Computing at Glasgow University
Paper ID: 8261
DCS Tech Report Number: TR-2006-223

The Stable Marriage Problem with Master Preference Lists
Irving,R.W. Manlove,D.F. Scott,S.

Publication Type: Tech Report (internal)
Appeared in: DCS Technical Report Series
Page Numbers :
Publisher: Dept of Computing Science, University of Glasgow
Year: 2006

We study variants of the classical stable marriage problem in which the preferences of the men or the women, or both, are derived from a master preference list. This models real-world matching problems in which participants may be ranked according to some objective criteria. The master list(s) may be strictly ordered, or may include ties, and the lists of individuals may involve ties and may include all, or just some, of the members of the opposite sex. We show that many of the interesting variants of stable marriage that are NP-hard remain so under very severe restrictions involving the presence of master lists, but a number of special cases can be solved in polynomial time. Under this master list model, versions of the stable marriage problem that are already solvable in polynomial time typically yield to faster and/or simpler algorithms, giving rise to simple new structural characterisations of the solutions in these cases.

Keywords: Matching; Preferences; Stability; Ties; Polynomial-time algorithm; NP-hardness

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