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Propagation time for zero forcing on a graph. (English) Zbl 1246.05056
Summary: Zero forcing (also called graph infection) on a simple, undirected graph \(G\) is based on the color-change rule: if each vertex of \(G\) is colored either white or black, and vertex \(v\) is a black vertex with only one white neighbor \(w\), then change the color of \(w\) to black. A minimum zero forcing set is a set of black vertices of minimum cardinality that can color the entire graph black using the color change rule.
The propagation time of a zero forcing set \(B\) of graph \(G\) is the minimum number of steps that it takes to force all the vertices of \(G\) black, starting with the vertices in \(B\) black and performing independent forces simultaneously. The minimum and maximum propagation times of a graph are taken over all minimum zero forcing sets of the graph.
It is shown that a connected graph of order at least two has more than one minimum zero forcing set realizing minimum propagation time. Graphs \(G\) having extreme minimum propagation times \(|G| - 1, |G| - 2\), and 0 are characterized, and results regarding graphs having minimum propagation time 1 are established. It is shown that the diameter is an upper bound for maximum propagation time for a tree, but in general propagation time and diameter of a graph are not comparable.

MSC:
05C15 Coloring of graphs and hypergraphs
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