Edge Lower Bounds for List Critical Graphs, Via Discharging

Abstract

A graph G is k-critical if G is not (k − 1)-colorable, but every proper subgraph of G is (k − 1)-colorable. A graph G is k-choosable if G has an L-coloring from every list assignment L with |L(v)|=k for all v, and a graph G is k-list-critical if G is not (k−1)-choosable, but every proper subgraph of G is (k−1)-choosable. The problem of determining the minimum number of edges in a k-critical graph with n vertices has been widely studied, starting with work of Gallai and culminating with the seminal results of Kostochka and Yancey, who essentially solved the problem. In this paper, we improve the best known lower bound on the number of edges in a k-list-critical graph. In fact, our result on k-list-critical graphs is derived from a lower bound on the number of edges in a graph with Alon–Tarsi number at least k. Our proof uses the discharging method, which makes it simpler and more modular than previous work in this area.

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Correspondence to Daniel W. Cranston.

Additional information

Research of the first author is partially supported by NSA Grant H98230-15-1-0013.

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Cranston, D.W., Rabern, L. Edge Lower Bounds for List Critical Graphs, Via Discharging. Combinatorica 38, 1045–1065 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00493-016-3584-6

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Mathematics Subject Classification (2000)

  • 05C15