Discrete & Computational Geometry

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 442-454

First online:

Odd Crossing Number and Crossing Number Are Not the Same

  • Michael J. PelsmajerAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Mathematics, Illinois Institute of Technology Email author 
  • , Marcus SchaeferAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, DePaul University
  • , Daniel ŠtefankovičAffiliated withComputer Science Department, University of Rochester

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The crossing number of a graph is the minimum number of edge intersections in a plane drawing of a graph, where each intersection is counted separately. If instead we count the number of pairs of edges that intersect an odd number of times, we obtain the odd crossing number. We show that there is a graph for which these two concepts differ, answering a well-known open question on crossing numbers. To derive the result we study drawings of maps (graphs with rotation systems).