# On Pattern Ramsey Numbers of Graphs

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1 On Pattern Ramsey Numbers of Graphs Robert E. Jamison Mathematical Sciences Clemson University Clemson, SC Douglas B. West Department of Mathematics University of Illinois Urbana, IL December, 2001; revised December, 2003 Abstract A color pattern is a graph whose edges are partitioned into color classes. A family F of color patterns is a Ramsey family if there is some integer N such that every edgecoloring of K N has a copy of some pattern in F. The smallest such N is the (pattern) Ramsey number R(F ) of F. The classical Canonical Ramsey Theorem of Erdős and Rado [4] yields an easy characterization of the Ramsey families of color patterns. In this paper we determine R(F ) for all families consisting of equipartitioned stars, and we prove that 5 s R(F ) 3s 3s when F consists of a monochromatic star of size s and a polychromatic triangle. 1 Introduction The classical Canonical Ramsey Theorem of Erdős and Rado [4] states that for every positive integer n there is an integer N such that if the edges of the complete graph K N with vertex set {1,..., N} are arbitrarily colored, then there is a complete subgraph with n vertices on which the coloring is of one of four canonical types: 1) monochromatic all edges have the same color; 2) polychromatic all edges receive different colors; 3) upper lexical two edges have the same color if and only if they have the same higher endpoint; 4) lower lexical two edges have the same color if and only if they have the same lower endpoint. Project sponsored by the National Security Agency under Grant Number MDA The United States Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints notwithstanding any copyright notation herein. 1

2 (See [11] for bounds on the smallest such N.) The notions of upper and lower lexical are defined with respect to a fixed vertex ordering. They can be combined by loosening them somewhat. Let an edge-coloring of a graph be lexical if there is some linear ordering of the vertices so that two edges have the same color if and only if they have the same lower endpoint. The classical Canonical Ramsey Theorem considers one ordering and its reverse specified in advance. In the following formally weaker version, the ordering can be obtained afterwards in terms of the coloring. For every p N, there exists N N such that every edge-coloring of K N contains a monochromatic, a polychromatic, or a lexically colored K p. The minimum such N may be smaller for this formulation than in the classical case. The weaker formulation plays a pivotal role for the theory developed here and is itself an example of the kind of theorem we prove. We define a color pattern to be a graph with a partition of its edges into color classes. A color pattern G contains a color pattern H if H can be expressed as a subgraph of G in such a way that two edges in H have the same color in H if and only if their images in G have the same color in G. We then say that H is a subpattern of G. We use V (G) and E(G) for the vertex set and edge set of a pattern G. The number of vertices is the order of G, denoted by n(g). The number of edges is the size of G, denoted by e(g). A family F of color patterns is a Ramsey family if for some integer N every edge-coloring of K N contains a pattern in F. The smallest such N is the (pattern) Ramsey number R(F ) of F. The second version of the Canonical Ramsey Theorem above says that the three-pattern family consisting of a monochromatic complete graph Kp mono, a polychromatic complete graph Kp poly, and a lexically colored complete graph Kp lex is a Ramsey family. The canonical Ramsey theorem immediately implies the following characterization of Ramsey families of color patterns. Theorem 1.1 A family of color patterns is a Ramsey family if and only if it contains a monochromatic pattern, a polychromatic pattern, and a lexical pattern. Proof. Let F be a Ramsey family with pattern Ramsey number N. The properties monochromatic, polychromatic, and lexical are hereditary in the sense that every subpattern of a pattern with one of these properties also has that property. By considering in turn monochromatic, polychromatic, and lexical colorings of K N, we see that F must contain a pattern of each type. Conversely, suppose that F contains a monochromatic pattern M, a polychromatic pattern P, and a lexical pattern L. Let p = max{n(m), n(p ), n(l)}. By the Canonical Ramsey Theorem, there exists N such that every edge-coloring of K N contains a canonically colored K p. Consider an edge-coloring of K N. If it contains a monochromatic or polychromatic K p, then it contains M or P. More care is needed when K N contains a lexical K p. The lexical coloring of K p is relative to some linear order 1 on V (K p ). Similarly, the lexical coloring of L assumes a linear order 2

