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Donggyu Kim (김동규), A stronger version of Tutte’s wheel theorem for vertex-minors
Monday, February 21, 2022 @ 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM KST
Tutte (1961) proved that every simple $3$-connected graph $G$ has an edge $e$ such that $G \setminus e$ or $G / e$ is simple $3$-connected, unless $G$ is isomorphic to a wheel. We call such an edge non-essential. Oxley and Wu (2000) proved that every simple $3$-connected graph has at least $2$ non-essential edges unless it is isomorphic to a wheel. Moreover, they proved that every simple $3$-connected graph has at least $3$ non-essential edges if and only if it is isomorphic to neither a twisted wheel nor a $k$-dimensional wheel with $k\geq2$.
We prove analogous results for graphs with vertex-minors. For a vertex $v$ of a graph $G$, let $G*v$ be the graph obtained from $G$ by deleting all edges joining two neighbors of $v$ and adding edges joining non-adjacent pairs of two neighbors of $v$. This operation is called the local complementation at $v$, and we say two graphs are locally equivalent if one can be obtained from the other by applying a sequence of local complementations. A graph $H$ is a vertex-minor of a graph $G$ if $H$ is an induced subgraph of a graph locally equivalent to $G$. A split of a graph is a partition $(A,B)$ of its vertex set such that $|A|,|B| \geq 2$ and for some $A’\subseteq A$ and $B’\subseteq B$, two vertices $x\in A$ and $y\in B$ are adjacent if and only if $x\in A’$ and $y\in B’$. A graph is prime if it has no split.
A vertex $v$ of a graph is non-essential if at least two of three kinds of vertex-minor reductions at $v$ result in prime graphs. We prove that every prime graph with at least $5$ vertices has at least two non-essential vertices unless it is locally equivalent to a cycle. It is stronger than a theorem proved by Allys (1994), which states that every prime graph with at least $5$ vertices has a non-essential vertex unless it is locally equivalent to a cycle. As a corollary of our result, one can obtain the first result of Oxley and Wu. Furthermore, we show that every prime graph with at least $5$ vertices has at least $3$ non-essential vertices if and only if it is not locally equivalent to a graph with two specified vertices $x$ and $y$ consisting of at least two internally-disjoint paths from $x$ to $y$ in which $x$ and $y$ have no common neighbor.
This is joint work with Sang-il Oum.