# Minimum rank of graphs that allow loops. Rana Catherine Mikkelson. A dissertation submitted to the graduate faculty

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1 Minimum rank of graphs that allow loops by Rana Catherine Mikkelson A dissertation submitted to the graduate faculty in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY Major: Mathematics Program of Study Committee: Leslie Hogben, Major Professor Maria Axenovich Clifford Bergman Gary Lieberman Sung-Yell Song Iowa State University Ames, Iowa 2008 Copyright c Rana Catherine Mikkelson, All rights reserved.

2 ii TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 Introduction: minimum rank problems Known results for simple graphs Graphs that allow loops Definitions for graphs that allow loops Minimum rank of a graph with a cut vertex Trees References Acknowledgements

3 1 1 Introduction: minimum rank problems Given a graph, we may associate with it a set of matrices (usually real symmetric). The minimum rank problem asks us to find the minimum among the ranks of the matrices in the associated set. Although the study of the minimum rank of symmetric matrices associated with a simple graph did not emerge until Nylen s 1996 article [23] on the computation of minimum rank for simple trees, his and later results are based on work done as early as 1960 (see [24]). Because knowing the rank of a real symmetric matrix tells us its nullity, i.e. the multiplicity of eigenvalue zero, the minimum rank problem is in part motivated by an older problem known as the Inverse Eigenvalue Problem. It states that given a set of real numbers λ 1,..., λ n, find a real symmetric matrix A having certain properties with λ 1,..., λ n as eigenvalues. If the property that A must have is that its entries are described by a given simple graph, then the problem is called the Inverse Eigenvalue Problem of a Graph. The Inverse Eigenvalue Problem of a Graph has been solved for some simple trees; however, it remains unsolved even for most simple trees [13]. In contrast, the minimum rank problem has been solved for all simple trees, i.e. given a simple tree, we can compute its minimum rank (see for example [21]), and in recent years significant progress has been made on other types of simple graphs (see for example [1] and [2]). Another more recent motivation for the study of minimum rank is the relationship between the minimum rank of certain ±1 matrices and information complexity in communication theory [25]. In this paper we extend the cut vertex reduction (Theorem 1.8) for simple graphs to graphs that allow loops. The cut vertex results (Theorem 2.16 and 2.18) are then

4 2 used to extend the work done in [11] for finding the minimum rank over R of trees that allow loops to all fields except Z 2 (see Theorem 3.2). 1.1 Known results for simple graphs Let Ĝ = (V, Ê) be a simple graph with vertices V = {v 1,..., v n } and edges, which are two-element subsets of V. We use Ĝ to denote a simple graph to distinguish it from a graph G (that allow loops), which is the primary topic of this paper. A simple graph Ĝ has a finite, positive number of vertices n, where n = V = Ĝ is the order of the simple graph Ĝ. Let ˆP n denote a simple path on n vertices with vertex set {v 1,..., v n } and edges {{v 1, v 2 }, {v 2, v 3 },..., {v n 1, v n }}. We say that Ĝ is connected if there is a simple path in Ĝ between v i and v j for all v i, v j V, i j. Let Ĉn denote a simple cycle on n vertices with vertex set {v 1,..., v n } and edges {{v 1, v 2 }, {v 2, v 3 },..., {v n 1, v n }, {v n, v 1 }}. A simple tree is a connected simple graph with no simple cycles. Let ˆK n denote the complete simple graph on n vertices with vertex set {v 1,..., v n } and all (n 2 n)/2 possible edges. If the vertex set of a simple graph Ĝ can be split into two sets U and W so that all edges of Ĝ have one vertex in U and one in W, Ĝ is bipartite. Let ˆK p,q denote the complete bipartite simple graph with vertex set V = U W, where U = p, W = q, and edge set consisting of all possible pq edges with one vertex in U and the other in W. If R V for some simple graph Ĝ = (V, Ê), let Ĝ[R] denote the induced simple subgraph of Ĝ, where Ĝ[R] = (R, ÊR), where ÊR = {{v i, v j } v i, v j R, {v i, v j } Ê}; let G R = G[V \ R] denote the induced simple subgraph with R removed form V. Note that if R = {v}, we will simply write G v. Example 1.1. In Figure 1.1, (a) is a simple path on four vertices ˆP 4, (b) is a simple cycle on five vertices Ĉ5, (c) is a complete simple graph on four vertices ˆK 4, (d) is a simple tree, (e) is a bipartite simple graph, and (f) is a complete bipartite simple graph ˆK 3,3. Notice ˆP 4 is an induced simple subgraph of (b), (d), and (e).

