
Mathematics 2010
Linear Choosability of Sparse GraphsAbstract: We study the linear list chromatic number, denoted $\lcl(G)$, of sparse graphs. The maximum average degree of a graph $G$, denoted $\mad(G)$, is the maximum of the average degrees of all subgraphs of $G$. It is clear that any graph $G$ with maximum degree $\Delta(G)$ satisfies $\lcl(G)\ge \ceil{\Delta(G)/2}+1$. In this paper, we prove the following results: (1) if $\mad(G)<12/5$ and $\Delta(G)\ge 3$, then $\lcl(G)=\ceil{\Delta(G)/2}+1$, and we give an infinite family of examples to show that this result is best possible; (2) if $\mad(G)<3$ and $\Delta(G)\ge 9$, then $\lcl(G)\le\ceil{\Delta(G)/2}+2$, and we give an infinite family of examples to show that the bound on $\mad(G)$ cannot be increased in general; (3) if $G$ is planar and has girth at least 5, then $\lcl(G)\le\ceil{\Delta(G)/2}+4$.
