# AN UPPER BOUND ON THE LAPLACIAN SPECTRAL RADIUS OF THE SIGNED GRAPHS

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1 Discussiones Mathematicae Graph Theory 28 (2008 ) AN UPPER BOUND ON THE LAPLACIAN SPECTRAL RADIUS OF THE SIGNED GRAPHS Hong-Hai Li College of Mathematic and Information Science Jiangxi Normal University Nanchang JiangXi, People s Republic of China and Jiong-Sheng Li Department of Mathematics University of Science and Technology of China Anhui, Hefei People s Republic of China Abstract In this paper, we established a connection between the Laplacian eigenvalues of a signed graph and those of a mixed graph, gave a new upper bound for the largest Laplacian eigenvalue of a signed graph and characterized the extremal graph whose largest Laplacian eigenvalue achieved the upper bound. In addition, an example showed that the upper bound is the best in known upper bounds for some cases. Keywords: Laplacian matrix, signed graph, mixed graph, largest Laplacian eigenvalue, upper bound Mathematics Subject Classification: 05C50, 15A18. Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No ) and by Natural Science Foundation of Jiangxi Normal University (Grant No. 2058).

2 346 H.-H. Li and J.-S. Li 1. Introduction Let G = (V, E) denote a simple graph with vertex set V = V (G) = {v 1, v 2,..., v n } and edge set E = E(G) = {e 1, e 2,..., e m }. Then the Laplacian matrix of G is defined as L(G) = D(G) A(G), where D(G) = diag(d v1, d v2,..., d vn ) and A(G) = (a ij ) are the diagonal matrix of degrees and the adjacency matrix of G, respectively. One may also define the Laplacian matrix by means of the oriented incidence matrix Q, that is, L(G) = QQ T, where Q T is the transpose of Q. So L(G) is a symmetric, positive semidefinite, singular M-matrix. Hence the eigenvalues of L(G) are nonnegative and called Laplacian eigenvalues of G. The line graph H of a graph G is defined by V (H) = E(G), where any two vertices in H are adjacent if and only if they are adjacent as edges of G. Furthermore, let R be the n m incidence matrix of vertices and edges of the graph G, A(H) the adjacency matrix of the line graph H of G. As is well known (refer to [3], p. 61), the following relations hold: (1) RR T = D(G) + A(G), (2) R T R = 2I + A(H). Note that RR T and R T R share the same nonzero spectrum. Some preliminary results concerning the regularity of the graph and the line graph are needed in the main section. Lemma 1 ([12]). Let G be a simple connected graph. Then the line graph H of G is regular if and only if G is regular or semiregular. Lemma 2 (See e.g. [3, Theorem 3.8]). Let d be the mean value of the degrees, i.e., d = u V d u, and λ max the largest eigenvalue of the adjacency matrix A(G) of a graph G. Then d λ max, where equality holds if and only if G is regular. A good deal of attention has been devoted to the largest Laplacian eigenvalue of graphs and to other spectral properties of Laplacian matrices. Recent results can be referred to [4] and the references therein, and for an extensive survey on the Laplacian matrix see [9]. Recently Laplacian eigenvalues have

