Szymon Toruńczyk gave an online talk, introducing the flip-width of graphs at the Virtual Discrete Math Colloquium

On May 17, 2023, Szymon Toruńczyk from the University of Warsaw gave an online talk at the Virtual Discrete Math Colloquium, introducing the flip-width of graphs at the Virtual Discrete Math Colloquium. The title of his talk was “Flip-width: Cops and Robber on dense graphs.”

Szymon Toruńczyk, Flip-width: Cops and Robber on dense graphs

We define new graph parameters, called flip-width, that generalize treewidth, degeneracy, and generalized coloring numbers for sparse graphs, and clique-width and twin-width for dense graphs. The flip-width parameters are defined using variants of the Cops and Robber game, in which the robber has speed bounded by a fixed constant r∈N∪{∞}, and the cops perform flips (or perturbations) of the considered graph. We then propose a new notion of tameness of a graph class, called bounded flip-width, which is a dense counterpart of classes of bounded expansion of Nešetril and Ossona de Mendez, and includes classes of bounded twin-width of Bonnet, Kim, Thomassé, and Watrigant. This unifies Sparsity Theory and Twin-width Theory, providing a common language for studying the central notions of the two theories, such as weak coloring numbers and twin-width — corresponding to winning strategies of one player — or dense shallow minors, rich divisions, or well-linked sets, corresponding to winning strategies of the other player. We prove that boundedness of flip-width is preserved by first-order interpretations, or transductions, generalizing previous results concerning classes of bounded expansion and bounded twin-width. We provide an algorithm approximating the flip-width of a given graph, which runs in slicewise polynomial time (XP) in the size of the graph. Finally, we propose a more general notion of tameness, called almost bounded flip-width, which is a dense counterpart of nowhere dense classes. We conjecture, and provide evidence, that classes with almost bounded flip-width coincide with monadically dependent (or monadically NIP) classes, introduced by Shelah in model theory. We also provide evidence that classes of almost bounded flip-width characterise the hereditary graph classes for which the model-checking problem is fixed-parameter tractable.

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