We address the problem of computing distances between permutations that take into account similarities between elements of the ground set dictated by a graph. The problem may be summarized as follows: Given two permutations and a positive cost function on transpositions that depends on the similarity of the elements involved, find a smallest cost sequence of transpositions that converts one permutation into another. Our focus is on costs that may be described via special metric-tree structures. The presented results include a linear-time algorithm for finding a minimum cost decomposition for simple cycles and a linear-time 4∕3-approximation algorithm for permutations that contain multiple cycles. The proposed methods rely on investigating a newly introduced balancing property of cycles embedded in trees, cycle-merging methods, and shortest path optimization techniques.
- Similarity distance
- Transposition distance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics
- Applied Mathematics