# Primal-dual approximation algorithms for feedback problems in planar graphs

## Abstract

Given a subset of cycles of a graph, we consider the problem of finding a minimum-weight set of vertices that meets all cycles in the subset. This problem generalizes a number of problems, including the minimum-weight feedback vertex set problem in both directed and undirected graphs, the subset feedback vertex set problem, and the graph bipartization problem, in winch one must remove a minimum-weight set of vertices so that the remaining graph is bipartite. We give a 9/4-approximation algorithm for the general problem in planar graphs, given that the subset of cycles obeys certain properties. This results in 9/4-approximation algorithms for the aforementioned feedback and bipartization problems in planar graphs. Our algorithms use the primal-dual method for approximation algorithms as given in Goemans and Williamson [16]. We also show that our results have an interesting bearing on a conjecture of Akiyama and Watanabe [2] on the cardinality of feedback vertex sets in planar graphs.