Vertex colouring, Edge Colouring, List Colouring, Fractional Chromatic Number and other variants of graph colouring problems are all on topic.

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49
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9answers
6k views

The “sensitivity” of 2-colorings of the d-dimensional integer lattice

Consider the $d$-dimensional integer lattice, $Z^d$. Call two points in $Z^d$ "neighbors" if their Euclidean distance is 1 (i.e., if they differ by 1 on exactly one coordinate). Let $C$ be a two-...
42
votes
12answers
5k views

Generalizations of the Four-Color theorem

The four color theorem asserts that every planar graph can be properly colored by four colors. The purpose of this question is to collect generalizations, variations, and strengthenings of the four ...
37
votes
6answers
3k views

Is it easy to produce hard-to-color graphs?

This question arises from my recent visit to my daughter's second-grade class, where I led some discussion and activities on graph coloring (see Math for seven-year-olds). In one such activity, each ...
35
votes
15answers
5k views

Strengthening the Induction Hypothesis

Suppose you are trying to prove result $X$ by induction and are getting nowhere fast. One nice trick is to try to prove a stronger result $X'$ (that you don't really care about) by induction. This ...
35
votes
5answers
4k views

Algebraic Proof of 4-Colour Theorem?

4-Colour Theorem. Every planar graph is 4-colourable. This theorem of course has a well-known history. It was first proven by Appel and Haken in 1976, but their proof was met with skepticism ...
35
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0answers
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Does every triangle-free graph with maximum degree at most 6 have a 5-colouring?

A very specific case of Reed's Conjecture Reed's $\omega$,$\Delta$, $\chi$ conjecture proposes that every graph has $\chi \leq \lceil \tfrac 12(\Delta+1+\omega)\rceil$. Here $\chi$ is the chromatic ...
31
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is “P vs. NP” necessarily relevant?

I want to start out by giving two examples: 1) Graham's problem is to decide whether a given edge-coloring (with two colors) of the complete graph on vertices $\lbrace-1,+1\rbrace^n$ contains a ...
29
votes
0answers
730 views

3-colorings of the unit distance graph of $\Bbb R^3$

Let $\Gamma$ be the unit distance graph of $\Bbb R^3$: points $(x,y)$ form an edge if $|x,y|=1$. Let $(A,B,C,D)$ be a unit side rhombus in the plane, with a transcendental diagonal, e.g. $A = (\...
26
votes
2answers
838 views

chromatic number of the hyperbolic plane

A notorious problem in combinatorics is the following: If we color $\mathbb{R}^2$ so that no pair of points at unit distance get the same color, what is the fewest number of colors required? This ...
24
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1answer
2k views

Algebraic proof of Five-Color Theorem using chromatic polynomials by Birkhoff and Lewis in 1946

I'm guessing everyone is familiar with Four Color Theorem which was proved by Appel and Haken using computers. A weaker version of this theorem is Five Color Theorem which states that a planar graph ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

Can one measure the infeasibility of four color proofs?

Terms like "impractical" and "unfeasible" are used to say the Robertson, Sanders, Seymour, and Thomas proof of the four color theorem needs computer assistance. Obviously no precise measure is ...
19
votes
1answer
998 views

A Question on 1, 2 ,3 Conjecture

The 1, 2, 3 conjecture is well-known: If $G$ is a simple graph which is not $K_2$ then one can assign a number among $1, 2, 3$ to every edge such that if we label each vertex with the sum of the ...
19
votes
0answers
274 views

Coloring a Ferrers diagram

I've shopped the problem below around a bit and it seems like it might be known, or not that hard to resolve, but so far I've come up empty-handed. Say that a coloring of the dots of a Ferrers ...
18
votes
8answers
5k views

Why is edge-coloring less interesting than vertex-coloring?

I was wondering why there is (apparently) much more research directed towards vertex-coloring than edge-coloring? Prima facie, it seems that edge-coloring is just as "natural" a thing to investigate. ...
16
votes
0answers
289 views

Simpler proofs of certain Ramsey numbers

The reason for the gorgeous simplicity of the classic proofs of $R(3,3)$, $R(4,4)$, $R(3,4)$ and $R(3,5)$ is that essentially all you need is the trivial bound and a picture. But for bigger Ramsey ...
15
votes
3answers
833 views

Are infinite planar graphs still 4-colorable?

