# Embedding nearly-spanning bounded degree trees

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1 Embedding nearly-spanning bounded degree trees Noga Alon Michael Krivelevich Benny Sudakov Abstract We derive a sufficient condition for a sparse graph G on n vertices to contain a copy of a tree T of maximum degree at most d on (1 ɛ)n vertices, in terms of the expansion properties of G As a result we show that for fixed d 2 and 0 < ɛ < 1, there exists a constant c = c(d, ɛ) such that a random graph G(n, c/n) contains almost surely a copy of every tree T on (1 ɛ)n vertices with maximum degree at most d We also prove that if an (n, D, λ)-graph G (ie, a D-regular graph on n vertices all of whose eigenvalues, except the first one, are at most λ in their absolute values) has large enough spectral gap D/λ as a function of d and ɛ, then G has a copy of every tree T as above 1 Introduction In this paper we obtain a sufficient condition for a sparse graph G to contain a copy of every nearlyspanning tree T of bounded maximum degree, in terms of the expansion properties of G The restriction on the degree of T comes naturally from the fact that we consider graphs of constant density Two important examples where our condition applies are random graphs and graphs with a large spectral gap The random graph G(n, p) denotes the probability space whose points are graphs on a fixed set of n vertices, where each pair of vertices forms an edge, randomly and independently, with probability p We say that the random graph G(n, p) possesses a graph property P almost surely, or as for short, if the probability that G(n, p) satisfies P tends to 1 as the number of vertices n tends to infinity The problem of existence of large trees with specified shape in random graphs has a long history with most of the results being devoted to finding a long path Erdős conjectured that a random graph Schools of Mathematics and Computer Science, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel and IAS, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA Research supported in part by the Israel Science Foundation, by the Hermann Minkowski Minerva Center for Geometry at Tel Aviv University and by the Von Neumann Fund Department of Mathematics, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel Research supported in part by USA-Israel BSF Grant , and by grant 64/01 from the Israel Science Foundation Department of Mathematics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA address: Research supported in part by NSF grants DMS , DMS , and by an Alfred P Sloan fellowship 1

2 G(n, c/n) as contains a path of length at least (1 α(c))n, where α(c) is a constant smaller than one for all c > 1 and lim c α(c) = 0 This conjecture was proved by Ajtai, Komlós and Szemerédi [1] and, in a slightly weaker form, by Fernandez de la Vega [11] These results were significantly improved by Bollobás [5], who showed that α(c) decreases exponentially in c Finally Frieze [16] determined the correct speed of convergence of α(c) to zero and proved that α(c) = (1 + o(1))ce c The question of existence of large trees of bounded degree other than paths in sparse random graphs was studied by Fernandez de la Vega in [12] He proved that there exist two constants a 1 > 0 and a 2 > 0 such that for fixed tree T of order n/a 1 with maximum degree at most d the random graph G(n, c/n) with c = a 2 d almost surely contains T The constant a 1 in this result is rather large and allows to embed only trees that occupy a small proportion of the random graph Also, observe that Fernandez de la Vega s result gives the almost sure existence of a fixed tree T, and not of all such trees simultaneously Our first theorem improves the result of Fernandez de la Vega and generalizes the above mentioned results on the existence of long paths It shows that the sparse random graph contains almost surely every nearly-spanning tree of bounded degree Theorem 11 Let d 2, 0 < ε < 1/2 and let c 106 d 3 log d log 2 (2/ε) ε Then almost surely the random graph G(n, c/n) contains every tree of maximum degree at most d on (1 ε)n vertices Results guaranteeing the existence of a long path in a sparse graph can be obtained in a more general situation when the host graph has certain expansion properties Given a graph G = (V, E) and a subset X V let N G (X) denote the set of all neighbors of vertices of X in G Using his celebrated rotation-extension technique, Pósa [18] proved that if for every X in G with X k we have that N G (X) \ X 2 X 1, then G contains a path of length 3k 2 A remarkable generalization of this result from paths to trees of bounded degree was obtained by Friedman and Pippenger [15] They proved that if N G (X) (d + 1) X for every set X in G with X 2k 2, then G contains every tree with k vertices and maximum degree at most d Note that this result allows to embed only trees whose size is relatively small compared to the size of G What if we want to embed trees which are nearly-spanning? It turns out that a slightly stronger expansion property, based on the spectral gap condition, is already enough to attain this goal For a graph G let λ 1 λ 2 λ n be the eigenvalues of its adjacency matrix The quantity λ(g) = max i 2 λ i is called the second eigenvalue of G A graph G = (V, E) is called an (n, D, λ)- graph if it is D-regular, has n vertices and the second eigenvalue of G is at most λ It is well known (see, eg, [3] for more details) that if λ is much smaller than the degree D, then G has strong expansion properties, so the ratio D/λ could serve as some kind of measure of expansion of G Our next result 2

