European Symposia on Algorithms

ESA Test-of-Time Award 2015

The ESA Test-of-Time Award (ESA ToTA) recognizes outstanding papers in algorithms research that were published in the ESA proceedings 19-21 years ago and which are still influential and stimulating for the field today. Exceptionally, in this first year in which award is given, the ESA ToTA 2015 committee was asked to consider all qualifying papers from ESA 93-95 and ESA 94-96, respectively.

The award committee selected the following two papers for the ESA ToTA 2015. The papers stand out for their impact and wide use in the algorithms field, and for their excellent citation records up to the present day.

From ESA 93-95:

Mechthild Stoer, Frank Wagner:
A Simple Min Cut Algorithm
Proceedings ESA'94, also in: JACM 44:4 (1997) 585-591

The minimum cut problem in graphs is a basic problem in network analysis and is needed, for example, as the separation routine in branch-and-cut algorithms for the Traveling Salesman problem. Stoer and Wagner gave an elegant and efficient algorithm for the problem that avoids the computation of maximum flows, building upon previous work by Nagamochi and Ibaraki. The same algorithm was independently found by Frank. The algorithm continues to be taught because of its elegance and used because of its efficiency and ease of implementation.

From ESA 94-96:

Sudipto Guha, Samir Khuller:
Approximation Algorithms for Connected Dominating Sets
Proceedings ESA'96, also in: Algorithmica 20:4 (1998) 374-387

It is natural to require connectedness as an additional constraint for a dominating set, for example, in ad hoc wireless networks. Domination guarantees coverage and connectedness guarantees communication between the selected nodes. Guha and Khuller gave polynomial algorithms for a logarithmic-factor approximation to its solution. Under the usual assumptions, this is the best possible. Their much-cited work has stimulated similar research for connected variants of many other graph problems.

Award Committee: Jan van Leeuwen, Kurt Mehlhorn and Mike Paterson