Journal article by Ágnes CSEH and Jannik Matuschke in Algorithmica

New and Simple Algorithms for Stable Flow Problems by Ágnes CSEH and Jannik Matuschke was published online in Algorithmica.


Stable flows generalize the well-known concept of stable matchings to markets in which transactions may involve several agents, forwarding flow from one to another. An instance of the problem consists of a capacitated directed network in which vertices express their preferences over their incident edges. A network flow is stable if there is no group of vertices that all could benefit from rerouting the flow along a walk. Fleiner (Algorithms 7:1–14, 2014) established that a stable flow always exists by reducing it to the stable allocation problem. We present an augmenting path algorithm for computing a stable flow, the first algorithm that achieves polynomial running time for this problem without using stable allocations as a black-box subroutine. We further consider the problem of finding a stable flow such that the flow value on every edge is within a given interval. For this problem, we present an elegant graph transformation and based on this, we devise a simple and fast algorithm, which also can be used to find a solution to the stable marriage problem with forced and forbidden edges. Finally, we study the stable multicommodity flow model introduced by Király and Pap (Algorithms 6:161–168, 2013). The original model is highly involved and allows for commodity-dependent preference lists at the vertices and commodity-specific edge capacities. We present several graph-based reductions that show equivalence to a significantly simpler model. We further show that it is NPNP-complete to decide whether an integral solution exists

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