3 shows that an (n, D, λ)-graph G with large enough spectral gap D/λ contains a copy of every nearlyspanning tree with bounded degree Theorem 12 Let d 2, 0 < ε < 1/2 and let G be an (n, D, λ)-graph such that D λ 160d5/2 log(2/ε) ε Then G contains a copy of every tree T with (1 ε)n vertices and with maximum degree at most d Our main results are tightly connected to the notion of universal graphs For a family H of graphs, a graph G is H-universal if G contains every member of H as a (not necessarily induced) subgraph The construction of sparse universal graphs for various families arises in several fields such as VLSI circuit design, data representation and parallel computing (see, eg, the introduction of [2] for a short survey and relevant references) Our two main results show that sparse random graphs and pseudo-random graphs on n vertices are universal graphs for the family of bounded-degree trees on (1 ε)n vertices Quite an extensive research exists on universal graphs for trees [4], [7], [8], [9], [10], [15] The most interesting result is that of Bhatt et al who showed in [4] that there exists a universal graph G on n vertices for the family of trees on n vertices with maximum degree d, whose maximum degree is bounded by a function of d It is instructive to compare our results with those of [4]: they succeed in embedding spanning trees as opposed to nearly-spanning in our case; on the other hand, their universal graph is a concrete carefully constructed graph that has very dense pieces locally, while we provide a very large family of universal graphs possessing many additional properties that can be useful for obtaining further results on universal graphs The results of Theorem 11 and 12 can be deduced from a more general statement which we present next We need the following definition Definition 13 Given two positive numbers c and α < 1, a graph G = (V, E) is called an (α, c)- expander if every subset of vertices X V (G) of size X α V (G) satisfies: N G (X) c X Theorem 14 Let d 2, 0 < ε < 1/2 Let G = (V, E) a graph on n vertices of minimum degree δ = δ(g) and maximum degree = (G) Let n, δ, satisfy: 1 (order of graph is large enough) n 480d3 log(2/ε) ; ε 2 (maximum degree is not too large compared to the minimum degree) 2 1 K eδ/(8k) 1 where K = 20d2 log(2/ε) ε 3

4 3 (local expansion) Every subgraph G 0 of G with minimum degree at least εδ 40d 2 log(2/ε) is a ( 1 2d+2, d+ 1)-expander Then G contains a copy of every tree T on at most (1 ε)n vertices of maximum degree at most d The rest of this paper is organized as follows In the next two sections we show how Theorem 14 can be used to embed nearly-spanning trees of bounded degree in random and pseudo-random graphs We present the proof of Theorem 12 first, since it is short and less technical, and then prove Theorem 11 In Section 4 we describe the plan of the proof of Theorem 14 and discuss some technical tools needed to fulfill this plan The proof of this theorem appears in Section 5 The last section of the paper contains several concluding remarks and open problems Throughout the paper we make no attempts to optimize the absolute constants To simplify the presentation, we often omit floor and ceiling signs whenever these are not crucial Throughout the paper, log denotes logarithm in the natural base e 2 Embedding in pseudo-random graphs In this section we prove Theorem 12 First we need the following lemma that shows that an (n, D, λ)- graph has the local expansion property required by Condition 3 of Theorem 14 Lemma 21 Let d 2 Let G = (V, E) be an (n, D, λ)-graph Denote D 0 = 2λ(d + 1) d Then every induced subgraph G 0 of G of minimum degree at least D 0 is a ( 1 2d+2, d + 1) -expander Proof We will use the following well known estimate on the edge distribution of an (n, D, λ)-graph G (see, eg, [3], Corollary 925) For every two (not necessarily disjoint) subsets B, C V, let e(b, C) denote the number of ordered pairs (u, v) with u B, v C such that uv is an edge Note that if u, v B C, then the edge uv contributes 2 to e(b, C) In this notation, B C D e(b, C) n λ B C Let U be a subset of vertices of G such that the induced subgraph G 0 = G[U] has minimum degree at least D 0 Suppose that the claim is false Then there exists a subset X U of size X = t U /(2d + 2) satisfying N G0 (X) (d + 1) X By the above estimate with B = X and C = N G0 (X) we have: D 0 t e(b, C) t(d + 1)tD n + λ d + 1t 4