3 An Upper Bound on the Laplacian Spectral Radius of been generalized from simple graphs to signed graphs, mixed graphs and weighted graphs. The aim of this paper is to establish a connection between the Laplacian eigenvalues of a signed graph and those of a mixed graph, give a new upper bound for the largest Laplacian eigenvalue of a signed graph, and characterize the extremal graph whose largest Laplacian eigenvalue achieved the upper bound. 2. Signed Graphs and Mixed Graphs Signed graphs were introduced by Harary [5] in connection with the study of theory of social balance. Let us recall some notations of signed graphs. A signed graph Γ = (G, σ) consists of a simple graph G = (V, E) and a mapping σ : E {+, }, the edge labelling, where G is called the underlying graph of Γ. We may write V (Γ) for the vertex set and E(Γ) for the edge set if necessary. Denote N u the set of vertices of Γ adjacent to the vertex u, and N u + (N u ) the set of vertices of Γ adjacent to the vertex u by positive (negative) edges. The degree (positive degree, negative degree) d u (d + u, d u ) of a vertex u is the cardinality of N u (N u +, N u ). Obviously d u = d + u + d u for any u in V (Γ). Then a signed graph Γ = (G, σ) and its underlying graph G have the same degree sequence. The average 2-degree m u of a vertex u is the average of the degrees of the vertices of Γ adjacent to u, that is, v Nu dv d u. m u = Given a signed graph Γ = (G, σ) on n vertices, the diagonal matrix of degrees and the adjacency matrix of Γ are denoted by D(Γ) and A(Γ) = (σ(uv)a uv ), respectively. The Laplacian matrix of Γ, denoted by L(Γ) = (l uv ), is defined as (3) 1 if uv E(Γ) and σ(uv) =, 1 if uv E(Γ) and σ(uv) = +, l uv = d u if u = v, 0 otherwise. It is easy to see that L(Γ) = D(Γ) A(Γ) which is a symmetric matrix whose row sum vector is 2(d v 1, d v 2,..., d v n ) T. Similar to simple graph, we may define the Laplacian matrix of a signed graph by means of the incidence matrix of Γ. For each edge of e = uv of G, we choose one of u or v to be the head of e and the other to be the tail. We call this an orientation of Γ.

4 348 H.-H. Li and J.-S. Li The vertex-edge incidence matrix C = C(Γ) afforded by a fixed orientation of Γ is the n m matrix C = (c ve ), where 1 if v is the head of e, 1 if v is the tail of e and σ(e) = +, c ve = 1 if v is the tail of e and σ(e) =, 0 otherwise. While C depends on the orientation of Γ, CC T does not, and it is easy to verify that CC T = L(Γ) = D(Γ) A(Γ). So L(Γ) is positive semidefinite, all eigenvalues of L(Γ) are nonnegative. From the above notions, it follows that L(G) = L(G, +), and D(G) + A(G) = L(G, ), where (G, +) and (G, ) are the graphs with all positive and all negative edge labellings, respectively. The eigenvalues of L(Γ) are called Laplacian eigenvalues of Γ. Let λ n 1 (Γ) λ n 2 (Γ) λ 0 (Γ) denote the Laplacian eigenvalues of the signed graph Γ = (G, σ) with n vertices, and let λ n 1 (Γ), λ n 1 (σ) or λ n 1 when no confusion appears, denote the spectral radius, i.e., the largest Laplacian eigenvalue, of the signed graph Γ = (G, σ). In general, for an arbitrary symmetric matrix A C n n, we use λ max (A) to denote the largest eigenvalue of A. Let C be a cycle of a signed graph Γ = (G, σ), the sign of C is denoted by sgn(c) = e C σ(e). A cycle whose sign is + (respectively, ) is called positive (respectively, negative). A signed graph is called balanced if all its cycles are positive. Suppose θ : V {+, } is any sign function that maps each vertex in V to a sign. Switching Γ by θ means forming a new signed graph Γ θ = (G, σ θ ) whose underlying graph is the same as G, but whose sign function is defined on an edge e = uv by σ θ (e) = θ(u)σ(e)θ(v). Let Γ 1 = (G, σ 1 ) and Γ 2 = (G, σ 2 ) be two signed graphs with the same underlying graph. Γ 1 and Γ 2 are called switching equivalent, written Γ 1 Γ 2, if there exists a switching function θ such that Γ 2 = Γ θ 1. Switching leaves the many signed-graphic characteristics invariant, such as the set of positive cycles. The following result essentially comes from [7]: Lemma 3. Let Γ = (G, σ) be a signed graph. Then the following conditions are equivalent: (1) Γ = (G, σ) (G, ). (2) There exists a partition V (Γ) = V 1 V 2 such that every edge between V 1 and V 2 is positive and every edge within V 1 or V 2 is negative.

