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Mathematics  2014 

Partial list colouring of certain graphs

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Abstract:

Let $G$ be a graph on $n$ vertices and let $\mathcal{L}_k$ be an arbitrary function that assigns each vertex in $G$ a list of $k$ colours. Then $G$ is $\mathcal{L}_k$-list colourable if there exists a proper colouring of the vertices of $G$ such that every vertex is coloured with a colour from its own list. We say $G$ is $k$-choosable if for every such function $\mathcal{L}_k$, $G$ is $\mathcal{L}_k$-list colourable. The minimum $k$ such that $G$ is $k$-choosable is called the list chromatic number of $G$ and is denoted by $\chi_L(G)$. Let $\chi_L(G) = s$ and let $t$ be a positive integer less than $s$. The partial list colouring conjecture due to Albertson et al. \cite{albertson2000partial} states that for every $\mathcal{L}_t$ that maps the vertices of $G$ to $t$-sized lists, there always exists an induced subgraph of $G$ of size at least $\frac{tn}{s}$ that is $\mathcal{L}_t$-list colourable. In this paper we show that the partial list colouring conjecture holds true for certain classes of graphs like claw-free graphs, graphs with large chromatic number, chordless graphs, and series-parallel graphs. In the second part of the paper, we put forth a question which is a variant of the partial list colouring conjecture: does $G$ always contain an induced subgraph of size at least $\frac{tn}{s}$ that is $t$-choosable? We show that the answer to this question is not always `yes' by explicitly constructing an infinite family of $3$-choosable graphs where a largest induced $2$-choosable subgraph of each graph in the family is of size at most $\frac{5n}{8}$.

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