5 3 (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) Figure 1.1 Examples of various types of simple graphs. See Example 1.1. Let B = [b ij ] F n n be symmetric. The spectrum σ(b) of B is the multiset of roots of the characteristic polynomial of B in the algebraic closure of F. Denote the multiplicity of λ F as a root of the characteristic polynomial of B by mult B (λ). Let Ĝ(B) be the simple graph Ĝ = (V, Ê) with V = {1,..., n} and Ê = {{i, j} b ij 0, i j}, i.e. Ĝ has edge {i, j} if and only if b ij 0 for all indices i j. Note that the diagonal of B has no effect on Ĝ(B). Let Â(Ĝ) be the (simple) adjacency matrix of Ĝ, with a ij = 1 if and only if {v i, v j } Ê for i j and 0 otherwise. Notice Ĝ(Â(Ĝ)) = Ĝ. Given a simple graph Ĝ of order n, let S(F, Ĝ) = {A F n n A = A T, Ĝ(A) = Ĝ} be the symmetric class of matrices over F associated with Ĝ. Then the minimum rank of Ĝ over F is mr(f, Ĝ) = min{rank(f, A) A S(F, Ĝ)}. Notice that if D is any diagonal matrix over F and A S(F, Ĝ), then A + D S(F, Ĝ). The maximum nullity of a simple graph Ĝ over F is M(F, Ĝ) = max{null(a) A S(F, Ĝ)}.

6 4 It is well known that for any simple graph mr(f, Ĝ) + M(F, Ĝ) = Ĝ. Let L = D Â(Ĝ) for some graph Ĝ over field F, where D = [d ij] is a diagonal matrix with d ii = deg(v i ) (taken over F ), where deg(v i ) is the number of vertices adjacent to vertex v i in Ĝ. Notice L S(F, Ĝ) for any simple graph Ĝ and field F. Let 1 be the Ĝ 1 vector of all 1 s. Then L1 = 0, so null(l) 1. Therefore, for any simple graph Ĝ and field F, mr(f, Ĝ) Ĝ 1. Example 1.2. Let B = Then because B is symmetric we can find Ĝ(B). Since b 12, b 1,4, b 23, b 2,4, and b 34 are the nonzero terms in B above the diagonal, Ĝ = Ĝ(B) must have edges {1, 2}, {1, 4}, {2, 3}, {2, 4}, and {3, 4}. Figure 1.2 shows Ĝ Figure 1.2 Simple graph for Example 1.2. Any matrix in S(F, Ĝ) has the form x 1 a 0 b a x 2 c d A = 0 c x 3 e b d e x 4,