5 An Upper Bound on the Laplacian Spectral Radius of In 1999, R.B. Bapat et al. [1] provided a combinatorial description of an arbitrary minor of the Laplacian matrix of a mixed graph and obtained a generalized matrix tree theorem. Zhang and Li [13] discussed the Laplacian spectrum of a mixed graph. A mixed graph G = (V, E) is obtained from a simple graph G = (V, E) through assigning some of the edges in E a direction and the resultant edges are called oriented edges (denoted by u v) while others remain unchanged and called unoriented edges (denoted by uv). G is called the underlying graph of G. For an oriented edge u v in E, u and v are called the positive and negative end, respectively. We denote by d u, d + u and d u the number of unoriented edges incident to a vertex u, oriented edges incident to the positive end u and the negative end u, respectively. Then c u = d u + d + u + d u is the degree of a vertex u. Denote the adjacency matrix of G by A( G) = (a uv ), where a uv = 1 if uv is an unoriented edge; a uv = 1 if u v or v u; a uv = 0 otherwise. The incidence matrix of G is defined to be M( G) = (m u,e ), where m u,e = 1, if u is incident to an unoriented edge or u is the positive end of an oriented edge e; m u,e = 1, if u is the negative end of an oriented edge e; m u,e = 0 otherwise. Then L(G) = M( G)M( G) T is the Laplacian matrix of G. By a simple verification, we have L( G) = C( G) + A( G), where C( G) is the degree diagonal matrix of G. That is, L( G) = (l uv ), where 1 if u v and u and v are joined by an unoriented edge, 1 if u v and u and v are joined by an oriented edge, (4) l uv = c u if u = v, 0 otherwise. Proposition 1. Let Γ = (G, σ) be a signed graph with the underlying graph G. Then there are 2 m + mixed graphs corresponding to Γ satisfying L( G) = L(Γ), without the consideration of isomorphism, where m + is the number of positive edges in Γ. P roof. Let Γ = (G, σ) be a signed graph. Construct a mixed graph G from G as follows: For each edge e E(G) such that σ(e) = +, orient it in one of two possible ways; remain unchanged otherwise. Thus the oriented edges in E( G) correspond to the positive edges in E(Γ); the unoriented edges in E( G) correspond to the negative edges in E(Γ). By equations (3) and (4) we know that when creating the respective Laplacian matrices in this way, there are 2 m + mixed graphs G corresponding to Γ where L( G) = L(Γ).

6 350 H.-H. Li and J.-S. Li A mixed graph is called quasi-bipartite if it does not contain a nonsingular cycle, that is, a cycle containing an odd number of unoriented edges. For a mixed graph G = (V, E), if there exists a partition V = V 1 V 2 such that every edge between V 1 and V 2 is oriented and every edge within V 1 or V 2 is unoriented, it is called pre-bipartite. Proposition 2. Let G = (V, E) be a mixed graph with underlying graph G and Γ = (G, σ) be the corresponding signed graph. Then G is quasibipartite (respectively, pre-bipartite) if and only if Γ is balanced (respectively, (G, σ) (G, )). P roof. By the proof of Proposition 1, the oriented edges in E( G) correspond to the positive edges in E(Γ); the unoriented edges in E( G) correspond to the negative edges in E(Γ), so nonsingular cycle in mixed graph corresponds to negative cycle in signed graph. So G is quasi-bipartite if and only if Γ is balanced. In the same way, by Lemma 3, G is pre-bipartite if and only if (G, σ) (G, ). The following are the known upper bounds for the largest Laplacian eigenvalue of signed graph and mixed graph: (1) Hou et al. s bound [7]: (5) (6) (7) λ n 1 (σ) max {d u + d v : uv E(Γ)}, λ n 1 (σ) max {d u + m u : u V (Γ)}, λ n 1 (σ) max {(d u (d u + m u ) + d v (d v + m v ))/(d u + d v ) : uv E(Γ)}. (2) Zhang and Li s bound on mixed graph [13]: (8) λ n 1 (L( G)) max{2 + (c u + c v 2)(c v + c w 2)}, where the maximum is taken over all pairs (u, v), (v, w) E with u w. (9) (3) Zhang s two bounds which also holds for mixed graph [12]: λ n 1 (G) max{2 + d i (d i + m i 4) + d j (d j + m j 4) + 4 : v i v j E}, (10) λ n 1 (G) max{d i + d i m i : v i V (G)}.

