Local search algorithms for the maximum carpool matching problem

Gilad Kutiel, Dror Rawitz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Maximum Carpool Matching problem is a star packing problem in directed graphs. Formally, given a directed graph G = (V,A), a capacity function c : V → N, and a weight function w : A→R+, a carpool matching is a subset of arcs, M ⊆A, such that every v ϵ V satisfies: (i) dinM (v) · dout M (v) = 0, (ii) dinM (v) ≤ c(v), and (iii) dout M (v) ≤ 1. A vertex v for which dout M (v) = 1 is a passenger, and a vertex for which dout M(v) = 0 is a driver who has dinM (v) passengers. In the Maximum Carpool Matching problem the goal is to find a carpool matching M of maximum total weight. The problem arises when designing an online carpool service, such as Zimride [4], which tries to connect between users based on a similarity function. The problem is known to be NP-hard, even in the unweighted and uncapacitated case. The Maximum Group Carpool Matching problem, is an extension of Maximum Carpool Matching where each vertex represents an unsplittable group of passengers. Formally, each vertex u ϵ V has a size s(u) ϵ N, and the constraint dinM(v) ≤ c(v) is replaced with ∑u:(u,v)2M s(u) ≤c(v). We show that Maximum Carpool Matching can be formulated as an unconstrained submodular maximization problem, thus it admits a 1/2 -Approximation algorithm. We show that the same formulation does not work for Maximum Group Carpool Matching, nevertheless, we present a local search ( 1/2 -ϵ)-Approximation algorithm for Maximum Group Carpool Matching. For the unweighted variant of both problems when the maximum possible capacity, cmax, is bounded by a constant, we provide a local search ( 1/2 + 1/2 cmax - ϵ)-Approximation algorithm. We also show that the problem is APX-hard, even if the maximum degree and cmax are at most 3.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication25th European Symposium on Algorithms, ESA 2017
EditorsChristian Sohler, Christian Sohler, Kirk Pruhs
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9783959770491
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017
Event25th European Symposium on Algorithms, ESA 2017 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 4 Sep 20176 Sep 2017

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs
ISSN (Print)1868-8969


Conference25th European Symposium on Algorithms, ESA 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
∗ Supported in part by the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 497/14).


  • Approximation algorithms
  • Local search
  • Star packing
  • Submodular maximization


Dive into the research topics of 'Local search algorithms for the maximum carpool matching problem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this