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I have been reading the paper 'Time Space Tradeoff for Sorting on Non-Oblivious Machines' by Borodin et al. (Link). Lemma 1 in that paper gives a relation between the number of permutations consistent with a Hasse diagram $H$ and the number of permutations that are $i$-consistent with $H$.

Let me explain for self containment. Let $H$ be a Hasse diagram on $n$ vertices. A permutation $\pi$ on $(1,2,\cdots, n)$ is said to be consistent with $H$ if $\pi(i)>\pi(j)$ whenever there is a path of positive length from $i$ to $j$ in $H$. Two elements $j$ and $k$ are said to be comparable if there exists some path from $j$ to $k$ or $k$ to $j$ in $H$. Now, define the following.

  1. $P(H)$ is the set of all permutations that are consistent with $H$.
  2. $C(H,i)$ is the set of all elements that are comparable to $i$ in $H$.
  3. $H-i$ is the Hasse diagram on $n-1$ vertices after removing $i$ from $H$ and adding an edge from each parent of $i$ in $H$ to all children of $i$ in $H$.

Lemma 1 states that $n\cdot |P(H-i)| \le |C(H,i)|\cdot |P(H)|$ for any Hasse diagram $H$ on $n$ vertices and has a vertex labelled $i$. In order to understand the proof, I tried to take some examples.

Consider the Hasse diagram on $3$ vertices that has only two edges. The edges are $1\rightarrow 2$ and $1\rightarrow 3$. Say $i=1$. Now, we can get the following

  1. $P(H) = \{ \{312\}, \{321\} \}$ where $\{abc\}$ denotes the permutation $\pi$ such that $\pi(1)=a, \pi(2)=b, \pi(3)=c$.
  2. $C(H,i) = \{2,3\}$.
  3. $P(H-i) = \{\{123\},\{132\},\{213\},\{231\},\{312\},\{321\}\}$.

Clearly, $n\cdot |P(H-i)| = 3\cdot 6 > 2\cdot 2 = |C(H,i)|\cdot |P(H)|$. I tried the same for a few other examples, and I ended up in a similar situation.

So, is the lemma incorrect or am I interpreting the lemma incorrectly?

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