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A mediados del año 1997 la publicación de los denominados TIMMS-Estudios (Third International Mathematics and Science Study) causó un importante impacto en el público alemán. El motivo de esto fue el rendimiento escolar conseguido en la rama de matemáticas y ciencias naturales del octavo curso, el cual estaba situado en un campo internacional, donde particularmente en el ámbito matemático el conjunto de los estados del norte-, oeste-, y del este de Europa que forman parte del TIMSS - sin mencionar a la mayoría de los paises asiáticos - habían conseguido claramente mejores rendimiento. En definitiva mostraban un peor rendimiento los escolares alemanes con respecto a los paises vecinos y con los ....

Given an undirected, connected network G = (V,E) with weights on the edges, the cut basis problem is asking for a maximal number of linear independent cuts such that the sum of the cut weights is minimized. Surprisingly, this problem has not attained as much attention as its graph theoretic counterpart, the cycle basis problem. We consider two versions of the problem, the unconstrained and the fundamental cut basis problem. For the unconstrained case, where the cuts in the basis can be of an arbitrary kind, the problem can be written as a multiterminal network flow problem and is thus solvable in strongly polynomial time. The complexity of this algorithm improves the complexity of the best algorithms for the cycle basis problem, such that it is preferable for cycle basis problems in planar graphs. In contrast, the fundamental cut basis problem, where all cuts in the basis are obtained by deleting an edge, each, from a spanning tree T is shown to be NP-hard. We present heuristics, integer programming formulations and summarize first experiences with numerical tests.

Many polynomially solvable combinatorial optimization problems (COP) become NP when we require solutions to satisfy an additional cardinality constraint. This family of problems has been considered only recently. We study a newproblem of this family: the k-cardinality minimum cut problem. Given an undirected edge-weighted graph the k-cardinality minimum cut problem is to find a partition of the vertex set V in two sets V 1 , V 2 such that the number of the edges between V 1 and V 2 is exactly k and the sum of the weights of these edges is minimal. A variant of this problem is the k-cardinality minimum s-t cut problem where s and t are fixed vertices and we have the additional request that s belongs to V 1 and t belongs to V 2 . We also consider other variants where the number of edges of the cut is constrained to be either less or greater than k. For all these problems we show complexity results in the most significant graph classes.

In this paper we consider the problem of decomposing a given integer matrix A into
a positive integer linear combination of consecutive-ones matrices with a bound on the
number of columns per matrix. This problem is of relevance in the realization stage
of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) using linear accelerators and multileaf
collimators with limited width. Constrained and unconstrained versions of the problem
with the objectives of minimizing beam-on time and decomposition cardinality are considered.
We introduce a new approach which can be used to find the minimum beam-on
time for both constrained and unconstrained versions of the problem. The decomposition
cardinality problem is shown to be NP-hard and an approach is proposed to solve the
lexicographic decomposition problem of minimizing the decomposition cardinality subject
to optimal beam-on time.

Finding a delivery plan for cancer radiation treatment using multileaf collimators operating in ''step-and-shoot mode'' can be formulated mathematically as a problem of decomposing an integer matrix into a weighted sum of binary matrices having the consecutive-ones property - and sometimes other properties related to the collimator technology. The efficiency of the delivery plan is measured by both the sum of weights in the decomposition, known as the total beam-on time, and the number of different binary matrices appearing in it, referred to as the cardinality, the latter being closely related to the set-up time of the treatment. In practice, the total beam-on time is usually restricted to its minimum possible value, (which is easy to find), and a decomposition that minimises cardinality (subject to this restriction) is sought.