Journal article

Coloring graphs characterized by a forbidden subgraph


  • 2014
Published in:
  • Discrete Applied Mathematics. - Elsevier BV. - 2014, vol. 180, p. 101-110
English The Coloring problem is to test whether a given graph can be colored with at most k colors for some given k, such that no two adjacent vertices receive the same color. The complexity of this problem on graphs that do not contain some graph H as an induced subgraph is known for each fixed graph H. A natural variant is to forbid a graph H only as a subgraph. We call such graphs strongly H-free and initiate a complexity classification of Coloring for strongly H-free graphs. We show that Coloring is NP-complete for strongly H-free graphs, even for k = 3, when H contains a cycle, has maximum degree at least 5, or contains a connected component with two vertices of degree 4. We also give three conditions on a forest H of maximum degree at most 4 and with at most one vertex of degree 4 in each of its connected components, such that Coloring is NP-complete for strongly H-free graphs even for k = 3. Finally, we classify the computational complexity of Coloring on strongly H-free graphs for all fixed graphs H up to seven vertices. In particular, we show that Coloring is polynomial-time solvable when H is a forest that has at most seven vertices and maximum degree at most 4.
Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales et du management
Département d'informatique
  • English
Computer science
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