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Theses Doctoral

Excluding Induced Paths: Graph Structure and Coloring

Maceli, Peter Lawson

An induced subgraph of a given graph is any graph which can be obtained by successively deleting vertices, possible none. In this thesis, we present several new structural and algorithmic results on a number of different classes of graphs which are closed under taking induced subgraphs. The first result of this thesis is related to a conjecture of Hayward and Nastos on the structure of graphs with no induced four-edge path or four-edge antipath. They conjectured that every such graph which is both prime and perfect is either a split graph or contains a certain useful arrangement of simplicial and antisimplicial vertices. We give a counterexample to their conjecture, and prove a slightly weaker version. This is joint work with Maria Chudnovsky, and first appeared in Journal of Graph Theory. The second result of this thesis is a decomposition theorem for the class of all graphs with no induced four-edge path or four-edge antipath. We show that every such graph can be obtained from pentagons and split graphs by repeated application of complementation, substitution, and split graph unification. Split graph unification is a new graph operation we introduced, which is a generalization of substitution and involves "gluing" two graphs along a common induced split graph. This is a combination of joint work with Maria Chudnovsky and Irena Penev, together with later work of Louis Esperet, Laetitia Lemoine and Frederic Maffray, and first appeared in. The third result of this thesis is related to the problem of determining the complexity of coloring graphs which do not contain some fixed induced subgraph. We show that three-coloring graphs with no induced six-edge path or triangle can be done in polynomial-time. This is joint work with Maria Chudnovsky and Mingxian Zhong, and first appeared in. Working together with Flavia Bonomo, Oliver Schaudt, and Maya Stein, we have since simplified and extended this result.


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Academic Units
Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
Thesis Advisors
Chudnovsky, Maria
Ph.D., Columbia University
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