# Maximum Bipartite Matching¶

The maximum matching problem is a fundamental problem in graph theory. Given a graph as a set of nodes connected by edges, a matching is any subset of those edges that have no vertex in common. The goal of maximum matching is to find the largest possible matching in a given graph.

In this Mod we consider the special case of maximum cardinality matching on bipartite graphs. This theoretical problem can be used to solve practical problems such as the assignment of workers or resources to tasks. We construct a bipartite graph where one of the bipartite sets represents tasks, the other represents workers, and an edge exists between a given worker and task if the worker may complete that task. A matching then defines an allocation of workers to tasks, such that each worker is allocated to at most one task and each task is designated to be completed by at most one worker. The maximum cardinality matching maximizes the number of completed tasks and, consequently, the number of workers who are given work.

## Problem Specification¶

Consider a bipartite graph \(G(U, V, E)\), where \(U\) and \(V\) are disjoint vertex sets, and the edge set \(E \subseteq U \times V\) connects vertices between, but not within, the sets. A matching on this graph is any subset of edges such that no vertex is incident to more than one edge. Equivalently, a matching is a subgraph of \(G\) where all vertices have degree at most one. A maximum matching is the largest possible matching on \(G\).

##
Background: Mathematical Model

The bipartite matching Mod is implemented by reducing the basic version of the problem to a minimum-cost flow problem. To do so, we introduce a source vertex as a predecessor to all vertices in \(U\), and a sink vertex as a successor to all vertices in \(V\). Giving every edge unit capacity, a maximum matching is found by maximizing flow from the source to the sink. To create a minimum-cost flow formulation, an edge with negative cost is added from the sink and the source. All other edges are assigned zero cost. All edges with non-zero flow in the minimum-cost flow solution are part of the matching.

We do not describe the mathematical formulation here; for further details refer to the Minimum-Cost Flow Mod. The important point to note is that solving this continuous model with the simplex algorithm guarantees an integral solution which can therefore be used to select a set of edges for the matching.

## Interface¶

The `maximum_bipartite_matching`

function supports scipy sparse arrays, pandas
dataframes, and networkx graphs as possible inputs. The user must also provide
the bipartite partitions of the input graph. In all cases, the matching is
returned as a sub-graph of the input data structure.

The bipartite input graph is provided as a scipy sparse array that captures the adjacency matrix of the graph, where a 1.0 entry in row \(u\) and column \(v\) indicates an edge \((u,v)\). The user must also provide the two disjoint node sets as numpy arrays. The Mod will return the adjacency matrix of the matching as a scipy sparse array.

```
import numpy as np
import scipy.sparse as sp
from gurobi_optimods.bipartite_matching import maximum_bipartite_matching
# Create a simple bipartite graph as a sparse matrix
nodes1 = np.array([0, 1, 2, 3, 4])
nodes2 = np.array([5, 6, 7])
row = [0, 3, 4, 0, 1, 3]
col = [7, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7]
data = [1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1]
adjacency = sp.coo_array((data, (row, col)), shape=(8, 8))
# Compute the maximum matching
matching = maximum_bipartite_matching(adjacency, nodes1, nodes2)
```

When given a networkx graph as input, the user must also provide the two disjoint node sets as numpy arrays. The Mod will return the matching as a networkx graph (a subgraph of the input).

```
import networkx as nx
import numpy as np
from gurobi_optimods.bipartite_matching import maximum_bipartite_matching
# Create a random bipartite graph
graph = nx.bipartite.random_graph(n=5, m=4, p=0.4, seed=123)
nodes1 = np.arange(5)
nodes2 = np.arange(5, 5 + 4)
# Compute the maximum matching
matching = maximum_bipartite_matching(graph, nodes1, nodes2)
```

The Mod accepts pandas dataframes as input, where two columns in the dataframe describe the source and target vertices of an edge. The user must also provide the source and target column names as inputs to the Mod. The matching will be returned as a subset of the rows in the original dataframe, including all columns present in the original dataframe, but only those rows corresponding to the maximum matching.

```
import pandas as pd
from gurobi_optimods.bipartite_matching import maximum_bipartite_matching
# Read in some task-worker assignment data
frame = pd.DataFrame([
{"expert": "Jill", "task": "uphill"},
{"expert": "Jack", "task": "uphill"},
{"expert": "Jill", "task": "fetchpail"},
])
# Compute the maximum matching
matching = maximum_bipartite_matching(frame, "expert", "task")
```

The `maximum_bipartite_matching`

function formulates a linear program for the
the minimum-cost network flow problem corresponding to the given bipartite graph.
Gurobi will in most cases solve the model using a network primal simplex algorithm.

## Solution¶

The maximum matching is returned as a subgraph of the original bipartite
graph, as a `scipy.sparse`

array. Inspecting the result, it is clear that
this is a maximum matching, since no two edges share a node in common, and
all nodes in the second set are incident to an edge in the matching.

```
>>> print(sp.triu(matching))
(0, 7) 1.0
(1, 6) 1.0
(3, 5) 1.0
```

The maximum matching is returned as a subgraph of the original bipartite
graph, as a `nx.Graph`

graph. Inspecting the result, it is clear that
this is a maximum matching, since no two edges share a node in common, and
all nodes in the second set are incident to an edge in the matching.

```
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
fig, (ax1, ax2) = plt.subplots(1, 2)
layout = nx.bipartite_layout(graph, nodes1)
nx.draw(graph, layout, ax=ax1)
nx.draw(matching, layout, ax=ax2)
```

The maximum matching returns a subset of the original dataframe. We can see in this case that each expert is assigned exactly one task, and each task is only to be completed once.

```
>>> matching
expert task
0 Jack uphill
1 Jill fetchpail
```