7 5 where a, b, c, d, e are nonzero elements of F and x 1, x 2, x 3, x 4 are any elements of F. Notice B S(F, Ĝ) for any F with Q F. Clearly mr(f, Ĝ) 2 since rank(f, A) 2 for all A S(F, Ĝ). If we choose an A with row 2 equal to row 4 and row 1 equal to row 3, we will obtain mr(f, Ĝ) rank(f, A) = 2. So mr(f, Ĝ) = 2. Recall that any real symmetric matrix A has σ(a) R. If A S(R, Ĝ) for some graph Ĝ., then A + D S(R, Ĝ) for any diagonal matrix D Rn n. Thus, M(R, Ĝ) = max{mult A(λ) A S(R, Ĝ), λ σ(a)}. Example 1.3. The simple path on n vertices ˆP n (e.g. ˆP4 in Figure 1.1(a)) must have mr(f, ˆP n ) n 1. Consider that any matrix A S(F, ˆP n ) is an irreducible tridiagonal matrix; so rank(f, A) n 1. Therefore mr(f, ˆP n ) = n 1. Example 1.4. Let ˆK n be the complete simple graph on n vertices. It is well known that mr(f, ˆK n ) = 1 because the matrix Â( ˆK n ) + I, where I is the identity matrix, has rank 1 over any field. Likewise if Ĝ is connected and mr(f, Ĝ) = 1, then Ĝ = ˆK Ĝ. This follows from a consideration of the matrices in S(F, Ĝ). If Ĝ has a pair of vertices, v i and v j, with no edge between them, then any matrix in S(F, Ĝ) has a zero at the i, j entry. Then either the rank of any matrix in S(F, Ĝ) is at least 2 or the ith row is all zeros. Either way we have a contradiction. So Ĝ must be ˆK Ĝ. Example 1.5. The complete bipartite simple graph ˆK p,q, p, q > 0, (an example is shown in Figure 1.3) has mr(f, ˆK p,q ) 2 by Example 1.4 or the fact that ˆP 3 is an induced simple subgraph. Since rank(f, Â( ˆK p,q )) = 2, mr(f, ˆK p,q ) = 2.

8 6 Figure 1.3 An example of a complete bipartite simple graph, ˆK4,3. The following observation is a variant of part of Observation 1.6 of [13]. Observation 1.6 ([13]). Let Ĝ = (V, Ê) be a simple graph. 1. If Ĝ is an induced simple subgraph of Ĝ then mr(f, Ĝ ) mr(f, Ĝ). 2. Adding or removing an edge from Ĝ can change the minimum rank by at most 1. The union of simple graphs Ĝ1,..., Ĝk, where Ĝi = (V i, Êi) for each i, is the simple graph Ĝ = ( k V i, k Êi). The following observation is a variant of Observation 3.8 in [13]. Observation 1.7 ([13]). If Ĝ is the union of Ĝ1,..., Ĝn and if F is infinite, mr(f, Ĝ) k mr(f, Ĝi). Note that equality holds if the union is disjoint, i.e. each Ĝi is a component. This justifies the assumption in most results that Ĝ is connected. An analogue of this result for finite fields is given in Proposition 2.9 of [10]. If Ĝ = k Ĝi where k V i = v, i.e. that simple graphs Ĝi overlap in Ĝ only at one vertex v, then v is called a cut vertex of Ĝ. If v is a vertex of Ĝ, the difference in the minimum rank of Ĝ and Ĝ v is called the rank spread of v, i.e. r v (F, Ĝ) = mr(f, Ĝ) mr(f, Ĝ v).

