*NPC Pills* (NP-Complete pills) is a collection of some NP-completeness proofs that I posted on the Q&A sites cstheory.stackexchange.com and cs.stackexchange.com. Up to my knowledge they are original and some of them are not so trivial. At present, most of them are just sketches that contain the NP-hardness reduction idea, but for some of them I wrote (or I’m going to write) a more formal paper. If you are particularly interested in one of them write me an email.

# NPC Pill #1: SINGLE OVERLAP RX3C

The EXACT COVER BY 3-SETS (X3C) problem is:

**Instance**: Set $X = \{x_1,x_2,…,x_{3q}\}$ and a collection $C = \{C_1,…,C_m\}$ of 3-element subsets of $X$.

**Question**: Does $C$ contain an exact cover for $X$, i.e. a subcollection $C’ \subseteq C$ such that every element of $X$ occurs in exactly one member of $C’$?

X3C is NP-complete [1], and as shown in [2] it remains NP-complete even if every element $x_i$ contained in exactly 3 subsets of $C$ (*Restricted Exact Cover by 3-Sets* – RX3C).

We proved that it remains NP-complete even if every pair of subsets in $C$ share at most one element; i.e. for all $i \neq j,\; | C_i \cap C_j | \leq 1$ and we call this restricted version * SINGLE OVERLAP RX3C*.

- Link to the original question on cstheory
- Printed page with the question and a sketch of the proof (NPC_Pill_001_restriction_of_exact_cover_by_3_sets.pdf)

[1] M. R. Garey, David S. Johnson: Computers and Intractability: A Guide to the Theory of NP-Completeness. W. H. Freeman 1979, ISBN 0-7167-1044-7.

[2] Teofilo F. Gonzalez: Clustering to Minimize the Maximum Intercluster Distance. Theor. Comput. Sci. 38: 293-306 (1985).