The bursty steiner tree problem

Gokarna Sharma, Costas Busch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce and study a new Steiner tree problem variation called the bursty Steiner tree problem where new nodes arrive into bursts. This is an online problem which becomes the well-known online Steiner tree problem if the number of nodes in each burst is exactly one and becomes the classic Steiner tree problem if all the nodes appear in a single burst. In undirected graphs, we provide a tight bound of θ(minflog k;mg) on the competitive ratio for this problem, where k is the total number of nodes to be connected and m is the total number of different bursts. In directed graphs of bounded edge asymmetry α , we provide a competitive ratio for this problem with a gap of O(min{α;m}) factor between the lower bound and the upper bound. We also show that a tight bound of (minflog k;mg) on the competitive ratio can be obtained for a bursty variation of the terminal Steiner tree problem. These are the first results that provide clear performance trade-offs for a novel Steiner tree problem variation that subsumes both of its online and classic versions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)869-887
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Foundations of Computer Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Approximation
  • Online execution
  • Steiner tree
  • Terminal bursts
  • Terminal steiner tree

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)


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