Kevin Hendrey, Extremal functions for sparse minors

The extremal function $c(H)$ of a graph $H$ is the supremum of densities of graphs not containing $H$ as a minor, where the density of a graph is the ratio of the number of edges to the number of vertices. Myers and Thomason (2005), Norin, Reed, Thomason and Wood (2020), and Thomason and Wales (2019) determined the asymptotic behaviour of $c(H)$ for all polynomially dense graphs $H$, as well as almost all graphs of constant density. We explore the asymptotic behavior of the extremal function in the regime not covered by the above results, where in addition to having constant density the graph $H$ is in a graph class admitting strongly sublinear separators. We establish asymptotically tight bounds in many cases. For example, we prove that for every planar graph $H$, \[c(H) = (1+o(1))\max (v(H)/2, v(H)-\alpha(H)),\] extending recent results of Haslegrave, Kim and Liu (2020). Joint work with Sergey Norin and David R. Wood.

Kevin Hendrey gave a talk on the theorem on the half-integral Erdős-Posa property of cycles in a graph with edge labelling by multiple abelian groups at the Discrete Math Seminar

On March 2, 2021, Kevin Hendrey from the IBS Discrete Mathematics Group presented his recent result with Pascal Gollin, Ken-ichi Kawarabayashi, O-joung Kwon, and Sang-il Oum on the half-integral Erdős-Posa property of cycles in a graph with edge labelling by multiple abelian groups at the Discrete Math Seminar. The title of his talk was “A unified half-integral Erdős-Pósa theorem for cycles in graphs labelled by multiple abelian groups“.

Kevin Hendrey, A unified half-integral Erdős-Pósa theorem for cycles in graphs labelled by multiple abelian groups

Erdős and Pósa proved in 1965 that there is a duality between the maximum size of a packing of cycles and the minimum size of a vertex set hitting all cycles. Such a duality does not hold if we restrict to odd cycles.  However, in 1999, Reed proved an analogue for odd cycles by relaxing packing to half-integral packing. We prove a far-reaching generalisation of the theorem of Reed; if the edges of a graph are labelled by finitely many abelian groups, then there is a duality between the maximum size of a half-integral packing of cycles whose values avoid a fixed finite set for each abelian group and the minimum size of a vertex set hitting all such cycles.

A multitude of natural properties of cycles can be encoded in this setting, for example cycles of length at least $\ell$, cycles of length $p$ modulo $q$, cycles intersecting a prescribed set of vertices at least $t$ times, and cycles contained in given $\mathbb{Z}_2$-homology classes in a graph embedded on a fixed surface. Our main result allows us to prove a duality theorem for cycles satisfying a fixed set of finitely many such properties.

This is joint work with J. Pascal Gollin, Ken-ichi Kawarabayashi, O-joung Kwon, and Sang-il Oum.

Kevin Hendrey, Covering radius in the Hamming permutation space

Our problem can be described in terms of a two player game, played with the set $\mathcal{S}_n$ of permutations on $\{1,2,\dots,n\}$. First, Player 1 selects a subset $S$ of $\mathcal{S}_n$ and shows it to Player 2. Next, Player 2 selects a permutation $p$ from $\mathcal{S}_n$ as different as possible from the permutations in $S$, and shows it to Player 1. Finally, Player 1 selects a permutation $q$ from $S$, and they compare $p$ and $q$. The aim of Player 1 is to ensure that $p$ and $q$ differ in few positions, while keeping the size of $S$ small. The function $f(n,s)$ can be defined as the minimum size of a set $S\subseteq \mathcal{S}_n$ that Player 1 can select in order to gaurantee that $p$ and $q$ will differ in at most $s$ positions.

I will present some recent results on the function $f(n,s)$. We are particularly interested in determining the value $f(n,2)$, which would resolve a conjecture of Kézdy and Snevily that implies several famous conjectures for Latin squares. Here we improve the best known lower bound, showing that $f(n,2)\geqslant 3n/4$. This talk is based on joint work with Ian M. Wanless.

Kevin Hendrey, The minimum connectivity forcing forest minors in large graphs

Given a graph $G$, we define $\textrm{ex}_c(G)$ to be the minimum value of $t$ for which there exists a constant $N(t,G)$ such that every $t$-connected graph with at least $N(t,G)$ vertices contains $G$ as a minor. The value of $\textrm{ex}_c(G)$ is known to be tied to the vertex cover number $\tau(G)$, and in fact $\tau(G)\leq \textrm{ex}_c(G)\leq \frac{31}{2}(\tau(G)+1)$. We give the precise value of $\textrm{ex}_c(G)$ when $G$ is a forest. In particular we find that $\textrm{ex}_c(G)\leq \tau(G)+2$ in this setting, which is tight for infinitely many forests.