7 An Upper Bound on the Laplacian Spectral Radius of Wang [10] gave a new upper bound on the Laplacian spectral radius of simple graphs. In next section we show that the result still holds for the case of signed graphs. For this purpose, we list the following lemmas used in the sequel. The directed graph of A = (a ij ) C n n, denoted by G(A), is the directed graph on n vertices v 1, v 2,..., v n. An oriented edge e ij in G(A) from v i to v j if and only if i j and a ij 0. Denote by E(A) the set of edges in G(A). The definitions above are from [8]. Lemma 4 ([8]). Let A = (a ij ) be an irreducible complex matrix of order n, let R i = j i a ij, Ω ij = {z C : z a ii z a jj R i R j, e ij E(A)}. Then all the eigenvalues of A are contained in the region as follows: (11) Ω(A) = Ω ij. e ij E(A) Furthermore, a boundary point λ of (11) can be an eigenvalue of A only if λ is located on the boundary of each oval region Ω ij in (11). Lemma 5 ([8]). If A is irreducible and λ is an eigenvalue of A satisfying λ a ii λ a jj R ir j, e ij E(A), then λ a ii λ a jj = R ir j, e ij E(A). And if there exists at least one odd cycle in G(A) additionally, then (1) λ is located on each circle, λ a ii = R i, i = 1, 2,..., n, (2) for the eigenvector x corresponding to λ, x 1 = x 2 = = x n. Lemma 6 ([7]). Let Γ = (G, σ) be a connected signed graph of order n, then λ n 1 (σ) λ n 1 ( ) equality holds if and only if (G, σ) (G, ).

8 352 H.-H. Li and J.-S. Li Lemma 7 ([7]). Let Γ = (G, σ) be a signed graph, then λ n 1 (Γ) max{d v + 1, v V (Γ)}. Lemma 8 ([6]). Let A C n n and suppose that A is irreducible and nonnegative, ρ(a) = max{ λ : λ ε(a)}, where ε(a) denote the spectrum of A. Then (1) ρ(a) > 0; (2) ρ(a) is an eigenvalue of A; (3) There is a positive vector x such that Ax = ρ(a)x; and (4) ρ(a) is an algebraically (and hence geometrically) simple eigenvalue of A. Corollary 1. Suppose that A is an irreducible and non-negative matrix of order n and there exists a real vector x 0 such that Ax = ρ(a)x. Then this vector x is either positive, or negative. P roof. It follows immediately from the theorem above. 3. Upper Bound on the Largest Laplacian Eigenvalue Theorem 1. Let Γ = (G, σ) be a connected signed graph of order n. Then, (12) λ n 1 (σ) { du + d v + (d u d v ) max d u m u d v m v 2 } : uv E(Γ), where equality holds if and only if (G, σ) (G, ) and G is regular or G is semiregular. P roof. Since Γ is connected without isolated vertices, D 1/2 is invertible. Now consider the similar matrix of L(G, ), D 1/2 L(G, )D 1/2, denoted by M = (m uv ), where (13) m uv = d v if u = v, dv du if uv E, 0 otherwise.

9 An Upper Bound on the Laplacian Spectral Radius of Applying Lemma 4 to the spectral radius λ n 1 (M), we know there exist some oval region Ω uv with λ n 1 (M) Ω uv, that is, λ n 1 (M) d u λ n 1 (M) d v R u (M) R v (M). By Lemma 7, we know that both λ n 1 (M) d u and λ n 1 (M) d v are positive, so (λ n 1 (M) d u )(λ n 1 (M) d v ) R u (M) R v (M) = dw dw. dv By the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality, That is, ( w N u du w N u w N v ) 2 ( )( dw ( ) ) dw = d u m u. du du w N u w N u (14) R u (M) = Similarly, w N u (15) R v (M) = So w N v dw du d u m u. dw dv d v m v. (λ n 1 (M) d u )(λ n 1 (M) d v ) d u m u dv m v. Solving the above inequality, we have λ n 1 (M) d u + d v + (d u d v ) d u m u d v m v 2 By Lemma 6, we know λ n 1 (σ) λ n 1 ( ) = λ n 1 (M). Consequently, the result in (12) holds..

