**cross references:** BiWFA GitHub issue

It seems that getting the meeting/overlap condition of BiWFA (Marco-Sola et al. (2023), Algorithm 1 and Lemma 2.1) correct is tricky.

Let \(p := \max(x, o+e)\) be the maximal cost of any edge in the edit graph.
As in the BiWFA paper, let \(s_f\) and \(s_r\) be the distances of the *forward* and
*reverse* fronts computed so far.

We prove the following lemma:

**Lemma**
Once BiWFA has expanded the forward and reverse fronts up to \(s_f\) and \(s_r\) and
has found *some* path of cost \(s \leq s_f + s_r\),
expanding the fronts until \(s’_f + s’_r \geq s+p+o\) is guaranteed to find a
*shortest* path.

**Proof**

Increment \(s_f\) and \(s_r\) up to the point (but excluding) where \(s’_f + s’_r = s + p + o\).

Let \(\pi\) be a shortest path in the edit graph of cost \(s_\pi\).

Let \(I\) be the interval of distances on the path \(\pi\) from the start that are covered by both the forward and reverse fronts. (This probably needs a more formal definition.)

\(I = [s_\pi -s’_r+o, s’_f)\) or \(I = (s_\pi - s’_r+o, s’_f]\) is covered both in the forward and reverse direction for all (affine) layers (\(M\), \(I\), \(D\)). The side on which \(I\) is open depends on whether \(s’_f\) or \(s’_r\) was incremented last.

Since \(s_\pi \leq s\), we have

\begin{align} |I| &= s’_f - (s_\pi - s’_r + o)\\ &= s’_f + s’_r - s_\pi - o \\ &= s+p+o - s_\pi - o \\ &= s-s_\pi +p \\ &\geq p. \end{align}

Each edge in the edit graph has cost at most \(p = \max(x, o+e)\).

\(\pi\) contains at least one node every \(p\) fronts, as long as \(s_f \leq s_\pi\) and \(s_r \leq s_\pi\).

Since the interval \(I\) has size \(p\) it contains at least one node of \(\pi\).

Thus, the forward and reverse wavefronts overlap sufficiently to find a shortest path.

## References

*Bioinformatics*39 (2). https://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btad074.