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Sebastian Siebertz, Transducing paths in graph classes with unbounded shrubdepth
Wednesday, May 25, 2022 @ 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM KST
Transductions are a general formalism for expressing transformations of graphs (and more generally, of relational structures) in logic. We prove that a graph class C can be FO-transduced from a class of bounded-height trees (that is, has bounded shrubdepth) if, and only if, from C one cannot FO-transduce the class of all paths. This establishes one of the three remaining open questions posed by Blumensath and Courcelle about the MSO-transduction quasi-order, even in the stronger form that concerns FO-transductions instead of MSO-transductions.
The backbone of our proof is a graph-theoretic statement that says the following: If a graph G excludes a path, the bipartite complement of a path, and a half-graph as semi-induced subgraphs, then the vertex set of G can be partitioned into a bounded number of parts so that every part induces a cograph of bounded height, and every pair of parts semi-induce a bi-cograph of bounded height. This statement may be of independent interest; for instance, it implies that the graphs in question form a class that is linearly chi-bounded.