3 2 on V (L). Having L as a subpattern requires an order-preserving injection of V (L) into V (K p ). Since both orders are linear and p n(l), such an injection exists. In [6] it is shown that lexical colorings can be recognized in time that is linear in the number of edges. The same is obviously true for monochromatic and polychromatic patterns, so Ramsey families of color patterns can be recognized in linear time. There is no requirement that the monochromatic, polychromatic, and lexical patterns in a Ramsey family be different. The only pattern that is both monochromatic and polychromatic is a single edge. Since every color class in a lexical pattern is a star, it follows that monochromatic stars are the only patterns that are both monochromatic and lexical. The essential content of Proposition 2.1 in [7] is that the only patterns that are both polychromatic and lexical are polychromatic forests. Hence a family consisting of two patterns is Ramsey if and only if it consists of a monochromatic star (K1,s mono ) and any polychromatic pattern or consists of a polychromatic forest and any monochromatic pattern. The pattern Ramsey numbers of such families are called constrained Ramsey numbers in [7]. When F consists of a monochromatic G and a polychromatic star of size t, the pattern Ramsey number is the minimum N such that every edge-coloring of K N with fewer than t colors at each vertex has a monochromatic G; studied in [5], this is called the local Ramsey number of G. Using local Ramsey numbers, [7] obtained a recursive bound on R(F ) when F consists of a monochromatic G and a polychromatic tree. In particular, when F consists of monochromatic and polychromatic patterns on a single tree T, [7] obtained an upper bound that is cubic in the size of T ([2] proved a quartic upper bound, and it is conjectured that the truth is quadratic). Other papers on Ramsey numbers for families consisting of a monochromatic G and a polychromatic H include [3, 9, 10]. These authors studied R(K1,s mono, Pn poly ), R(Pm mono, Pn poly ), and R(Kn mono, P poly 4 ) and made remarks about R(G mono, H poly ) like those above. In this paper we continue the study of pattern Ramsey numbers for specific families. In Section 3 we study the family consisting of a monochromatic star and a polychromatic triangle. Here the general result is 5 s R(Kmono 1,s, K poly 3 ) 3s 3s. The lower bound is exact for s {3, 5, 7, 9}. Also, the exact value is 7 when s = 4. It would be worthwhile to determine the asymptotic behavior of R(K1,s mono, K poly 3 ) for large s. A recent paper obtained the order of growth for a more general problem: [1] determined that R(K1,s mono, K poly t ) is bounded between constants times st 3 / ln t. Every Ramsey family has a subset consisting of at most three patterns that guarantees finiteness of the Ramsey number, but additional patterns may reduce the Ramsey number and/or make it easier to compute. In Section 2 we consider families in which each pattern is a star partitioned into color classes of equal size. We determine the pattern Ramsey number exactly for all such families. Let M r,q be the pattern consisting of a star with r color classes, each of size q. We reduce the problem to that of determining R(F ) when F = {M r0,q 0,..., M rl,q l }, where 1 = r 0 < r 1 < < r l and q 0 > q 1 > > q l = 1. We then prove that R(F ) = 2 + l i=1 (r i r i 1 )(q i 1 1). 3

4 2 Families of Star Patterns Consider patterns of the form M r,q. By Theorem 1.1, every Ramsey family of star patterns has a monochromatic star M 1,q and a polychromatic star M r,1. Each of these is also lexical, so the remaining patterns are arbitrary. That is, every family containing a monochromatic star and a polychromatic star is a Ramsey family; this motivates our focus on star patterns. The pattern Ramsey number of a family F is determined by its minimal members; when a coloring contains a pattern, it also contains all its subpatterns. Hence we may assume that no pattern in F contains another. For families of equipartitioned stars, we may therefore assume that F = {M r0,q 0,..., M rl,q l }, where 1 = r 0 < r 1 < < r l and q 0 > q 1 > > q l = 1. Theorem 2.1 If F = {M r0,q 0,..., M rl,q l }, with 1 = r 0 < r 1 < < r l and q 0 > q 1 > > q l = 1, then R(F ) = 1 + f(f ), where f(f ) = 1 + l i=1 (r i r i 1 )(q i 1 1). Proof. For the upper bound, consider an edge-coloring of a complete graph that contains no pattern in F, and let x be one of the vertices. For 1 i l, at most r i 1 colors can each appear on at least q i edges incident to x. The color that appears most often appears on at most q 0 1 incident edges. If we list the multiplicities of color usage in nonincreasing order, then we iteratively obtain the most among the first j colors, for all j, if we have r i r i 1 colors appearing on q i 1 1 incident edges for each i. Summing over i shows that x has at most f(f ) 1 incident edges. Adding 1 for x bounds the number of vertices by f(f ), and hence R(F ) 1 + f(f ). Let n = f(f ). To show that R(F ) = n + 1, we construct an edge-coloring of K n with no pattern in F. We must match the counting bound established above at each vertex. We construct an edge-coloring of K n such that the color pattern on edges at each vertex consists of r i r i 1 colors appearing on q i 1 1 incident edges for each i. We use induction with respect to lexicographic order on the list (r 0,..., r l ). Since l 1 is required and the list is increasing, the base case is F = {M 1,s, M 2,1 }. We have n = 1 + (2 1)(s 1) = s, and at each vertex we should have one color with s 1 edges. The construction is a monochromatic copy of K s. For the induction step, we have l > 1 or r 1 > 2. Let t = r l, r = r l 1, and q = q l 1. Let F be the family obtained by replacing t with t 1 as r l. Note that if t = r + 1, then M t 1,1 is contained in M r,q, and the family F has the same Ramsey number as the family F obtained by deleting q and t and setting q l 1 = 1, reducing the number of minimal patterns in the family. Since t r 1 = 0, the formula for f(f ) is the same as that for f(f ) in this case, and the list for F is also lexicographically smaller. Hence we really only have one case for the induction step. Partition V (K n ) into two sets A and B, where A = q 1 and B = f(f ). By the induction hypothesis, the complete subgraph induced by B has an edge-coloring in which at each vertex the color pattern is exactly what is desired for K n except that it is missing one color class of size q 1. Add one color class that is the complete graph induced by A together with one vertex x of B. It remains to color the edges of the complete bipartite graph with partite sets A and B x. Partition B x into sets X 1,..., X t 2, altogether having r i r i 1 4

