Summary: In 1923, Eduard Helly published his celebrated theorem, which originated the well known Helly property. A family of subsets has the Helly property when every subfamily thereof, formed by pairwise intersecting subsets, contains a common element.Many generalizations of this property exist which are relevant to some fields of mathematics, and have several applications in computer science. In this work, we survey complexity aspects of the Helly property. The main focus is on characterizations of several classes of graphs and hypergraphs related to the Helly property. We describe algorithms for solving different problems arising from the basic Helly property. We also discuss the complexity of these problems, some of them leading to NP-hardness results.
computational complexity, Helly property, NP-complete problems * partially supported by the conselho nacional de desenvolvimento científico e tecnológico, cnpq, and funda$$###$$cão de amparo ` a pesquisa do estado do Rio de Janeiro, FAPERJ, Brazil