Suppose we have a strongly connected directed graph with non-negative weights on its edges. Is there an efficient algorithm to find the directed cycle with the smallest average weight in the graph? (Here, smallest average weight of a directed cycle is the sum of the weights of all edges in the cycle divided by the number of edges.)

  • $\begingroup$ Out of curiosity: why did you not post this on Computer Science? It does not strike me as a research-level question per se. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Jan 5, 2016 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


Karp has an algorithm that does exactly that. You can read about it in his paper "A characterization of the minimum cycle mean in a digraph."

There seem to be other algorithms proposed here which are perhaps easier to read.


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