10 354 H.-H. Li and J.-S. Li Now suppose the equality in (12) holds, then all the inequalities above must be equalities. First, from λ n 1 (σ) = λ n 1 ( ), we have (G, σ) (G, ) by Lemma 6. Recall that λ n 1 ( ) = λ n 1 (M). From { du + d v + (d u d v ) λ n 1 (M) = max d u m u d v m v 2 it follows that for any st E, we have (λ n 1 (M) d s )(λ n 1 (M) d t ) d s m s dt m t. } : uv E(Γ) Otherwise, suppose that for some st E, (λ n 1 (M) d s )(λ n 1 (M) d t ) < d s m s dt m t. Solving the equation above, we obtain λ n 1 (M) < d s + d t + (d s d t ) d s m s d t m t, 2 which contradicts the hypothesis that the equality in (12) holds. Therefore for any st E, we have (16) (λ n 1 (M) d s )(λ n 1 (M) d t ) d s m s dt m t. Similarly as stated in equations (14) and (15), we know R sr t d s m s dt m t (note that R u means R u(m) for convenience). Combining this inequality with equation (16), we get (17) (λ n 1 (M) d s )(λ n 1 (M) d t ) R sr t. By Lemma 5, λ n 1 (M) is the boundary point for every oval regions and so (λ n 1 (M) d s )(λ n 1 (M) d t ) = R sr t = d s m s dt m t.

11 An Upper Bound on the Laplacian Spectral Radius of Hence for any u in V (Γ), R u = d u m u. By the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality, for every w N u, d w / d u = c u, where c u is the constant determined by the vertex u. Especially, for any uv E(Γ), (18) du / d v = c v, dv / d u = c u, so c v c u = 1 for any uv E(Γ). Now we discuss it in two cases: Case 1. There is at least one odd cycle in Γ. By the (1) of Lemma 5, we know for every v V, λ n 1 (M) d v = R v, that is, λ n 1 (M) d v = R v by Lemma 7. So for any choosen v V, λ n 1 (M) = d v + R v = d v + wv E dw dv = d v (c v +1). Suppose the vector x is the eigenvector associated with λ n 1 ( ), that is, (D(G) + A(G))x = λ n 1 ( )x = λ n 1 (M)x = d v (c v + 1)x, for any choosen v V. For any edge wu E, we have λ n 1 ( ) d w λ n 1 ( ) d u = d w (c w + 1) d w d u (c u + 1) d u = d w c w d u c u = d w d u. It is easy to calculate that R w (L(G, )) R u (L(G, )) = d w d u. Therefore for any edge wu E, λ n 1 ( ) d w λ n 1 ( ) d u = R w (L(G, )) R u (L(G, )). By the case (2) of Lemma 5 and the hypothesis that there is one odd cycle in Γ, we know that for the eigenvector x associated with λ n 1 ( ), x 1 = x 2 = = x n.

12 356 H.-H. Li and J.-S. Li By Corollary 1, there must be that x = ae for some real constant a 0, where e = (1, 1,..., 1) T. Hence (D(G) + A(G))e = λ n 1 ( )e. That is for any vertex u V, 2d u = d u (c u + 1). So c u = 1 for any vertex u V. Therefore G is regular. Case 2. There exists no odd cycle in Γ. In this case, Γ is bipartite. Let V = S T be a bipartition of V (Γ). For arbitrary two vertices u, v in S, there is a path of even length between u and v. Without loss of generality, that is v 1 (= u)v 2 v 2m+1 (= v), where v 2i 1 S, v 2i T, i = 1,..., m. d(u) Since u, v 3 N v2, d(v 2 ) = c2 v 2 = d(v 3) d(v 2 ) by equation (18) and so d u = d v3. In the same way, d v3 = d v5,..., d v2m 1 = d v2m+1. Finally we come to that d u = d v. That is, all vertices have the equal degree in S. By the same procedure as above, we can show that all vertices have the same degree in T, too. Therefore G is semiregular. Conversely, if (G, σ) (G, ) and G is regular of degree r or G is semiregular of degrees r 1, r 2, by Lemma 1, we know that the line graph H of G is regular of degree 2r 2 or r 1 + r 2 2. Since (G, σ) (G, ), λ n 1 (σ) = λ n 1 ( ). Applying equations (1) and (2), we obtain λ n 1 (D(G) + A(G)) = λ max (RR T ) = λ max (R T R) = λ max (2I + A(H)). Since the line graph H is regular of degree 2r 2 or r 1 +r 2 2, by Lemma 2, the largest eigenvalue of the adjacency matrix A(H) is 2r 2 or r 1 + r 2 2 and so λ max (2I + A(H)) = 2r or r 1 + r 2, respectively according to that G is regular of degree r or G is semiregular of degrees r 1, r 2, respectively. It is easy to verify that when G is regular of degree r or G is semiregular of degrees r 1, r 2, { du + d v + (d u d v ) max d u m u d v m v 2 } : uv E(Γ) = 2r or r 1 +r 2. Therefore the equality in (12) holds. By Proposition 2 and the Theorem above, we have the following result.

