Journal article Open Access
A confluent and terminating reduction system is introduced for graphs,which preserves the number of their perfect matchings. A union-find algorithm is presented to carry out reduction in almost linear time. The König property is investigated in the context of reduction by introducing the König deficiency of a graph G as the difference between the vertex covering number and thematching number ofG. It is shown that the problem of finding the König deficiency of a graph is NP-complete even if we know that the graph reduces to the empty graph. Finally, the König deficiency of graphs G having a vertex v such that G − v has a unique perfect matching is studied in connection with reduction.