9 7 Observe that 0 r v (F, Ĝ) 2. The following result provides a means of computing the minimum rank of a simple graph Ĝ with cut vertex v using certain smaller simple subgraphs. Theorem 1.8 (Theorem 2.3 of [3], 3.12 of [13]). Let v be a cut vertex of Ĝ = (V, Ê). For i = 1,..., h, let W i V be the vertices of the ith component of Ĝ v. Let Ĝi = Ĝ[W i {v}]. Then { h } r v (F, Ĝ) = min r v (F, Ĝi), 2, and thus { h h } mr(f, Ĝ) = mr(f, Ĝi v) + min r v (F, Ĝi), 2. It should be noted that this theorem was proven for F = R in [3], but it was later observed to be valid over any field in Theorem 3.12 of [13]. Any simple tree on at least three vertices has a cut vertex, and therefore the minimum rank can be computed by (repeatedly) applying Theorem 1.8. However, this is not the means by which the minimum rank of a simple tree is computed in any of the algorithms (see for example [23] or [21]), all of which are based on work in [24] and [26]. These algorithms actually compute parameters P( ˆT ) and ( ˆT ): P( ˆT ) = minimum number of vertex disjoint simple paths, occurring as induced simple subgraphs, needed to cover the vertices of ˆT, and ( ˆT ) = max{p q there is a set of q vertices whose deletion leaves p simple paths}. Theorem 1.9 shows why computing P( ˆT ) or ( ˆT ) is equivalent to computing the minimum rank of ˆT. Theorem 1.9 was proven for F = R in [19] and was extended to all fields in [9]. Theorem 1.9 ([19], [9]). Let ˆT be a simple tree. Then M(F, ˆT ) = P( ˆT ) = ( ˆT ) = ˆT mr(f, ˆT ). Example This example uses Theorem 1.9 to find mr(f, ˆT ) for the simple tree in Figure 1.4. We have P( ˆT ) = 3. One such minimal covering is ˆT [{1}], ˆT [{2, 3, 4, 5, 6}],

10 Figure 1.4 Simple tree for Example and ˆT [{7, 8, 9}]. Likewise we have ( ˆT ) = 3. To see this, consider letting the set of q vertices to be deleted be {3, 5}; ˆT {3, 5} has 5 simple paths; and ( ˆT ) = 5 2 = 3. Then mr(f, ˆT ) = ˆT ( ˆT ) = 9 3 = 6. Example 1.3 shows that if ˆP n is a simple path on n vertices, then mr(f, ˆP n ) = n 1. A result from Fiedler [14] about tridiagonal matrices proved that if mr(r, Ĝ) = n 1, then Ĝ was a simple path. This result was extended in [6] to all other fields. Theorem 1.11 ([14], [6]). Let Ĝ be a simple graph and F be an arbitrary field. Then mr(f, Ĝ) = n 1 if and only if Ĝ is a simple path on n vertices. Theorem 1.11 can be used to observe that for a connected simple graph Ĝ, mr(f, Ĝ) mr(f, ˆP k ) = k 1, where ˆP k is the longest simple path in Ĝ that is an induced simple subgraph. Example Let Ĉn be the simple cycle on n vertices. By Theorem 1.11 mr(f, Ĉn) < n 1. By Observation 1.6.1, mr(f, Ĉn) mr(f, Ĉn v) = n 2, where v is a vertex of Ĉ n, because Ĉn v is a simple path on n 1 vertices. Therefore mr(f, Ĉn) = n 2. The simple cycle on n vertices is a special case of a family of simple graphs called simple polygonal paths. A simple polygonal path is a simple graph that can be built up starting with a single simple cycle and adding more simple cycles, one at a time, that overlap with the existing simple graph at only one edge of the previously added simple cycle. Examples of simple polygonal paths are in Figure 1.5.

11 9 (c) (a) (b) Figure 1.5 Examples of simple polygonal paths. A characterization of connected simple graphs without cut vertices having minimum rank Ĝ 2 was given by Hogben and van der Holst over the reals and independently by Johnson, Loewy, and Smith over infinite fields. Theorem 1.13 ([17], [20]). Let Ĝ be a connected simple graph with no cut vertex and F be any infinite field. Then mr(f, Ĝ) = Ĝ 2 if and only if Ĝ is a simple polygonal path. In [10] it was shown that mr(f, Ĝ) = Ĝ 2 when Ĝ is a simple polygonal path, but the statement that if a connected Ĝ has no cut vertex and mr(f, Ĝ) = Ĝ 2, then Ĝ is a simple polygonal path for any arbitrary field, has been shown to be false (see Example 3.1 of [10]). The requirement that Ĝ have no cut vertex is justified by Example 1.5 for the complete bipartite simple graph ˆK 1,3 since its minimum rank is 2 = ˆK 1,3 2.

