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The claim is as follows: Let's say we have a $k$-regular simple undirected graph $G$ on $n$ vertices. Then, does $G$ then always have a $d$-factor for all $d$ satisfying $1 \le d \lt k$ and $dn$ being even.

I think its true, since we can construct a

  • $k+1$-regular graph from $G$ by adding $\frac{n}{2}$ edges for even $n$ or
  • $k+2$-regular graph from $G$ by adding $n$ edges for odd $n$

And the converse for the above. We can construct a $k$-regular graph on $n$ vertices by

  • removing $\frac{n}{2}$ edges from a $k+1$-regular graph for even $n$.
  • removing $n$ edges from a $k+2$-regular graph for odd $n$.

Hence, using the converse argument, we can say that the original claim is true, since from a $k$-regular graph $G$ we can construct

  • $1$-factor, $2$-factor, ... $k-1$-factor for even $n$ or
  • $2$-factor, $4$-factor, ... $k-2$-factor for odd $n$

Is my argument correct or is there any flaw in this argument?

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  • $\begingroup$ Hence, the opposite should also be true. Why? There are a lot of statements of the type $A \Rightarrow B$ in which the converse $B \Rightarrow A$ is false. For example, if $a$ is positive then so is $a^2$, but the converse doesn't hold. $\endgroup$ – Yuval Filmus Oct 13 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ Your claim is also not true, since you need the graph to be simple. Consider what happens if $G$ is the complete graph. $\endgroup$ – Yuval Filmus Oct 13 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ Oh I'm really sorry. I've been ambiguous about whats the opposite of what. Let me edit the question. $\endgroup$ – RandomPerfectHashFunction Oct 13 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ @YuvalFilmus I have edited the question. Have a look now. $\endgroup$ – RandomPerfectHashFunction Oct 13 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ Your argument doesn’t work. I already gave you a counterexample. $\endgroup$ – Yuval Filmus Oct 13 at 18:07
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Your conjecture is false. There are regular graphs with an even number of vertices yet without a 1-regular subgraph. See this question on Mathematics.

The complement of such a graph gives a counterexample to your claim that you can always add a perfect matching to increase the regularity (when the number of vertices is even).

In the bipartite case, however, your conjecture is true. Any $k$-regular bipartite graph can be decomposed into $k$ perfect matchings. This follows from Hall's theorem.

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  • $\begingroup$ The question you refer to is about 1-factors... The OP question is about subgraphs - more general case $\endgroup$ – HEKTO Oct 13 at 18:40
  • $\begingroup$ @HEKTO A $d$-factor is a $d$-regular subgraph (on the same set of vertices). That's the definition. $\endgroup$ – Yuval Filmus Oct 13 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ Subgraphs can have less vertices $\endgroup$ – HEKTO Oct 13 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ Factors have the same vertex set $\endgroup$ – HEKTO Oct 13 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ Reading the post, it seems clear that the OP is after subgraphs obtained just by removing edges. For example, otherwise there is no reason to restrict to even $dn$ (I'll let you figure out some other hints). $\endgroup$ – Yuval Filmus Oct 13 at 18:48

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