On the fine-grained complexity of parity problems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We consider the parity variants of basic problems studied in fine-grained complexity. We show that finding the exact solution is just as hard as finding its parity (i.e. if the solution is even or odd) for a large number of classical problems, including All-Pairs Shortest Paths (APSP), Diameter, Radius, Median, Second Shortest Path, Maximum Consecutive Subsums, Min-Plus Convolution, and 0/1-Knapsack. A direct reduction from a problem to its parity version is often difficult to design. Instead, we revisit the existing hardness reductions and tailor them in a problem-specific way to the parity version. Nearly all reductions from APSP in the literature proceed via the (subcubic-equivalent but simpler) Negative Weight Triangle (NWT) problem. Our new modified reductions also start from NWT or a non-standard parity variant of it. We are not able to establish a subcubic-equivalence with the more natural parity counting variant of NWT, where we ask if the number of negative triangles is even or odd. Perhaps surprisingly, we justify this by designing a reduction from the seemingly-harder Zero Weight Triangle problem, showing that parity is (conditionally) strictly harder than decision for NWT.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publication47th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming, ICALP 2020
EditorsArtur Czumaj, Anuj Dawar, Emanuela Merelli
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9783959771382
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020
Event47th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming, ICALP 2020 - Virtual, Online, Germany
Duration: 8 Jul 202011 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs


Conference47th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming, ICALP 2020
CityVirtual, Online


  • All-pairs shortest paths
  • Diameter
  • Distance product
  • Fine-grained complexity
  • Min-plus convolution
  • Parity problems

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software


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