Graphs Without Large Apples and the Maximum Weight Independent Set Problem
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An appleAk is the graph obtained from a chordless cycle Ck of length k ≥ 4 by adding a vertex that has exactly one neighbor on the cycle. The class of apple-free graphs is a common generalization of claw-free graphs and chordal graphs, two classes enjoying many attractive properties, including polynomial-time solvability of the maximum weight independent set problem. Recently, Brandstädt et al. showed that this property extends to the class of apple-free graphs. In the present paper, we study further generalization of this class called graphs without large apples: these are (Ak, Ak+1, . . .)-free graphs for values of k strictly greater than 4. The complexity of the maximum weight independent set problem is unknown even for k = 5. By exploring the structure of graphs without large apples, we discover a sufficient condition for claw-freeness of such graphs. We show that the condition is satisfied by bounded-degree and apex-minor-free graphs of sufficiently large tree-width. This implies an efficient solution to the maximum weight independent set problem for those graphs without large apples, which either have bounded vertex degree or exclude a fixed apex graph as a minor.
KeywordsClaw-free graphs Chordal graphs Independent set polynomial algorithm
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