5 and therefore t n D 0 (d + 1)D λ d + 1D (1) Also, note that there are no edges of G from X to C = U (X N G0 (X)) as G 0 is an induced subgraph of G From t = X U /(2d + 2) and N G0 (X) (d + 1)t it follows that C dt Thus implying Comparing (1) and (2) we obtain 0 = e(x, C) t(dt)d n t n D 0 (d + 1)D λ d + 1D λ t(dt), λ dd (2) λ dd Plugging in the definition of D 0 we derive a contradiction Proof of Theorem 12 Since every graph with minimal degree k contains all the trees on k vertices we can assume that D (1 ε)n Let A be the adjacency matrix of G The trace of A 2 equals the number of ones in A, which is exactly 2 E(G) = nd We thus obtain that nd = T r(a 2 ) = n λ 2 i D 2 + (n 1)λ 2 i=1 and therefore λ 2 D(n D) n 1 εd This together with our assumption on D/λ implies n D ε ( ) D d 5 log 2 (2/ε) λ ε Since (G) = δ(g) = D, from this inequality one can see immediately that G satisfies Conditions 1, 2 of Theorem 14 Finally since εd 2(d + 1)λ 40d 2 log(2/ε) d we can conclude using Lemma 21 that G also satisfies the last condition of Theorem 14 Thus G contains every tree of size (1 ε)n with maximum degree at most d 3 Embedding in random graphs To prove Theorem 11 we first need to show that a sparse random graph contains as a nearly spanning subgraph with good local expansion properties Lemma 31 For every integer d 2, real 0 < θ < 1/2 and D 50θ 1 the random graph G ( n, 4D n almost surely contains a subgraph G having the following properties: ) 5

6 1 V (G ) (1 θ)n; 2 D d G (v) 10D for every v V (G ); 3 every induced subgraph G 0 of G of minimum degree at least D 0 = 100d log D is a ( 1 2d+2, d + 1) - expander The following statement contains a few easy facts about random graphs Proposition 32 Let G(n, p) be a random graph with np > 20, then almost surely (i) The number of edges between any two disjoint subsets of vertices A, A = a and B, B = b with abp 32n is at least abp/2 and at most 3abp/2 (ii) Every subset of vertices of size a n/4 spans less than anp/2 edges Proof (i) Since the number of edges between A and B is a binomially distributed random variable with parameters ab and p, it follows by the standard Chernoff-type estimates (see, eg, [3]) that (denoting t = abp/2) [ ] P e(a, B) abp < t e t2 2abp = e abp/8 and [ ] P e(a, B) abp > t e t2 2abp + t3 2(abp) 2 = e abp/16 Using that abp 32n we can bound the probability that there are sets A, B with e(a, B) abp > abp/2 by 2 n 2 n (2e 2n) = o(1) Since np/2 10 and n/a 4, the probability that there is a subset of size a which violates the assertion (ii) is at most P a ( )( n a 2 ) /2 p anp/2 a anp/2 ( en a ( ea ) ) ( np/2p a np/2 = np e np/2+1 (n/a) np/2 1 ) a ( e 11 ) a (n/a) 9 It is easy to see that P a n 1 for all a n/4 and so a P a = o(1) Proof of Lemma 31 Let G = G(n, p) be a random graph with p = 4D n and let X be the set of θn/2 vertices of largest degrees in G By Part (ii) of Proposition 32, as this set spans less than X np/2 = 2D X edges Also, since 4D n X (n X ) 2Dθ(n/2) 50n, Part (i) of this proposition implies that as the number of edges between X and V (G) X is at most 3 X np/2 = 6D X Therefore the sum of the degrees of the vertices in X is bounded by 10D X and hence there is a vertex in X with degree at most 10D By definition of X, this implies that there are at most θn/2 vertices in G with degree larger than 10D Delete these vertices and denote the remaining graph by G Next as long as G contains a vertex v of degree less than D, delete it If we deleted more than θn/2 vertices, then the original random graph contains two sets Y and V (G ) Y such that Y = θn/2, V (G ) Y (1 θ)n n/2 and there are less than D Y p Y V (G ) Y /2 edges between them 6