13 An Upper Bound on the Laplacian Spectral Radius of Corollary 2. Let G = (V, E) be a connected mixed graph of order n. Then { (19) λ n 1 ( G) du + d v + (d u d v ) max } d u m u d v m v : uv E 2, equality holds if and only if G is pre-bipartite and G is regular or semiregular. Example 1. Let Γ be the tree as the following Figure 1. Signed graph Γ. Thick line:, thin line: +. The all known better upper bounds for the largest Laplacian eigenvalue of the signed graph are listed as follows: λ 1 (Γ) (7) (8) (9) (10) (12) Hence bound (12) is the best in all known upper bounds for Γ. Remark 1. Obviously, (8) is always better than (5), and (7) is better than (6). It is easy to see that (12) is better than (10). Obviously the bound (12) is the maximum root of the following equation for some edge uv E. Let ρ denote (10). We have (z d u )(z d v ) = d u m u dv m v, du m u ρ d u, dv m v ρ d v.

14 358 H.-H. Li and J.-S. Li Consequently du m u dv m v (ρ d u )(ρ d v ). From the above inequality, we have Thus (12) is better than (10). ρ d u + d v + (d u d v ) d u m u d v m v 2 Cauchy-Schwarz inequality 4. Appendix ( ) 2 ( a i b i with equality when b i /a i is a constant. i i a 2 i )( Acknowledgments Authors are grateful to the anonymous referee whose comments have led to a better presentation. References [1] R.B. Bapat, J.W. Grossman and D.M. Kulkarni, Generalized matrix tree theorem for mixed graphs, Linear and Multilinear Algebra 46 (1999) [2] F. Chung, Spectral Graph Theory (CMBS Lecture Notes. AMS Publication, 1997). [3] D.M. Cvetkovic, M. Doob and H. Sachs, Spectra of Graphs (Academic Press, New York, 1980). [4] J.M. Guo, A new upper bound for the Laplacian spectral radius of graphs, Linear Algebra Appl. 400 (2005) [5] F. Harary, On the notion of balanced in a signed graph, Michigan Math. J. 2 (1953) [6] R.A. Horn and C.R. Johnson, Matrix Analysis (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1985). [7] Y.P. Hou, J.S. Li and Y.L. Pan, On the Laplacian eigenvalues of signed graphs, Linear and Multilinear Algebra 51 (2003) i b 2 i ),

15 An Upper Bound on the Laplacian Spectral Radius of [8] L.L. Li, A simplified Brauer s theorem on matrix eigenvalues, Appl. Math. J. Chinese Univ. (B) 14 (1999) [9] R. Merris, Laplacian matrices of graphs: a survey, Linear Algebra Appl. 197 (1994) [10] T.F. Wang, Several sharp upper bounds for the largest Laplacian eigenvalues of a graph, to appear. [11] T. Zaslavsky, Signed graphs, Discrete Appl. Math. 4 (1982) [12] X.D. Zhang, Two sharp upper bounds for the Laplacian eigenvalues, Linear Algebra Appl. 376 (2004) [13] X.D. Zhang and J.S. Li, The Laplacian spectrum of a mixed graph, Linear Algebra Appl. 353 (2002) Received 15 January 2008 Revised 21 April 2008 Accepted 21 April 2008

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