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Lower bounding edit distances between permutations

Abstract : A number of fields, including the study of genome rearrangements and the design of interconnection networks, deal with the connected problems of sorting permutations in "as few moves as possible", using a given set of allowed operations, or computing the number of moves the sorting process requires, often referred to as the distance of the permutation. These operations often act on just one or two segments of the permutation, e.g. by reversing one segment or exchanging two segments. The cycle graph of the permutation to sort is a fundamental tool in the theory of genome rearrangements, and has proved useful in settling the complexity of many variants of the above problems. In this paper, we present an algebraic reinterpretation of the cycle graph of a permutation π as an even permutation π, and show how to reformulate our sorting problems in terms of particular factorisations of the latter permutation. Using our framework, we recover known results in a simple and unified way, and obtain a new lower bound on the prefix transposition distance (where a prefix transposition displaces the initial segment of a permutation), which is shown to outperform previous results. Moreover, we use our approach to improve the best known lower bound on the prefix transposition diameter from 2n/3 to ⌊3n/4⌋, and investigate a few relations between some statistics on π and π.
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Contributor : Anthony Labarre <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 4:18:54 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 7:06:06 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 8:00:08 AM

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Anthony Labarre. Lower bounding edit distances between permutations. SIAM Journal on Discrete Mathematics, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, 2013, 27 (3), pp.1410-1428. ⟨10.1137/13090897X⟩. ⟨hal-00826968⟩

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