Colouring on hereditary graph classes

Date created: 
Hereditary class
Forbidden induced subgraphs
Polynomial time algorithms
Approximation algorithms

The graph colouring problems ask if one can assign a colour from a palette of colour to every vertex of a graph so that any two adjacent vertices receive different colours. We call the resulting problem k-Colourability if the palette is of fixed size k, and Chromatic Number if the goal is to minimize the size of the palette. One of the earliest NP-completeness results states that 3-Colourability is NP-complete. Thereafter, numerous studies have been devoted to the graph colouring problems on special graph classes. For a fixed set of graphs H we denote F orb(H) by the set of graphs that exclude any graph H ∈ H as an induced subgraph. In this thesis, we explore the computational complexity of graph colouring problems on F orb(H) for different sets of H.In the first part of this thesis, we study k-Colourability on classes F orb(H) when H contains at most two graphs. We show that 4-Colourability and 5-Colourability are NPcomplete on F orb({P7}) and F orb({P6}), respectively, where Pt denotes a path of order t. These results leave open, for k ≥ 4, only the complexity of k-Colourability on F orb({Pt}) for k = 4 and t = 6. Secondly, we refine our NP-completeness results on k-Colourability to classes F orb({Cs, Pt}), where Cs denotes a cycle of length s. We prove new NP-completeness results for different combinations of values of k, s and t. Furthermore, we consider two common variants of the k-colouring problem, namely the list k-colouring problem and the pre-colouring extension of k-colouring problem. We show that in most cases these problems are also NP-complete on the class F orb({Cs, Pt}). Thirdly, we prove that the set of forbidden induced subgraph that characterizes the class of k-colourable (C4, P6)-free graphs is of finite size. For k ∈ {3, 4}, we obtain an explicit list of forbidden induced subgraphs and the first polynomial certifying algorithms for k-Colourability on F orb({C4, P6}).We also discuss one particular class F orb(H) when the size of H is infinite. We consider the intersection class of F orb({C4, C6, . . .}) and F orb(caps), where a cap is a graph obtained from an induced cycle by adding an additional vertex and making it adjacent to two adjacent vertices on the cycle. Our main result is a polynomial time 3/2-approximation algorithm for Chromatic Number on this class.

Document type: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Senior supervisor: 
Pavol Hell
Applied Sciences: School of Computing Science
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.