5 sets of size q i 1 1 for each i. Complete the construction using t 2 more color classes; the jth such class is the complete bipartite graph whose partite sets are A and X j. We have now given one additional color class of size q 1 to each vertex of B and all the needed color classes to the vertices of A. 3 Monochromatic Stars and Polychromatic Triangles We now consider the family consisting of a monochromatic star of size s and a polychromatic triangle T. Asymptotically, the upper and lower bounds are 3s and 2.5s. Families consisting of a monochromatic pattern and a polychromatic pattern were studied in [7]. Theorem 3.2 improves Theorem 4.1 of [7], which gives 2s 1 as a lower bound. Theorem 3.1 has no analogue in [7], which gives upper bounds only when the polychromatic pattern is a tree. Our upper bound follows from a counting argument, and the lower bound arises from a construction involving congruence classes. We discuss the two bounds separately. We say that a pair of edges is pure if the two edges are incident and have the same color. Theorem 3.1 R({M 1,s, T }) 3s 3s for s 2. Proof. Consider an edge-coloring of K n with no monochromatic star of size s and no polychromatic triangle. Every triangle must have a pure pair of edges, and every pair of incident edges lies in exactly one triangle. Hence there are at least ( n 3) pure pairs of edges. On the other hand, we can count the pure pairs of edges by grouping them by their shared vertex. When the multiplicities of colors 1,..., k at vertex v are m 1,..., m k, the number of pure pairs incident at v is k ( mi ) i=1 2. Forbidding M1,s requires m i s 1 for each i. The convexity of ( u 2) implies that the number of pure pairs at v is maximized by greedily choosing multiplicities equal to s 1 until what remains of n 1 is less than s 1. In particular, when n = 3(s 1) x, we obtain the most pure pairs at v by having the color multiplicities at v be s 1, s 1, and s 2 x. The resulting inequality is [ ( ) ( )] s 1 s 2 x n 2 + n (n 1)(n 2) Cancel n and set n = 3(s 1) x. For x = 0, we can cancel 3s 5 (when s 2) to simplify the inequality to s 2 3s 4, which is impossible. Hence x must be positive. Simplifying 2 6 yields a quadratic inequality for x in terms of s; it is x 2 + 3x + (5 3s) 0. Since we already have x > 0, we obtain x 3s The resulting inequality for n is n 3s 3s The upper bound on the Ramsey number exceeds this by 1. Accounting for the 2.75 under the square root still yields a uniform upper bound of R({M 1,s, T }) 3s 3s for s 2. Theorem 3.2 R({M 1,s, T }) 5 s Proof. For odd s, let n = 5(s 1)/2. We prove the bound by constructing an edge-coloring of K n that avoids M 1,s and T. For even s, using the construction for s 1 then yields R({M 1,s, T }) R({M 1,s 1, T } 5(s 2)/