7 Since 4D n Y V (G ) Y θdn 50n, again by Part (i) of the previous statement this as does not happen Denote the resulting graph by G Then it satisfies the first two conditions of the lemma and it remains to verify the third condition Suppose to the contrary that G contains a subset of vertices U such that the induced subgraph G 0 = G [U] has minimum degree at least D 0 = 100d log D and is not a ( 1 2d+2, d + 1) -expander Then there exists a set X U of size X = t such that the set C = N G0 (X) has size at most (d + 1)t and there are at least D 0 X /2 = 50dt log D edges with an end in X and another end in C If t log D D n, then the probability that G(n, p) contains such sets is at most P t = < ( )( )( ) n n t(d + 1)t 50dt log D p t (d + 1)t 50dt log D [ (en ) ( ) en d+1 ( ) ] e(d + 1)tp 50d log D t t (d + 1)t 50d log D [ (n ) ( ) ] 2d e t 8 Dt 50d log D t n log D [ ( e ) ( ) 50d log D D 2d ( ) ] Dt 50d log D 2d t 8 log D n log D ( ) ] [e 25d log D+2d log D t 40d log D t n log D/D [D 20d ( ) ] t 40d log D t n log D/D Checking separately two cases t < log n and log n t < log D D n it is easy to see that in both P t n 1 If t log D D n we apply a different argument Note that there are no edges of G(n, p) from X to C = U (X N G0 (X)) since G 0 is an induced subgraph From t = X U /(2d + 2) and N G0 (X) (d + 1)t it follows that C dt and therefore the probability of such event in G(n, p) is at most P t ( )( ) [ n n en ( en ) d t (1 p) dt2 e pdt] t dt t dt [ (en ) ] 2d t [ (en ) 2 dt e pdt = e pt] t t [ ( ) ] en 2 dt e 4D n log D D n n log D/D ( D 2 D 4) dt = o(n 1 ) Thus the probability that G fails to satisfy the third condition is at most n t=1 P t = o(1) 7

8 Proof of Theorem 11 Let θ = 001ε, D = c/4 and let ε 1 = ε θ 1 θ 099ε Then by Lemma 31 G(n, c/n) almost surely contains a subgraph G of order n 1 (1 θ)n such that D δ(g ) (G ) 10D and every induced subgraph of G with minimum degree at least 100d log D is an ( 1 2d+2, d + 1) -expander Using that (G ) 10δ(G ) and n 1 δ(g ) D > 106 d 3 log d log 2 (2/ε) 4ε > 480d3 log(2/ɛ 1 ) ɛ 1 we conclude that G satisfies Conditions 1, 2 of Theorem 14 (with ɛ 1 ) To verify the third condition it is enough to check that the assumptions in Theorem 11 imply that 100d log D ε 1 D 40d 2 log(2/ε 1 ) Note that one can simply substitute the lower bound for D in the above expression, since x/ log x is an increasing function for x > 3 Therefore by Theorem 14, G contains every tree of size (1 ε 1 )n 1 (1 ε 1 )(1 θ)n = (1 ε)n with maximum degree at most d 4 Embedding plan and main tools To prove Theorem 14 we will use the following framework Given a tree T, we first cut it into subtrees T 1, T 2,, T s of carefully chosen sizes, so that the number s of these subtrees satisfies s 10d 2 log(2/ε), and each subtree T i is connected by a unique edge to the union of all previous subtrees The subtrees T i will be embedded sequentially in order, starting from T 1 We then choose s pairwise disjoint sets of vertices S 1, S 2,, S s whose total size is at most εn/2, such that each vertex of the graph has many neighbors in each set S i The set S i will be used only when embedding the subtree T i, and will not be touched before that step (It can be used later, but we will not do it here, as it complicates matters and does not improve the estimates in any essential way) During the embedding process we maintain a set R of at most s vertices, which will consist of all roots of the trees T i that still have to be embedded, and will not contain any vertex of the sets S i At the i-th step we are to embed the tree T i starting from a given root x i R (At the first step a root is chosen arbitrarily) Suppose that the current set of unused vertices of G is V i 1 We take an arbitrary subset U i of size U i = Θ( V (T i ) d) which contains the vertex x i that will be the root of T i (but contains no other members of R), contains the set S i, and contains no member of S j for j i Note that as each vertex has many neighbors in S i, the minimum degree in the induced subgraph of G on U i is large Since the minimum degree of G[U i ] is large enough, we can use the result of Friedman and Pippenger to embed a copy of T i in U i, rooting it at x i All vertices of U i unused when embedding T i are recycled, and we thus get V i by deleting from V i 1 only the vertices used for embedding T i The final step of embedding T i is to embed the edges crossing from T i to yet unembedded pieces T j, with j > i (using vertices of U i ) We then add the endpoints of those edges outside T i to the list R 8

