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True or False: $D_1$ and $D_2$ are decision problems, and $D_1 \leq_p D_2$, then cannot be that $D_2 \leq_p D_1$

I think it is false because we already have a mapping for all yes instance from $D_1$ that are also yes instances in $D_2$, so anything that is not a yes instance from this mapping in $D_2$ is also not a yes instance in $D_1$ and can be determined in polynomial time.

Is this correct?

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  • $\begingroup$ I can't understand your reason for thinking it's false, but MJD has indicated a simple proof that it's false. Since you seem to not like that proof (perhaps too easy?), I've added an answer with a lot of other counterexamples. Carl Mummert's comment also provides some easy counterexamples. $\endgroup$ – Andreas Blass Jul 27 '13 at 0:58
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Isn't it the case that $D_1\le_p D_1$?

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  • $\begingroup$ Ummm yes. But if $D_1 \neq D_2$ would that still hold? I'm not sure what you mean. $\endgroup$ – zeion Jul 27 '13 at 0:26
  • $\begingroup$ The question does not say $D_1 \not = D_2$. But for example you can change any one value of $D_1$ and the result will be polynomial-time equivalent to $D_1$. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Jul 27 '13 at 0:37
  • $\begingroup$ @zeion: You want to decide whether it is true that $D_1\le_p D_2$ implies $\lnot (D_2\le_p D_1)$. If this is false, it is enough to find a single counterexample. Let $D_1$ be any decision problem, and take $D_2$ be the same problem. Then you have both $D_1\le_p D_2$ and $D_2 \le_p D_1$, which falsifies the claim you were asking about. $\endgroup$ – MJD Jul 27 '13 at 2:29
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You can get counterexamples by taking $D_1$ and $D_2$ to be any two decision probalems that are both solvable in polynomial time.

Another batch of counterexamples arises by taking any two NP-complete problems.

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