Thirty Essays on Geometric Graph Theory

pp 263-287


Hanani–Tutte, Monotone Drawings, and Level-Planarity

  • Radoslav FulekAffiliated withEcole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
  • , Michael J. PelsmajerAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Mathematics, Illinois Institute of Technology
  • , Marcus SchaeferAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, DePaul University
  • , Daniel ŠtefankovičAffiliated withComputer Science Department, University of Rochester Email author 

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A drawing of a graph is x-monotone if every edge intersects every vertical line at most once and every vertical line contains at most one vertex. Pach and Tóth showed that if a graph has an x-monotone drawing in which every pair of edges crosses an even number of times, then the graph has an x-monotone embedding in which the x-coordinates of all vertices are unchanged. We give a new proof of this result and strengthen it by showing that the conclusion remains true even if adjacent edges are allowed to cross each other oddly. This answers a question posed by Pach and Tóth. We show that a further strengthening to a “removing even crossings” lemma is impossible by separating monotone versions of the crossing and the odd crossing number.

Our results extend to level-planarity, which is a well-studied generalization of x-monotonicity. We obtain a new and simple algorithm to test level-planarity in quadratic time, and we show that x-monotonicity of edges in the definition of level-planarity can be relaxed.