Imagine you have a finite number of "sites" $S$ in the positive quadrant of the integer lattice $\mathbb{Z}^2$, and from each site $s \in S$, one connects $s$ to every lattice point to which it has a ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Making a non-monotone function monotone

Consider a function $f: \{0,1\}^n \rightarrow \{1..R\}$. This function can be interpreted as a coloring $Color(v)$ of vertices in a unit n-dimensional hypercube in $R$ colors. We say there is a ...
14
votes
6answers
4k views

Lower bounds for chromatic number of a graph

I am trying to find a good lower bound for chromatic number of one family of graphs. I'm curious what are the known lower bounds for chromatic number. There are two obvious: $\chi(G) \geq \omega(G)$ ...
14
votes
2answers
388 views

Has there been a computer search for a 5-chromatic unit distance graph?

The existence of a 4-chromatic unit distance graph (e.g., the Moser spindle) establishes a lower bound of 4 for the chromatic number of the plane (see the Nelson-Hadwiger problem). Obviously, it ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Can one make Erdős's Ramsey lower bound explicit?

Erdős's 1947 probabilistic trick provided a lower exponential bound for the Ramsey number $R(k)$. Is it possible to explicitly construct 2-colourings on exponentially sized graphs without large ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

A decision problem in graph coloring

It'll be great to get a pointer or answer to the following question: What is the complexity of the following problem? Given an unweighted and undirected graph, can we have a proper (not necessarily ...
12
votes
3answers
777 views

Is there a matrix whose permanent counts 3-colorings?

Actually, I suppose that the answer is technically "yes," since computing the permanent is #P-complete, but that's not very satisfying. So here's what I mean: Kirchhoff's theorem says that if you ...
12
votes
1answer
169 views

Graphs with a coloring that majorizes all other colorings

By a coloring of a graph $G = (V,E)$ I mean a map $\kappa:V\to\mathbb{N}$ such that $\kappa(u)\ne \kappa(v)$ whenever $u$ and $v$ are adjacent. (Sometimes this is called a proper coloring but I am ...
12
votes
1answer
360 views

Coloring the edges of a torus graph

Question:Consider the $2k \times 2k$ grid graph on a torus. Is it true that for every $2$-coloring of the edges, there is an antipodal pair of vertices connected by a path that changes colors at most $...
11
votes
9answers
2k views

What is the Tutte polynomial encoding?

Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Let G be a connected graph; then the Tutte polynomial T_G(x,y) carries a lot of information about G. However, it obviously doesn't encode everything about ...
11
votes
1answer
236 views

What is the chromatic number of the “conic hypergraph” on a non-singular plane cubic?

Can we color the points of a complex non-singular plane cubic curve with finitely many colors so that no conic intersects the curve at 6 distinct points of the same color? If so, what is the smallest ...
11
votes
1answer
346 views

Coloring $K_n$ via edge-weight sums

This is a question inspired by and tangential to "A Question on 1, 2 ,3 Conjecture"—and certainly much easier! Suppose one assigns a random edge weight among $\{1,2,3,\ldots,k\}$ to each edge ...
11
votes
0answers
275 views

The Universal Labeling of graph

The universal labeling of a graph $G$ is a labeling of the edge set in $G$ such that in every orientation $\ell$ of $G$ for every two adjacent vertices $v$ and $u$, the sum of incoming edges of $v$ ...
11
votes
0answers
1k views

A new lower bound for the chromatic number of a graph?

Let $S_{+}(G)$ denote the sum of the squares of the positive eigenvalues of the adjacency matrix of a graph $G$. Let $S_{-}(G)$ denote the sum of the squares of the negative eigenvalues and $q$ the ...
10
votes
2answers
756 views

What is the smallest 4-chromatic graph of girth 5?

It is known that the smallest 4-chromatic graph of girth 4 is the Grötzsch graph (11 vertices). What happens for girth 5? The Brinkmann graph (21 vertices) has chromatic number 4, girth 5 and is 4-...
10
votes
2answers
201 views

Big Mono-Chromatic Subgraphs of Vertex 2-Colourings

I'm not a graph theorist, but the following quantity came up in my work and I'm curious if it has been studied. Given a connected finite graph $\Gamma = (V,E)$ define: $$ c(\Gamma) = \min_{f : V \...
10
votes
1answer
651 views

Which lattices have more than one minimal periodic coloring?

The lattice $\mathbb{Z}^n$ has an essentially unique (up to permutation) minimal periodic coloring for all $n$, namely the "checkerboard" 2-coloring. Here a coloring of a lattice $L$ is a coloring of ...
10
votes
2answers
538 views

Can we select a rainbow matching if each degree is 6 and each colorclass is a C_6?

