## Paper: Approximation Schemes for First-Order Definable Optimization Problems (at LICS 2006)

**Anuj Dawar Martin Grohe Stephan Kreutzer Nicole Schweikardt**

### Abstract

Let \varphi(X) be a first-order formula in the language of graphs that has a free set variable X, and assume that X only occurs positively in \varphi(X). Then a natural minimisation problem associated with \varphi(X) is to find, in a given graph G, a vertex set S of minimum size such that G satisfies \varphi(S). Similarly, if X only occurs negatively in \varphi(X), then \varphi(X) defines a maximisation problem. Many well-known optimisation problems are first-order definable in this sense, for example, MINIMUM DOMINATING SET or MAXIMUM INDEPENDENT SET. We prove that for each class C of graphs with excluded minors, in particular for each class of planar graphs, the restriction of a first-order definable optimisation problem to the class C has a polynomial time approximation scheme. A crucial building block of the proof of this approximability result is a version of Gaifman’s locality theorem for formulas positive in a set variable. This result may be of independent interest.

### BibTeX

@InProceedings{DawarGroheKreutzerS-ApproximationScheme, author = {Anuj Dawar and Martin Grohe and Stephan Kreutzer and Nicole Schweikardt}, title = {Approximation Schemes for First-Order Definable Optimization Problems}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the Twenty-First Annual IEEE Symposium on Logic in Computer Science (LICS 2006)}, year = {2006}, month = {August}, pages = {411--420}, location = {Seattle, Washington, USA}, publisher = {IEEE Computer Society Press} }