set cover

(classic problem)

Definition: A set of sets whose union has all members of the union of all sets. The set cover problem is to find a minimum size set.

Formal Definition: Given a set S of sets, choose c ⊆ S such that Ui=1 ci = Ui=1 Si.

See also covering.

Author: PEB


Go to the Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures home page.

If you have suggestions, corrections, or comments, please get in touch with Paul Black.

Entry modified 2 September 2014.
HTML page formatted Fri Feb 23 10:06:08 2018.

Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "set cover", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Vreda Pieterse and Paul E. Black, eds. 2 September 2014. (accessed TODAY) Available from: