I have been thinking a lot on some questions related to centres, diameter ($D$), and radius ($R$) of an undirected connected graph, but couldn't find anywhere the answers, so am posting here.

Ques1. If $x,y$ are two vertices such that distance between them is $D$, then is it true that any shortest path between them will contain at least one centre?

Ques2. If $D=2R$, then does the graph contains only one centre?

Ques3. Also, can we say that if $D<<2R$, then graph would contain a lot of centres? (Intuitively I feel so because in figure below, $D$ is smaller than $2R$, and graph contains a lot of centres, the red coloured vertices.)


1 Answer 1


A quick way of gaining some confidence or disproving a conjecture is using a computer to generate examples.

For Q1, if $x,y \in V$ such that $d(x,y) = D$, it is not true that any shortest path between $x$ and $y$ contains at least one central vertex (highlighted in red). Here, you can walk from 1 to 6 via 9, 5, and 8 avoiding the red vertex.

enter image description here

For Q2, the answer is also no. Below is a graph whose radius is 2 and diameter is 4. It has 3 central vertices (highlighted in red).

enter image description here

You can use ideas from these counterexamples to optimize the graphs further.

  • $\begingroup$ Juho, Thanks a lot. Can you please also tell me any library, or program for quick way of enumerating graphs and verifying the graph questions. Thanks in advance! $\endgroup$
    – chyle
    Jun 27, 2018 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ @chyle I used Mathematica for finding both of these examples. It is quite fast to use, but not as fast as a raw, custom-made C program for instance. There are tools like that too, you can start by looking at say nauty (and its utility programs). $\endgroup$
    – Juho
    Jun 27, 2018 at 17:44

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