Extremal problems for cycles in graphs

  • Jacques VerstraëteEmail author
Part of the The IMA Volumes in Mathematics and its Applications book series (IMA, volume 159)


In this survey we consider extremal problems for cycles of prescribed lengths in graphs. The general extremal problem is cast as follows: if \(\mathcal{C}\) is a set of cycles, determine the largest number of edges \(\mathrm{ex}(n,\mathcal{C})\) in an n-vertex graph containing no cycle from \(\mathcal{C}\). The survey contains short proofs of various known theorems, including the even cycle theorem of Erdős and Bondy and Simonovits. We also give proofs of new results and conjectures of Erdős on cycles, for instance, we find new sufficient conditions for cycles of length modulo k and for long cycles in triangle-free graphs of large chromatic number. We also review proofs of some conjectures of Erdős on the distribution of the lengths of cycles in graphs, as well as related problems on chromatic number and girth, counting graphs without short cycles, and extensions to cycles in uniform hypergraphs. Throughout the survey, we include a number of conjectures and open problems.


Turán numbers Zarankiewicz numbers Even cycle theorem Chromatic number Hypergraph cycles 

Mathematics Subject Classification (2010):

05C35 05C38 05C15 



Research of the author Jacques Verstraëte was supported by NSF Grant DMS-1362650.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA

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