Abstract: Motivated by the wavelength assignment problem in WDM optical networks, we study path coloring problems in graphs. Given a set of paths P on a graph G, the path coloring problem is to color the paths of P so that no two paths traversing the same edge of G are assigned the same color and the total number of colors used is minimized. The problem has been proved to be NP-hard even for trees and rings.
Using optimal solutions to fractional path coloring, a natural relaxation of path coloring, on which we apply a randomizedrounding technique combined with existing coloring algorithms, we obtain new upper bounds on the minimum number of colors sufficient to color any set of paths on any graph. The upper bounds are either existential or constructive.
The existential upper bounds significantly improve existing ones provided that the cost of the optimal fractional path coloring is sufficiently large and the dilation of the set of paths is small. Our algorithmic results include improved approximation algorithms for path coloring in rings and in bidirected trees. Our results extend to variations of the original path coloring problem arizing in multifiber WDM optical networks.

Abstract: The voting rules proposed by Dodgson and Young are both
designed to nd the alternative closest to being a Condorcet
winner, according to two dierent notions of proximity; the
score of a given alternative is known to be hard to compute
under either rule.
In this paper, we put forward two algorithms for ap-
proximating the Dodgson score: an LP-based randomizedrounding algorithm and a deterministic greedy algorithm,
both of which yield an O(logm) approximation ratio, where
m is the number of alternatives; we observe that this result
is asymptotically optimal, and further prove that our greedy
algorithm is optimal up to a factor of 2, unless problems in
NP have quasi-polynomial time algorithms. Although the
greedy algorithm is computationally superior, we argue that
the randomizedrounding algorithm has an advantage from
a social choice point of view.
Further, we demonstrate that computing any reasonable
approximation of the ranking produced by Dodgson's rule
is NP-hard. This result provides a complexity-theoretic
explanation of sharp discrepancies that have been observed
in the Social Choice Theory literature when comparing
Dodgson elections with simpler voting rules.
Finally, we show that the problem of calculating the
Young score is NP-hard to approximate by any factor. This
leads to an inapproximability result for the Young ranking.