Let $A_G,A_H$ be the adjacency matrices of two non-isomorphic graphs.

Let $P$ be orthogonal matrix with rational entries.

Is it possible $A_G = P^{-1}A_H P$?

Paper gives algorithm for recognizing rational orthogonal similarity which appears to involve computing the splitting field, which in sage is quite slow.

Is the algorithm in the paper polynomial?


1 Answer 1


Yes, there are. The smallest pair are the subdivision graph of $K_{1,3}$ and $C_6$ with an isloated vertex. There are many more, look up "Godsil-McKay switching". The original source is at http://cs.anu.edu.au/~Brendan.McKay/papers/GodsilMcKayCospectral.pdf

It is not impossible that "most" pairs of cospectral graphs are rationally cospectral.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. What is reference for the explicit orthogonal matrix? $\endgroup$
    – joro
    Mar 23, 2015 at 12:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @joro: See Theorem 2.7 in the paper. $\endgroup$ Mar 23, 2015 at 13:57

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