Rooted graph minors and the reducibility of graph polynomials

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Graph Minors
Feynman Integrals
Symanzik Polynomials
Rooted Minors

In 2009, Brown gave a set of conditions which when satisfied imply that a Feynman integral evaluates to a multiple zeta value. One of these conditions is called reducibility, which loosely says there is an order of integration for the Feynman integral for which Brown's techniques will succeed. Reducibility can be abstracted away from the Feynman integral to just being a condition on two polynomials, the first and second Symanzik polynomials. The first Symanzik polynomial is defined from the spanning trees of a graph, and the second Symanzik polynomial is defined from both spanning forests of a graph and some edge and vertex weights, called external momenta and masses. Thus reducibility is a property of graphs augmented with certain weights. We prove that for a fixed number of external momenta and no masses, reducibility is graph minor closed, correcting the previously claimed proofs of this fact. A computational study of reducibility was undertaken by Bogner and L\"{u}ders who found that for graphs with $4$-on-shell momenta and no masses, $K_{4}$ with momenta on each vertex is a forbidden minor. We add to this and find that when we restrict to graphs with four on-shell external momenta the following graphs are forbidden minors: $K_{4}$ with momenta on each vertex, $W_{4}$ with external momenta on the rim vertices, $K_{2,4}$ with external momenta on the large side of the bipartition, and one other graph. We do not expect that these minors characterize reducibility, so instead we give structural characterizations of the graphs not containing subsets of these minors. We characterize graphs not containing a rooted $K_{4}$ or rooted $W_{4}$ minor, graphs not containing rooted $K_{4}$ or rooted $W_{4}$ or rooted $K_{2,4}$ minors, and also a characterization of graphs not containing all of the known forbidden minors. Some comments are made on graphs not containing $K_{3,4}$, $K_{6}$ or a graph related to Wagner's graph as a minor.

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Senior supervisor: 
Karen Yeats
Science: Department of Mathematics
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.