## Abstract

In this article, we solve the ancestry-labeling scheme problem, which aims at assigning the shortest possible labels (bit strings) to nodes of rooted trees, so ancestry queries between any two nodes can be answered by inspecting their assigned labels only. This problem was introduced more than 20 years ago by Kannan et al. [1988] and is among the most well-studied problems in the field of informative labeling schemes. We construct an ancestry-labeling scheme for n-node trees with label size log_{2} n + O(log log n) bits, thus matching the log_{2} n + Ω(log log n) bits lower bound given by Alstrup et al. [2003]. Our scheme is based on a simplified ancestry scheme that operates extremely well on a restricted set of trees. In particular, for the set of n-node trees with a depth of at most d, the simplified ancestry scheme enjoys label size of log_{2} n + 2 log_{2} d + O(1) bits. Since the depth of most XML trees is at most some small constant, such an ancestry scheme may be of practical use. In addition, we also obtain an adjacency-labeling scheme that labels n-node trees of depth d with labels of size log_{2} n + 3log _{2}d + O(1) bits. All our schemes assign the labels in linear time, and guarantee that any query can be answered in constant time. Finally, our ancestry scheme finds applications to the construction of small universal partially ordered sets (posets). Specifically, for any fixed integer k, it enables the construction of a universal poset of size Õ(n^{k}) for the family of n-element posets with a tree dimension of at most k. Up to lower-order terms, this bound is tight thanks to a lower bound of n^{k-o(1)} by to Alon and Scheinerman [1988].

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 1-31 |

Number of pages | 31 |

Journal | Journal of the ACM |

Volume | 63 |

Issue number | 1 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Feb 2016 |

Externally published | Yes |

### Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:© 2016 ACM.

## Keywords

- Algorithms
- C.2.4 [distributed systems]
- Database
- G.2.2 [discrete mathematics]: graph theory
- Graph decomposition
- Labeling scheme
- Poset
- Theory
- Tree
- XML search engine

## ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Software
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Information Systems
- Hardware and Architecture
- Artificial Intelligence