12 10 Example By Theorem 1.13 the simple graph in Figure 1.5(a) has minimum rank 5 2 = 3, which we also knew from Example 1.12; the simple graph in Figure 1.5(b) has minimum rank 12 2 = 10; and the simple graph in Figure 1.5(c) has minimum rank 15 2 = 13. Thus far we have characterized simple graphs with minimum rank Ĝ 1 and Ĝ 2. Graphs with minimum rank 1 or 2 can also been characterized. Example 1.4 shows that all simple graphs with minimum rank 1 have the form ˆK n S, where S = (V, ) with V 0. Barrett, van der Holst, and Loewy characterized all simple graphs Ĝ with mr(f, Ĝ) 2 by using forbidden induced simple subgraphs in [4] and [5]. Theorem 1.15 ([4]). A connected simple graph Ĝ has mr(r, Ĝ) 2 if and only if Ĝ does not contain as an induced simple subgraph any of ˆK3,3,3, Dart,, or ˆP 4, all of which are shown in Figure 1.6. (a) (d) (b) (c) Figure 1.6 (a) ˆK 3,3,3, (b) Dart, (c), and (d) ˆP 4. Note that [4] and [5] include characterizations for fields other than R; in fact, these papers initiated the study of minimum rank over fields other than R. It has also

13 11 been shown that for simple graphs with minimum rank at most 3, the set of forbidden simple subgraphs (over R) is infinite [16]. Rather than trying to characterize all simple graphs with a particular minimum rank, another approach has been to find minimum rank of families of simple graphs (a set of simple graphs with some special structure). Many such simple graphs are given in [1]. Much of the work in [1] has been generalized to arbitrary fields (or shown that it cannot be) in [10]. (a) (b) (d) (c) Figure 1.7 (a) 4 7 simple grid, (b) simple wheel on 5 vertices Ŵ5, (c) the second simple hypercube ˆQ 2, (d) the third simple hypercube ˆQ 3. Example Figure 1.7 has examples of three types of simple graphs (from [1] and [10]) for which minimum rank (over R) is now known. Figure 1.7(a) is an example of an m n simple grid [1]. It is known that mr(r, Ĝ) = Ĝ min{m, n}. For the simple grid in Figure 1.7(a) mr(r, Ĝ) = 28 4 = 24. Figure 1.7(b) is an example of a simple wheel on n vertices Ŵn (a simple cycle on n 1 vertices each vertex of which is adjacent to one central vertex). It is known that mr(r, Ŵn) = n 3 [10]. For Ŵ5 we have mr(r, Ŵ5) = 5 3 = 2. This result follows form Theorem 1.13, which tells us mr(r, Ŵn) < n 2 since the wheel is not a simple

14 12 polygonal path, and Observation 1.6.2, which implies mr(r, Ŵn) n 3 since W n with one of the edges adjacent to two degree 3 vertices is a simple polygonal path. Figure 1.7(c) and 1.7(d) are examples of the simple hypercube ˆQ n. The hypercube ˆQ n is formed by taking two copies of ˆQ n 1 with the same labelling and adding edges to join the vertices of each copy with the same label. For example ˆQ 3 is formed by taking two copies of ˆQ 2 = Ĉ4 and adding edges (see Figure 1.7(c) and 1.7(d)). It is well known that mr(r, ˆQ 2 ) = 2 and mr(r, ˆQ 3 ) = 4. In [1] it is shown that mr(r, ˆQ n ) = 2 n 1. A more complete survey for simple graphs may be found in [13]. The minimum rank problem has been explored for different types of graphs including directed graphs or graphs that allow loops. The latter is the topic of this thesis; we extend Theorem 1.8 to such graphs and apply it to extend, to all fields except Z 2, the algorithm in [11] that allows computation of the minimum rank of a looped tree. 1.2 Graphs that allow loops A graph G = (V, E) is a set of vertices V = {v 1,..., v n } together with 2-element sub-multisets of the vertex set, called edges, E {{v i, v j } v i, v j V }. Note that this means the graphs allow loops (edges of the form {v i, v i }) but not multiple edges. Many useful tools for finding the minimum rank of a simple graph have been developed (see for example [13], [1]) including algorithms for calculating the minimum rank of a simple tree [19] and a cut vertex reduction [3]. Although the minimum rank problem has traditionally centered around simple graphs, there has been some work done for graphs that allow loops [11]. A graph that allows loops is equivalent to a symmetric zero-nonzero pattern (a matrix having entries from {0, }), with the restriction that all matrices described are symmetric. Sign patterns (matrices with entries form {0, +, }), which are closely related to (not necessarily symmetric) zero-nonzero patterns, have many applications including

