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Concept# Chordal graph

Summary

In the mathematical area of graph theory, a chordal graph is one in which all cycles of four or more vertices have a chord, which is an edge that is not part of the cycle but connects two vertices of the cycle. Equivalently, every induced cycle in the graph should have exactly three vertices. The chordal graphs may also be characterized as the graphs that have perfect elimination orderings, as the graphs in which each minimal separator is a clique, and as the intersection graphs of subtrees of a tree. They are sometimes also called rigid circuit graphs or triangulated graphs.
Chordal graphs are a subset of the perfect graphs. They may be recognized in linear time, and several problems that are hard on other classes of graphs such as graph coloring may be solved in polynomial time when the input is chordal. The treewidth of an arbitrary graph may be characterized by the size of the cliques in the chordal graphs that contain it.
A perfect elimination ordering in a graph is an ordering of the vertices of the graph such that, for each vertex v, v and the neighbors of v that occur after v in the order form a clique. A graph is chordal if and only if it has a perfect elimination ordering.
(see also ) show that a perfect elimination ordering of a chordal graph may be found efficiently using an algorithm known as lexicographic breadth-first search. This algorithm maintains a partition of the vertices of the graph into a sequence of sets; initially this sequence consists of a single set with all vertices. The algorithm repeatedly chooses a vertex v from the earliest set in the sequence that contains previously unchosen vertices, and splits each set S of the sequence into two smaller subsets, the first consisting of the neighbors of v in S and the second consisting of the non-neighbors. When this splitting process has been performed for all vertices, the sequence of sets has one vertex per set, in the reverse of a perfect elimination ordering.

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In graph theory, a perfect graph is a graph in which the chromatic number equals the size of the maximum clique, both in the graph itself and in every induced subgraph. In all graphs, the chromatic number is greater than or equal to the size of the maximum clique, but they can be far apart. A graph is perfect when these numbers are equal, and remain equal after the deletion of arbitrary subsets of vertices. The perfect graphs include many important families of graphs and serve to unify results relating colorings and cliques in those families.

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