6 For s = 3, decompose K 5 into two monochromatic cycles in colors 1 and 2. Each color has two edges at each vertex, so there is no M 1,3. Only two colors are used, so there is no T. For larger odd s, expand each vertex in this edge-coloring of K 5 into a set of size (s 1)/2. The edges within a set all receive color 3. The edges between two sets all receive the color that was on the corresponding edge in the edge-coloring of K 5. Along with the (s 3)/2 incident edges of color 3, each vertex is incident to s 1 edges of color 1 and s 1 edges of color 2 (going to two of the four other sets), so there is no M 1,s. A copy of T must use all three colors. However, if u, v, w are distinct vertices with uv having color 3, then uw and vw have the same color. The upper and lower bounds are close enough to give exact results for small s. Proposition 3.3 If s is odd and 3 s 9, then R({M 1,s, T }) = 5(s 1)/ Also the value is 7 when s = 4. Proof. Let R(s) = R({M 1,s, T }). It is immediate that R(1) = 2 and R(2) = 3. For the upper bounds, recall from the proof of Theorem 3.1 that n < R(s) requires at least (n 1)(n 2)/6 pure pairs incident to some vertex. When s = 2k + 1 and n = 5k + 1, this requires 2 ( ) ( 2k 2 + k 2) 5k(5k 1)/6. For k > 0, this simplifies to k 5. Hence R(s) 5(s 1)/2 + 1 when s {3, 5, 7, 9}. Equality holds for such s by Theorem 3.2. (Similarly, R(11) {26, 27}, and R(11) = 27 requires an edge-coloring of K 26 that avoids T and at every vertex has three colors with multiplicities (10, 10, 5).) We have R(4) 7 by using one color on K 3,3 and another on its complement. The argument of Theorem 3.1 yields R(4) 8; we show that R(4) 7. Let f be an edge-coloring of K 7 avoiding M 1,4 and T. Each vertex contributes at most 6 pure pairs, using color multiplicities (3, 3). The next best is (3, 2, 1), contributing 4 pure pairs. Let U be the set of vertices of type (3, 3). Since there are 35 triples, 35 pure pairs are needed, so U 4. Consider u, u U, and let a = f(uu ). Each of u and u has three incident edges not having color a. These edges go to five other vertices, so there exists v with f(uv) a f(u v). These edges complete a triangle with uu, so f(uv) = f(u v). Hence all vertices of type (3, 3) have the same two colors a and b on their incident edges. If some color appears on 11 edges, then that subgraph has degree-sum 22, and some vertex has four incident edges of the same color. Hence three colors must be used among the 21 edges of K 7, and there is an edge xy of a third color c. This implies that U 5. If U = 5, then for all u U, we have f(ux) = f(uy) {a, b}. Hence u has an odd number of neighbors in U along edges of color a, and U induces a 5-vertex subgraph of color a in which every vertex has odd degree. This is impossible, so U = 4. Let z be the third vertex outside U. Since z / U, some color not in {a, b} appears at z. We may assume that f(xz) / {a, b}. Since every edge incident to U has color a or b, for u U we have f(ux) = f(uy) and f(ux) = f(uz). Hence each vertex of U has three incident edges of the same color to {x, y, z} and three incident edges of the same color within U. This requires all the edges leaving U to have the same color, which makes four edges of that color incident to each of {x, y, z}. We have eliminated all possibilities and conclude that R(4) = 7. 6

7 Acknowledgement We thank the referees for pointing out several references where related results appeared. References [1] N. Alon, T. Jiang, Z. Miller, and D. Pritikin, Properly colored subgraphs and rainbow subgraphs in edge-colorings with local constraints, Random Structures & Algorithms 23 (2003), [2] G. Chen, R. H. Schelp, and B. Wei, in Proceedings of 14th Cumberland Conference, Memphis, May [3] S. A. Choudum and B. Ponnusamy, Ordered and canonical Ramsey numbers of stars, Graphs and Combinatorics 13 (1997), [4] P. Erdős and R. Rado, A Combinatorial Theorem, J. London Math. Soc. 25 (1950), [5] A. Gyárfás, J. Lehel, J. Nešetřil, V. Rödl, R. H. Schelp, and Zs. Tuza, Local k-colorings of graphs and hypergraphs, J. Combin. Theory Ser. B 43 (1987), [6] R. E. Jamison, Orientable edge colorings of graphs, J. Algorithms, to appear. [7] R. E. Jamison, T. Jiang, and A. Ling, Constrained Ramsey numbers of graphs, J. Graph Theory 42 (2003), [8] T. Jiang and D. Mubayi, New upper bounds for a canonical Ramsey problem, Combinatorica 20 (2000), [9] H. Lefmann, V. Rödl, Monochromatic vs. multicolored paths, Graphs and Combinatorics 8 (1992), [10] H. Lefmann, V. Rödl, On canonical Ramsey numbers for complete graphs vs. paths, J. Combin. Theory Ser. B 58 (1993), [11] H. Lefmann, V. Rödl, On Erdős Rado numbers, Combinatorica 15 (1995),

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