Juraj Stacho
Warwick
Induced matchings and independence complexes of chordal graphs
We study the complexity of the following problem: given a graph, find an
induced matching containing a maximal independent set. This problem has
applications in the study of topological properties of independence
complexes of graphs, which are simplicial complexes whose faces are the
independent sets of a graph.
Such a matching, if found, certifies that the topology of the
independence complex is non-trivial. More topological information can be
derived further if the matching also is of certain size (or
minimal/maximal possible). Notably, for chordal graphs, such matchings
encode complete information of the topology of the independence complex,
which is not the case in general.
We prove that the problem of finding such a matching is NP-complete for
general graphs, but in chordal graphs, it has a polynomial-time
algorithm. Our algorithm is based on the geometric intersection
representation of chordal graphs and has an efficient implementation. We
further show that the exact-cardinality version of the problem remains
NP-complete even on chordal graphs, but admits a polynomial time
algorithm for bounded-leafage chordal graphs. Our hardness results are
derived from the hardness of dominating set problems.
Previous best result in this area by Kawamura addresses the case of
forests with a particularly complicated algorithm. Our approach implies
a simple linear-time algorithm for forests improving significantly on
this result.
As a corollary, we obtain polynomial time algorithms for such
topological properties as contractibility or simple-connectedness of
independence complexes of chordal graphs. These problems are undecidable
for general independence complexes.
Joint work with Michal Adamaszek (Warwick University)