximating the Regular Graphic TSP in near linear time

Ashish Chiplunkar, Sundar Vishwanathan

We present a randomized approximation algorithm for computing traveling salesperson tours in undirected regular graphs. Given an $n$-vertex, $k$-regular graph, the algorithm computes a tour of length at most $\left(1+\frac{7}{\ln k-O(1)}\right)n$, with high probability, in $O(nk \log k)$ time. This improves upon a recent result by Vishnoi (\cite{Vishnoi12}, FOCS 2012) for the same problem, in terms of both approximation factor, and running time. The key ingredient of our algorithm is a technique that uses edge-coloring algorithms to sample a cycle cover with $O(n/\log k)$ cycles with high probability, in near linear time. Additionally, we also give a deterministic $\frac{3}{2}+O\left(\frac{1}{\sqrt{k}}\right)$ factor approximation algorithm running in time $O(nk)$.

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