Suppose that we have a 2d-regular graph whose edges are colored such that the edges of each color form a cycle of length 2d. (So if the graph has 2n vertices, then there are n colors.) Is it true that ...
9
votes
2answers
436 views

Labelled spanning trees without edge crossings

Draw the complete graph $K_n$ on a plane in general position with every edge a straight line and randomly label the edges $0$ or $1$. Does this graph always have a spanning tree with no edges crossing ...
9
votes
1answer
109 views

A variant of Nelson-Hadwiger Problem on the chromatic number of the plane

The famous Nelson-Hadwiger problem asks about the chromatic number of the graph $G$, with the vertex set $V(G)={\mathbb R}^2$ where $a_1=(x_1,y_1), a_2=(x_2,y_2) \in V(G) \ $ form an edge iff $a_1-a_2$...
9
votes
1answer
393 views

Postnikov's approach to perfect matchings of graphs

Over a decade ago Alexander Postnikov developed his own way of looking at perfect matchings of bipartite plane graphs. As I recall, he starts with a 2-coloring of the square grid and creates a new ...
9
votes
1answer
677 views

Finding Two Rainbow Spanning Trees

Suppose we have a graph whose edges are coloured. It's not necessarily a proper colouring: a given node may have 0, 1, or several incident edges of a given colour. Is the following problem NP-...
8
votes
2answers
193 views

Bounds on chromatic number of $k$-planar graphs

A $1$-planar graph can be drawn in the plane so that each arc is crossed at most once by another arc. A $k$-planar graph can be drawn so that each arc is crossed at most $k$ times. Planar graphs are ...
8
votes
1answer
380 views

Coloring of the plane

I would like to know the minimum number k such that the plane R^2 can be coloured with k colors such that no colour contain all the possible distances. In other words, a colouring such that each color ...
8
votes
1answer
125 views

How many uniquely colored degree two vertices in 3-coloring of subcubic graph?

Is there a graph with maximum degree three that has 3 degree two vertices that must get the same (resp. different) color in every 3-coloring of the graph? I'm interested in any similar results as ...
8
votes
3answers
540 views

Edge-coloring of the complete graph without any rainbow paths

For a given $2k-1$ edge coloring of the complete graph $K_{2k}$, say a Hamiltonian path $P$ is a rainbow path if every color appears exactly once in $P$. My question is "For each $2k (k \geq 2)$, is ...
8
votes
2answers
564 views

Derivative of Tutte polynomial at -1

Let Tutte polynomial on graph with edge-set $E$ be defined as follows $$f(q,v)=\sum_{A\subseteq E} q^{\kappa(A)} v^{|A|}$$ Here the sum is over all subgraphs $A$, $\kappa(A)$ is the number of ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Has anyone seen this graph?

I recently constructed the graph shown below in the process of investigating some problems regarding line graphs and homomorphisms, and then happened to see it on wikipedia. I was wondering if anyone ...
8
votes
1answer
191 views

What is known about the chromatic number for minimum-distance graphs in higher dimensions?

For a set of points in $\mathbb{R}^d$ with minimum distance $a$, the minimum-distance graph connect two points iff they are at distance $a$. We can also view it as the tangency graph for a set of ...
8
votes
0answers
135 views

Edge-colorings of plane graphs: do you know references where the following questions are studied?

Let $G$ be a plane graph (or more generally, a graph embedded on a surface) with a proper edge-coloring of $G$ with $k$ colors $\{1,\ldots,k\}$. I am interested in studying the cyclic permutations of ...
8
votes
1answer
582 views

Bipartite Graphs arising from two k-partitions of a given Graph

Let $G$ be an $n$-chromatic connected graph. Let $(V_1, V_2, \cdots, V_n)$ and $(U_1, U_2, \cdots, U_n)$ be two partitions of $V(G)$ corresponding to proper n-colorings of $G$. Consider the bipartite ...
8
votes
0answers
288 views

Colouring a graph whose edge set is a special union of cliques

I am trying to show that a certain family of graphs can always be properly coloured with at most $6$ colours (where "properly coloured" means that each vertex gets a colour and no edge has both ends ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Highly symmetric 6-regular graph with 20 vertices

I'm interested in (node/edge-)symmetric 6-regular graphs on 20 vertices and 60 edges, especially ones with a A5/icosahedral/dodecahedral symmetry group and especially their chromatic number. So far I ...
7
votes
1answer
287 views

Choosing two-colorable subgraph in a triangulation

Consider a planar graph $G$ which is a triangulation. Is it possible to find a two-colorable subgraph $H$ of $G$ which has a common edge with every face of $G$? It is known that it is not always ...
7
votes
4answers
274 views

Graph homomorphisms and line graph

If $G,H$ are simple, undirected graphs, we say that they are in a hom(omorphism)-relation if there is a graph homomorphism from $G$ to $H$ or from $H$ to $G$. For any graph $G$ let $L(G)$ denote its ...