# Two problem related to sequence of sets

Given a sequence of sets S_1,\ldots,S_n with a total of m elements. Partition [n], such that if i,j is in the same partition class, then S_i = S_j.

Solve the problem by building a trie over the lexicographic ordering of the elements in the set. Since the alphabet has size n, it has running time O(m\log n). One can get better running time using integer data structures, say O(m\log \log n) using van Emde Boas tree.

O(m) time is actually possible. For each k, we build the set H_k = \set{j | k\in S_j} (as a list). We define equivalent relation \equiv_k as i\equiv_k j if S_i\cap [k] =S_j\cap [k]. If we have equivalent class of \equiv_k, we can obtain the equivalent class of \equiv_{k+1} in O(|H_k|) time. Hence together the running time is O(m).

Given a sequence of sets S_1,\ldots,S_n containing a total of m integers, and a integer k. Decide if there exists i and j such that i\neq j and |S_i\cap S_j|\geq k.

We assume the elements in the sets are in [m]. Let S=\bigcup_{i=1}^n S_i.

For k=0,1, we can solve it in O(m) time: Decide if any element appears more than once in the sets.

For larger k, we shall compute |S_i\cap S_j| for every pair i and j. To do this, we start with an all zero n\times n matrix C. At the end of the algorithm, C_{i,j} = |S_i\cap S_j| for all i,j\in [n]. For each element x, we find E_x = \set{i|x\in S_i}. This takes O(m) time. We increment C_{i,j} for all i,j\in E_x. We claim this algorithm have running time O(nm). Indeed, for each x, we spend |E_x| time in incrementing C_{i,j} where i,j\in E_x. Hence the running time is bounded by \sum_{x\in S} |E_x|^2. We know \sum_{x\in S} |E_x|=m and |E_x|\leq n. We see the worst case is when |E_x|=n and |S|=m/n. In that case, we have running time O(\sum_{x\in S} n^2)=O(mn).

Since we just want to find a pair \set{i,j} where |S_i\cap S_j|\geq k. We can stop the algorithm as soon as C_{i,j}\geq k for some i and j. This means we can increment at most (k-1)n^2 times.

Together, the running time become O(\min(nm,k n^2+m)).

For k=2. One can improve the running time when n is large by reduce it to a problem similar to finding rectangles or finding a C_4 in the incident graph. Let n' be |\bigcup_i S_i|, we can obtain a more refined bound. Together, the final running time for k=2 is O(\min(m^{4/3}, dm, n^2+m)). Here d is the degeneracy of the incident graph of the sets and the elements, which is bounded above by the maximum degree.

Recently, I've shown that for larger k, we can obtain a O(k^{1/3}m^{4/3}) running time.