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Title: Trees and graphs : congestion, polynomials and reconstruction
Author: Law, Hiu-Fai
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 9251
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Spanning tree congestion was defined by Ostrovskii (2004) as a measure of how well a network can perform if only minimal connection can be maintained. We compute the parameter for several families of graphs. In particular, by partitioning a hypercube into pieces with almost optimal edge-boundaries, we give tight estimates of the parameter thereby disproving a conjecture of Hruska (2008). For a typical random graph, the parameter exhibits a zigzag behaviour reflecting the feature that it is not monotone in the number of edges. This motivates the study of the most congested graphs where we show that any graph is close to a graph with small congestion. Next, we enumerate independent sets. Using the independent set polynomial, we compute the extrema of averages in trees and graphs. Furthermore, we consider inverse problems among trees and resolve a conjecture of Wagner (2009). A result in a more general setting is also proved which answers a question of Alon, Haber and Krivelevich (2011). After briefly considering polynomial invariants of general graphs, we specialize into trees. Three levels of tree distinguishing power are exhibited. We show that polynomials which do not distinguish rooted trees define typically exponentially large equivalence classes. On the other hand, we prove that the rooted Ising polynomial distinguishes rooted trees and that the Negami polynomial determines the subtree polynomial, strengthening results of Bollobás and Riordan (2000) and Martin, Morin and Wagner (2008). The top level consists of the chromatic symmetric function and it is proved to be a complete invariant for caterpillars.
Supervisor: Scott, Alex D. Sponsor: Croucher Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Combinatorics ; spanning tree congestion ; random graphs ; regularity lemma ; inverse problems ; reconstruction ; partition function