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# ANALYZING THE PERFORMANCE GUARANTEE OF THE FIRST FIT ALGORITHM IN SUM COLORING PROBLEMS

Leah Levins , Department of Mathematics, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel### Abstract

**Sum coloring is a variant of the graph coloring problem where the objective is to assign colors (represented by positive integers) to the vertices of a graph such that adjacent vertices receive different colors and the sum of the colors assigned to the vertices is minimized. This problem has applications in areas such as scheduling, resource allocation, and frequency assignment. The First Fit (FF) algorithm, a simple and widely-studied heuristic for graph coloring, assigns the smallest possible color to each vertex in a given order. This paper aims to analyze the performance guarantee of the First Fit algorithm in the context of sum coloring.**

**We begin by defining the sum coloring problem and discussing its computational complexity. It is well-known that sum coloring is NP-hard, making exact solutions infeasible for large graphs. Thus, heuristic algorithms like First Fit are of particular interest. Despite its simplicity, the First Fit algorithm has been shown to perform surprisingly well in practice for various graph classes.**

**However, understanding its theoretical performance guarantees remains a challenging and important task.**

**In this paper, we review existing results on the performance of the First Fit algorithm for sum coloring. We discuss known upper bounds on the sum obtained by First Fit in terms of the properties of the input graph, such as the maximum degree and the number of vertices. For example, it has been established that for certain classes of graphs, the sum of the colors assigned by First Fit can be bounded by a function of the maximum degree. We also explore lower bounds and instances where First Fit performs suboptimally, providing insights into the algorithm's limitations.**

**To better understand the practical implications of these theoretical results, we present empirical studies comparing the performance of First Fit with other heuristic and exact algorithms on various benchmark graphs. These studies highlight scenarios where First Fit is particularly effective and cases where alternative approaches may yield better results. We analyze the factors contributing to the observed performance, such as graph density, vertex ordering, and the presence of specific substructures.**

**Furthermore, we discuss potential improvements to the First Fit algorithm. Variants such as First Fit Decreasing (FFD), where vertices are processed in decreasing order of degree, have been proposed to enhance performance. We examine these variants and their impact on the sum coloring problem. Additionally, we consider hybrid approaches that combine First Fit with other heuristics or optimization techniques to achieve better results.**

**Finally, we outline open problems and future research directions in the study of sum coloring and the First Fit algorithm. These include developing tighter bounds on the performance guarantee, exploring the algorithm's behavior on special graph classes, and designing new heuristics inspired by the strengths and weaknesses of First Fit. By advancing our understanding of these aspects, we aim to contribute to the development of more effective algorithms for sum coloring and related optimization problems.**

### Keywords

Performance Guarantee, First Fit Algorithm, Sum Coloring

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*International Journal of Computer Science & Information System*,

*9*(08), 1–9. Retrieved from https://scientiamreearch.org/index.php/ijcsis/article/view/119