9 of special vertices, and delete x i from R Each of the newly added special vertices will serve as a root for embedding the corresponding piece T j Observe that the number of special vertices is at most s at any stage of the embedding The precise technical details are described in what follows 41 The result of Friedman and Pippenger The cornerstone of our proof is the embedding result of Friedman and Pippenger In fact, we need a slightly stronger version of it they showed the existence of a tree T, while we need to embed a rooted version of T in G starting from a fixed vertex v V (G) as its root Luckily, a careful reading of [15] reveals that the following holds as well Theorem 41 ([15]) Let T be a tree on k vertices of maximum degree at most d rooted at r Let H = (V, E) be a non-empty graph such that, for every X V (H) with X 2k 2, N H (X) (d + 1) X Let further v V (G) be an arbitrary vertex of H Then H contains a copy of T, rooted at v 42 Cutting the tree into pieces Proposition 42 Let d 2 and k be positive integers Let T be a tree on at least k + 1 vertices with maximum degree at most d Then there exists an edge e E(T ) such that at least one of the two trees obtained from T by deleting e has at least k and at most (d 1)(k 1) + 1 vertices Proof Choose a leaf r of T arbitrarily and root T at r For i 0 denote by L i the set of vertices of T at distance i from r For a vertex v V (T ) let t(v) be the number of vertices in the subtree of T rooted at v Now, let i 0 = max{i : L i contains a vertex v with t(v) k} As L 1 has only one vertex v with t(v) = (V (T ) 1 k, it follows that i 0 1 Choose a vertex u L i0 such that t(u) k Then by the definition of i 0 all sons w of u in T satisfy: t(w) k 1, the number of sons does not exceed d 1, and therefore t(v) (d 1)(k 1) + 1 Let now x be the father of u in T Then e = (x, u) is the required edge Corollary 43 Suppose 0 < ε < 1/2, and let T be an arbitrary tree on (1 ε)n vertices, with maximum degree at most d Then one can cut T into s subtrees T 1, T 2,, T s, so that each tree T i is connected by a unique edge to the union of all trees T j with j < i, and such that for every i > 1, εn/2 + j>i V (T j) 8d 2 V (T i ) εn/2 + j>i V (T j) 8d For i = 1, the upper bound holds, but the lower bound may fail Moreover, s 10d 2 log(2/ε) 9

10 Proof We choose the trees T i one by one, starting from the last one By Proposition 42 we first 16d 2 find a tree T 1 εn of size at least chosen T 1, T 2,, T i 1 such that for every j < i and at most εn 16d, and omit it from T Suppose we have already εn/2 + r<j V (T r) 8d 2 V (T j) εn/2 + r<j V (T r), 8d and each T j has a unique edge joining it to the yet unused vertices of T Let T be the tree obtained from T by omitting all the vertices of all subtrees T j, j < i If the number of vertices of T is at most εn/2+ P r<i V (T r) 8d, then define T i = T and s = i Else, apply Proposition 42 to find a tree T i in T whose size is at least εn/2+p r<i V (T r) and at most εn/2+ P 8d 2 r<i V (T r) 8d, and continue To estimate the number of steps in this process define a i = εn/2 + ji V (T j ) Observe that a 0 = εn/2, a i n and a i = a i 1 + V (T i ) ( ) 8d 2 ai 1 From this it follows that 2 ε a ( i ) i a 0 8d 2, and hence this process terminates after at most 10d 2 log(2/ε) steps Finally, for 1 i s define T i = T s i+1 43 Splitting vertex degrees Lemma 44 Let numbers K, δ, satisfy K 2 e (δ/8k)+1 < 1 Then the following holds Let H = (V, E) be a graph in which δ d(v) for each v V Then H contains K pairwise disjoint sets of vertices S 1, S 2,, S K such that every vertex of H has at least δ 2K neighbors in each set S i Proof This is a simple consequence of the Lovász Local Lemma (cf, eg, [3], Chapter 5) Color the vertices of H randomly and independently by K colors For each vertex v and color i, 1 i K, let A v,i be the event that v has less than δ 2K neighbors of color i By Chernoff s Inequality the probability of each event A v,i is at most e δ/(8k) In addition, each event A v,i is mutually independent of all events but the events A u,j where either u = v or u and v have common neighbors in H As there are less than K ( ( 1) + 1 ) K 2 such events, it follows by the Local Lemma that with positive probability none of the events A v,i holds The desired result follows, by letting S i denote the set of all vertices of color i 5 Proof of Theorem 14 Let G = (V, E) be a graph satisfying the assumptions of the theorem Let T be a tree on at most (1 ε)n vertices with maximum degree at most d By Corollary 43 the tree T can be partitioned 10

