On Universally Easy Classes for NP-complete Problems

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We explore the natural question of whether all NP-complete problems have a common restriction under which they are polynomially solvable. More precisely, we study what languages are universally easy in that their intersection with any NP-complete problem is in P. In particular, we give a polynomial-time algorithm to determine whether a regular language is universally easy. While our approach is language-theoretic, the results bear directly on finding polynomial-time solutions to very broad and useful classes of problems.

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