On August 17, 2021, Linda Cook from the IBS Discrete Mathematics Group gave a talk at the Discrete Math Seminar on (1) a polynomial-time algorithm to detect long even holes and (2) a structure of graphs with no holes of length≠𝓁 for a fixed 𝓁≥7. The title of her talk was “Two results on graphs with holes of restricted lengths“.
We call an induced cycle of length at least four a hole. The parity of a hole is the parity of its length. Forbidding holes of certain types in a graph has deep structural implications. In 2006, Chudnovksy, Seymour, Robertson, and Thomas famously proved that a graph is perfect if and only if it does not contain an odd hole or a complement of an odd hole. In 2002, Conforti, Cornuéjols, Kapoor, and Vuškovíc provided a structural description of the class of even-hole-free graphs. I will describe the structure of all graphs that contain only holes of length $\ell$ for every $\ell \geq 7$ (joint work with Jake Horsfield, Myriam Preissmann, Paul Seymour, Ni Luh Dewi Sintiari, Cléophée Robin, Nicolas Trotignon, and Kristina Vuškovíc.
Analysis of how holes interact with graph structure has yielded detection algorithms for holes of various lengths and parities. In 1991, Bienstock showed it is NP-Hard to test whether a graph G has an even (or odd) hole containing a specified vertex $v \in V(G)$. In 2002, Conforti, Cornuéjols, Kapoor, and Vuškovíc gave a polynomial-time algorithm to recognize even-hole-free graphs using their structure theorem. In 2003, Chudnovsky, Kawarabayashi, and Seymour provided a simpler and slightly faster algorithm to test whether a graph contains an even hole. In 2019, Chudnovsky, Scott, Seymour, and Spirkl provided a polynomial-time algorithm to test whether a graph contains an odd hole. Later that year, Chudnovsky, Scott, and Seymour strengthened this result by providing a polynomial-time algorithm to test whether a graph contains an odd hole of length at least $\ell$ for any fixed integer $\ell \geq 5$. I will present a polynomial-time algorithm (joint work with Paul Seymour) to test whether a graph contains an even hole of length at least $\ell$ for any fixed integer $\ell \geq 4$.
The IBS discrete mathematics group welcomes Dr. Linda Cook, a new research fellow at the IBS discrete mathematics group from August 1, 2021. She received her Ph.D. from the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University under the supervision of Prof. Paul Seymour. She is interested in structural graph theory and its algorithmic applications.