Minimum-Weight Combinatorial Structures Under Random Cost-Constraints

  • Alan Frieze
  • Wesley Pegden
  • Gregory B. Sorkin
  • Tomasz Tkocz


Recall that Janson showed that if the edges of the complete graph $K_n$ are assigned exponentially distributed independent random weights, then the expected length of a shortest path between a fixed pair of vertices is asymptotically equal to $(\log n)/n$.  We consider analogous problems where edges have not only a random length but also a random cost, and we are interested in the length of the minimum-length structure whose total cost is less than some cost budget.  For several classes of structures, we determine the correct minimum length structure as a function of the cost-budget, up to constant factors.  Moreover, we achieve this even in the more general setting where the distribution of weights and costs are arbitrary, so long as the density $f(x)$ as $x\to 0$ behaves like $cx^\gamma$ for some $\gamma\geq 0$; previously, this case was not understood even in the absence of cost constraints.  We also handle the case where each edge has several independent costs associated to it, and we must simultaneously satisfy budgets on each cost.  In this case, we show that the minimum-length structure obtainable is essentially controlled by the product of the cost thresholds.

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