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On the intersections of longest cycles in a graph. (English) Zbl 0841.05056

Summary: We confirm a conjecture, due to Grötschel, regarding the intersection vertices of two longest cycles in a graph; see M. Grötschel [Graph theory and combinatorics, Proc. Conf. Hon. P. Erdös, Cambridge 1983, 171-189 (1984; Zbl 0549.05040)]. In particular, we show that if \(G\) is a graph of circumference at least \(k+ 1\), where \(k\in \{6, 7\}\), and \(G\) has two longest cycles meeting in a set \(W\) of \(k\) vertices, then \(W\) is an articulation set. Grötschel had previously proved this result for \(k\in \{3, 4, 5\}\) and shown that it fails for \(k> 7\). As corollaries, we obtain results regarding the minimum lengths of longest cycles in certain vertex-transitive graphs. Our proofs are novel in that they make extensive use of a computer, although the programs themselves are straightforward.

MSC:

05C38 Paths and cycles

Citations:

Zbl 0549.05040

Software:

Mathematica
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References:

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