15 13 economics and ecological systems, which provides motivation to translate techniques known for simple graphs into techniques for finding minimum rank of zero-nonzero or sign patterns. Minimum rank is also related to the study of whether or not a sign pattern or zero-nonzero pattern is spectrally arbitrary (admits any set of eigenvalues) or inertially arbitrary (admits any number of positive, negative, or zero eigenvalues), see for example [22] or [12]. For surveys of sign patterns see [7] or (more recently) [15]. Most work for zero-nonzero patterns does not require the matrices described by the zero-nonzero pattern to be symmetric (even if the zero-nonzero pattern is symmetric) see [8] or [18]. And most work has been done for zero-nonzero and sign patterns only for R. However, in [11] work was done for minimum rank among real symmetric matrices associated with symmetric zero-nonzero and symmetric sign patterns whose graph is a tree. As noted in [11], because any matrix whose graph is a tree is equivalent by left and right multiplication by nonsingular matrices to a symmetric matrix, these results are valid for zero-nonzero and sign patterns without the restriction of symmetry. The extension of simple graph results to zero-nonzero and sign patterns involves two steps: addressing the issue of constrained diagonal (loops) and addressing the issue of symmetry. Here we focus on the issue of loops. Barrett, van der Holst and Leovy initiated the study of minimum rank for fields other than R in a 2004 paper for simple graphs having minimum rank 2 over infinite fields and in 2005 for finite fields. Since then research in minimum rank has continued to try to extend known results for the reals or develop new techniques for finding minimum rank over other fields, especially if the minimum rank is the same over every field (see for example [1] or [10]). The purpose of developing a cut vertex reduction for graphs is to determine the minimum rank of a connected graph with a cut vertex by reducing the problem to computing the minimum rank for certain induced subgraphs that have the cut vertex in

16 14 common. In particular, if we have a connected graph G, and G has a cut vertex v, we want to consider the set of all induced subgraphs of G that consist of the vertices from one component of G v together with v. Then, because G is the union of this set of subgraphs, which share only v, it is as if we are gluing or summing the subgraphs at v. Hence the term vertex sum used in [3]. 1.3 Definitions for graphs that allow loops Let G = (V, E) be a graph. We will use V (G) or E(G) to denote the vertex or edge set of G when the graph to which they belong is not clear. Denote by G the order of the graph G, which is the number of vertices in G. Two distinct vertices v i and v j are adjacent if there is an edge between them (i.e. {v i, v j } E). An induced subgraph of a graph G = (V, E) is a graph G = (V, E ), where V V, and E = {{v i, v j } v i, v j V and {v i, v j } E}. We denote the induced subgraph of G on the vertices in a set R V, by G[R], and the induced subgraph on the vertices not in R by G(R) or G R. If R = {v}, we will use G v instead of G {v}. Given graphs G 1,..., G h, their union is h G i = ( h V (G i ), h E(G i )). Note that a union need not be disjoint. Observation Let G = h G i be a union of graphs and F be an infinite field. Then mr l (F, G) h mr l (F, G i ). Let P n denote the path on n 1 vertices with vertex set {v 1,..., v n } and edges {{{v 1, v 2 }, {v 2, v 3 },..., {v n 1, v n }} L}, where L is the set of loops in E on the vertices v 1,..., v n (see Example 1.21). A graph is connected if for any two distinct vertices v i, v j V (G), there is a path from v i to v j in G. A maximal connected induced subgraph of G is called a component. If a graph is not connected, it is disconnected. A cut vertex

