## Abstract

Given an n-vertex digraph D= (V, A) the Max-k-Ordering problem is to compute a labeling ℓ: V→ [ k] maximizing the number of forward edges, i.e. edges (u, v) such that ℓ(u) < ℓ(v). For different values of k, this reduces to maximum acyclic subgraph (k= n), and Max-DiCut (k= 2). This work studies the approximability of Max-k-Ordering and its generalizations, motivated by their applications to job scheduling with soft precedence constraints. We give an LP rounding based 2-approximation algorithm for Max-k-Ordering for any k= { 2 , … , n} , improving on the known 2 k/ (k- 1) -approximation obtained via random assignment. The tightness of this rounding is shown by proving that for any k= { 2 , … , n} and constant ε> 0 , Max-k-Ordering has an LP integrality gap of 2 - ε for nΩ(1 / log log k) rounds of the Sherali-Adams hierarchy. A further generalization of Max-k-Ordering is the restricted maximum acyclic subgraph problem or RMAS, where each vertex v has a finite set of allowable labels Sv⊆ Z+. We prove an LP rounding based 42/(2+1)≈2.344 approximation for it, improving on the 22≈2.828 approximation recently given by Grandoni et al. (Inf Process Lett 115(2): 182–185, 2015). In fact, our approximation algorithm also works for a general version where the objective counts the edges which go forward by at least a positive offset specific to each edge. The minimization formulation of digraph ordering is DAG edge deletion or DED(k) , which requires deleting the minimum number of edges from an n-vertex directed acyclic graph (DAG) to remove all paths of length k. We show that a simple rounding of the LP relaxation as well as a local ratio approach for DED(k) yields k-approximation for any k∈ [ n]. A vertex deletion version was studied earlier by Paik et al. (IEEE Trans Comput 43(9): 1091–1096, 1994), and Svensson (Proceedings of the APPROX, 2012).