Closing Complexity Gaps for Coloring Problems on H-Free Graphs

  • Petr A. Golovach
  • Daniël Paulusma
  • Jian Song
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7676)


If a graph G contains no subgraph isomorphic to some graph H, then G is called H-free. A coloring of a graph G = (V,E) is a mapping c: V → {1,2,…} such that no two adjacent vertices have the same color, i.e., c(u) ≠ c(v) if uv ∈ E; if |c(V)| ≤ k then c is a k-coloring. The Coloring problem is to test whether a graph has a coloring with at most k colors for some integer k. The Precoloring Extension problem is to decide whether a partial k-coloring of a graph can be extended to a k-coloring of the whole graph for some integer k. The List Coloring problem is to decide whether a graph allows a coloring, such that every vertex u receives a color from some given set L(u). By imposing an upper bound ℓ on the size of each L(u) we obtain the ℓ-List Coloring problem. We first classify the Precoloring Extension problem and the ℓ-List Coloring problem for H-free graphs. We then show that 3-List Coloring is NP-complete for n-vertex graphs of minimum degree n − 2, i.e., for complete graphs minus a matching, whereas List Coloring is fixed-parameter tractable for this graph class when parameterized by the number of vertices of degree n − 2. Finally, for a fixed integer k > 0, the List k -Coloring problem is to decide whether a graph allows a coloring, such that every vertex u receives a color from some given set L(u) that must be a subset of {1,…,k}. We show that List 4-Coloring is NP-complete for P 6-free graphs, where P 6 is the path on six vertices. This completes the classification of List k -Coloring for P 6-free graphs.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petr A. Golovach
    • 1
  • Daniël Paulusma
    • 2
  • Jian Song
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of InformaticsBergen UniversityBergenNorway
  2. 2.School of Engineering and Computing SciencesDurham University, Science LaboratoriesDurhamUnited Kingdom

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