11 into subtrees T 1, T 2,, T s satisfying the conditions of the Corollary, where s 10d 2 log(2/ε) Choose an arbitrary root for T 1 For i > 1, the root of T i is the vertex incident with the unique edge that connects T i to the union of the previous trees Put K = 2s/ε By Condition 2 in the theorem, and Lemma 44 there are K pairwise disjoint sets of vertices S i of G such that every vertex of G has at εδ least δ/(2k) 40d 2 log(2/ε) neighbors in each set S i Take the s smallest sets S i and renumber them so that they are denoted by S 1, S 2,, S s Obviously, their total size is at most ns K = εn 2 Let x 1 be an arbitrary vertex of G that does not lie in any of the sets S i Define R = {x 1 } and let U 1 denote the set of all vertices of G besides those in j 1 S j As U 1 contains S 1, every vertex in εδ the induced subgraph G[U 1 ] of G on U 1 has degree at least Therefore, by Condition 3 in 40d 2 log(2/ε) Theorem 14, and by Theorem 41 there is a copy of T 1 in G[U 1 ] rooted at x 1 (Note that by Corollary 43, the size of T 1 is at most U 1 8d and hence indeed one can apply here Theorem 41) Moreover, we can in fact embed in U 1 the required tree T 1 together with the edges connecting it to the trees T j with j > 1 Add the endpoints of these edges to the list R of planned roots for the trees T j, and delete x 1 from R This completes the embedding of T 1 Assume that we have already embedded the first i 1 trees T r, where each T r has been rooted in the vertex of R specified as its root, and where in step number r the tree T r has been embedded using no vertices of R besides its root, and no vertices of j r S j, we proceed to the i-th step, in which we are to embed the tree T i starting from a given root x i R Let U i be the set of all vertices of G that have not been used for embedding the part of T embedded so far, besides the vertices in R {x i } and besides the vertices in j i S j As before, since U i contains S i, every vertex in the induced subgraph εδ G[U i ] of G on U i has degree at least Therefore, by Condition 3 in Theorem 14, it is a 40d 2 log(2/ε) 1 ( 2d+2, d + 1)-expander By Corollary 43, the size of T i is at most U i /8d and the number of edges connecting T i to the trees T j for j > i is bounded by s 10d 2 log(2/ε) εn 48d U i 24d Therefore the size of T i together with the vertices in T j for j > i that are connected to it is less than a fraction 1 6d 1 2(2d+2) of the size of U i Therefore, by Theorem 41 we can embed T i including the edges connecting it to the trees T j with j > i in U i, rooting it at x i, and add the endpoints of the edges from T i to future T j s to R As this process can be carried out until we finish the embedding of T s, the assertion of the theorem follows 6 Concluding remarks Our lower bound on the edge probability of a random graph in Theorem 11 seems far from being best possible, and the correct order of magnitude should probably be more similar to the case of a longest path Hence it is likely that already when c = O(d log(1/ɛ)) the random graph G(n, c/n) contains as every tree on (1 ɛ)n vertices with maximum degree at most d 11

