Characterizing Planar Tanglegram Layouts and Applications to Edge Insertion Problems

  • Kevin Liu


Tanglegrams are formed by taking two rooted binary trees $T$ and $S$ with the same number of leaves and uniquely matching each leaf in $T$ with a leaf in $S$. They are usually represented using layouts that embed the trees and matching in the plane. Given the numerous ways to construct a layout, one problem of interest is the Tanglegram Layout Problem, which is to efficiently find a layout that minimizes the number of crossings. This parallels a similar problem involving drawings of graphs, where a common approach is to insert edges into a planar subgraph. In this paper, we explore inserting edges into a planar tanglegram. Previous results on planar tanglegrams include a Kuratowski Theorem, enumeration, and an algorithm for finding a planar layout. We build on these results and characterize all planar layouts of a planar tanglegram. We then apply this characterization to construct a quadratic-time algorithm that inserts a single edge optimally. Finally, we generalize some results to multiple edge insertion.

Article Number