MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Say two graphs are not isomorphic but are both strongly regular with the same set of parameters. Are there any parameters (other than the usual such as order, degrees, eigenvalues and multiplicities, etc.) that are determined, e.g., independence number, chromatic number, etc.?

Thanks for any help

share|cite|improve this question

It's a classic result that a graph parameter called Lovasz theta-function $\theta(\Gamma)$ of a strongly regular graph $\Gamma$ is determined by its parameters. And the significance of $\theta(\Gamma)$ is that it is "sandwiched" between the clique number and the chromatic number.

In more detail, the parameters of the s.r.g. $\Gamma$ determine a 3-dimensional commutative algebra of symmetric matrices (the adjacency matrix $A(\Gamma)$ of $\Gamma$, the adjacency matrix of its complement, and the identity matrix span this algebra). Anything that can be expressed in terms of this algebra, which is specified by the eigenvalues of $A(\Gamma)$, is a parameter you are asking about, and $\theta(\Gamma)$ is one of them. Another one is the number of spanning trees, as by Matrix Tree Theorem it is determined by the eigenvalues.

share|cite|improve this answer
Can you suggest a standard reference for this fact? Thanks! – Felix Goldberg Dec 13 '12 at 18:54
For s.r.g.'s? Say, Or E.Bannai, T.Ito "Algebraic combinatorics I. Association schemes.", ISBN 978-0805304909. – Dima Pasechnik Dec 14 '12 at 5:14

The number of cycles of length 3,4,5 are determined. If the girth is 4, the number of 6-cycles is determined too.

share|cite|improve this answer

It seems the girth of a strongly regular graph would be determined by its parameters in the following way. If $\lambda > 0$, then the girth is 3. If $\lambda=0$ and $\mu > 1$, then the girth is 4. If $\lambda=0$ and $\mu=1$ then the girth is 5. That last case is a little unusual...

share|cite|improve this answer

Okay, well, I checked Brouwer's website and combined that with the comment to the accepted answer of a question on this site. I checked the complement of the Shrikhande graph versus the complement of the line graph of $K_{4, 4}$ using Sage and found independence numbers of 3 and 4, and chromatic numbers of 6 and 4, respectively. Both are strongly regular with parameters (16, 9, 4, 6). So, that answers my question for some parameters.

They have the same girth though.

share|cite|improve this answer
What about the girth of the Shrikhande graph vs $K_{4,4}$? – Aaron Meyerowitz Dec 13 '12 at 7:25
@aaron Also equal. Sorry, I was in a hurry last night so I didn't have time to say everything I should have said. – Graphth Dec 13 '12 at 14:04
@aaron The reason I used the complements of those graphs was because the chromatic numbers and independence numbers were equal for the graphs themselves, all of those being 4. But, I did check the girth for all 4 and the pairs with same parameters had equal girth. – Graphth Dec 13 '12 at 14:44
If the girth of a strongly regular graph is not three, it is four and the graph is bipartite. – Chris Godsil Dec 13 '12 at 17:05
@chris The Petersen graph is strongly regular with girth 5... Did you say quite what you meant there? – Louis Deaett Dec 20 '12 at 15:12

The diameter, energy and number of closed walks could be determined by parameters.

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.