12 Embedding spanning trees of bounded degree in sparse random graphs is an intriguing question which is completely open In case of the path, this question is very well understood (see, eg, Chapter 8 of [6]) and it is known that for p = O(log n/n) the random graph G(n, p) as contains a Hamiltonian path We believe that a more general result should be true, ie, such a random graph should already contain as every tree on n vertices with maximum degree at most d Our methods are insufficient to attack this problem Using Theorem 11 we can only prove the following much weaker result Let T be a tree on n vertices with at least ɛn leaves, then there exists a constant a(ɛ, d) such that the random graph G ( n, a log n ) n as contains T Here is a brief sketch of the proof: we split G(n, p) into two random graphs G(n, p 1 ) and G(n, p 2 ), where 1 p = (1 p 1 )(1 p 2 ), p 1 = Θ(1/n), p 2 = Θ(log n/n) Let T be the tree obtained from T by deleting its leaves We use Theorem 11 to embed a copy of T in G(n, p 1 ) Then we expose the edges of G(n, p 2 ) between the set of vertices V 0 of G, not occupied by a copy of T, and the rest of the graph, and embed the leaves of T in V 0 using matching-type results Besides the model G(n, p), another model of random graphs, drawing a lot of attention is the model of random regular graphs A random regular graph G n,d is obtained by sampling uniformly at random over the set of all simple D-regular graphs on a fixed set of n vertices By the result of Friedman, Kahn and Szemerédi [14] the second eigenvalue of G n,d is almost surely at most O( D) (see [13] for a more precise result) Therefore our Theorem 12 immediately implies that if D = D(d, ɛ) is sufficiently large then G n,d as contains every tree on (1 ɛ)n vertices with maximum degree d This result as well as the result of Theorem 12 are probably not optimal We suspect that sufficiently large spectral gap (as a function of d only) already suffices to guarantee the embedding of every spanning tree of bounded degree in a graph G of order n This is not known even for the Hamiltonian path, and the best result in this case, obtained in [17], requires spectral gap of order roughly log n Acknowledgment A major part of this work was carried out when the authors were visiting Microsoft Research at Redmond, WA We would like to thank the members of the Theory Group at Microsoft Research for their hospitality and for creating a stimulating research environment References [1] M Ajtai, J Komlós and E Szemerédi, The longest path in a random graph, Combinatorica 1 (1981), 1 12 [2] N Alon, M Capalbo, Y Kohayakawa, VRódl, A Ruciński and E Szemerédi, Near-optimal universal graphs for graphs with bounded degrees, Proc 5 th Int Workshop on Randomization and Approximation techniques in Computer Science (RANDOM-APPROX 2001), Berkeley 2001,

13 [3] N Alon and J H Spencer, The probabilistic method, 2 nd Ed, Wiley, New York, 2000 [4] S N Bhatt, F Chung, F T Leighton and A Rosenberg, Universal graphs for bounded-degree trees and planar graphs, SIAM J Disc Math 2 (1989), [5] B Bollobás, Long paths in sparse random graphs, Combinatorica 2 (1982), [6] B Bollobás, Random graphs, 2 nd ed Cambridge Studies in Advanced Mathematics, 73 Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001 [7] F R K Chung and R L Graham, On graphs which contain all small trees, J Combin Th Ser B 24 (1978), [8] F R K Chung and R L Graham, On universal graphs, Ann New York Acad Sci 319 (1979), [9] F R K Chung and R L Graham, On universal graphs for spanning trees, Proc London Math Soc 27 (1983), [10] F R K Chung, R L Graham and N Pippenger, On graphs which contain all small trees II, Proc 1976 Hungarian Colloquium on Combinatorics 1978, [11] W Fernandez de la Vega, Long paths in random graphs, Studia Sci Math Hungar 14 (1979), [12] W Fernandez de la Vega, Trees in sparse random graphs, J Combin Theory Ser B 45 (1988), [13] J Friedman, On the second eigenvalue and random walks in random d-regular graphs Combinatorica 11 (1991), [14] J Friedman, J Kahn and E Szemerédi, On the second eigenvalue in random regular graphs, Proc of 21 th ACM STOC (1989), [15] J Friedman and N Pippenger, Expanding graphs contain all small trees, Combinatorica 7 (1987), [16] A Frieze, On large matchings and cycles in sparse random graphs, Discrete Math 59 (1986), [17] M Krivelevich and B Sudakov, Sparse pseudo-random graphs are Hamiltonian, J Graph Theory 42 (2003), [18] L Pósa, Hamiltonian circuits in random graphs, Discrete Math 14 (1976),

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