17 15 of a connected graph G is a vertex v such that G v is disconnected. More generally, deleting a cut vertex from a graph increases the number of components. Let C n denote a cycle on n vertices with vertex set {v 1,..., v n } and edges {{{v 1, v 2 }, {v 2, v 3 },..., {v n 1, v n }, {v n, v 1 }} L}, where L is the set of loops on vertices v 1,..., v n in E. A tree is a graph with no cycle as an induced subgraph. A zero-nonzero (znz) pattern X = [x ij ] is an array with entries from {, 0}. The pattern X is symmetric if x ij = x ji for all i, j. Given a matrix A = [a ij ], let X l (A) denote the zero-nonzero pattern of A, defined by X l (A) = [x ij ], where x ij = if and only if a ij 0. A graph G and a symmetric zero-nonzero pattern X can also be associated with each other in the following way. Given a graph G = ({v 1,..., v n }, E), let X l (G) = X = [x ij ] be such that x ij = if and only if {v i, v j } E(G). Likewise, given an n n symmetric znz pattern X = [x ij ], let G l (X) be a graph G = ({1,... n}, E) such that {i, j} E(G) if and only if x ij =. In this way graphs that allow loops and symmetric znz patterns are equivalent. Further, given a symmetric matrix A = [a ij ], let G l (A) = G l (X l (A)). With a symmetric znz pattern or graph we associate a set of matrices. We say the zero-nonzero pattern of the entries of A S l (F,G) are described by the graph. Definition Given a graph G of order n and a field F, let the symmetric class of matrices over F associated with G be S l (F,G) = {A F n n A = A T, and G l (A) = G}. Note that in the simple graph version of this set, the diagonal was left free; here it is determined by the presence or absence of a loop at a vertex. One important matrix in S l (F,G) for any F is the adjacency matrix A(G) = A = [a ij ], where a ij = 1 if and only if {v i, v j } E(G) and a ij = 0 otherwise. Let A F n n be a symmetric matrix, then, similar to our notation for induced subgraphs, for a set R {1,..., n}, we take A[R] to be the principal submatrix of A

18 16 consisting of the rows and columns of A indexed by R, A(R) to be the principal submatrix of A whose rows and columns are in {1,..., n} \ R. Notice that A S l (F,G[R]) if and only if A = A[R] for some A S l (F,G). With a matrix we may want to delete or include a particular set of rows R and a completely unrelated set of columns C; this is denoted by A(R, C) or A[R, C] respectively. For shorthand with a 1-element set {v}, we will use A(v) or A[v] to denote A({v}) or A[{v}] respectively. And for convenience, A(v, v] or A[v, v) will denote A[{v}, {v}] and A[{v}, {v}] respectively, which correspond to the v th column without row v and the v th row without column v respectively, where {v} = {1,..., n} \ {v}. Lastly, note that we can label any vertex of G v 1 without losing generality in our paper. Observation Given a graph G, the matrices in S l (F,G) are permutation similar to the matrices associated with G obtained from G by relabelling the vertices. We define the rank of a matrix A F n n, denoted rank(f, A), to be the largest number of linearly independent columns of A over the field F. We include the F in rank(f, A) because it saves confusion about matrices that could live in several fields such as the adjacency matrix. Next we define minimum rank of a graph (that allows loops). Definition Given a graph G, the minimum rank of G is mr l (F, G) = min{rank(f, A) A S l (F,G)}. That is, mr l (F, G) is the minimum among the ranks of all the matrices in the class of symmetric matrices associated with G. A matrix A in S l (F,G) is said to be optimal over F if rank(f, A) = mr l (F, G). Observe mr l (F, G) mr(f, G), where mr(f, G) = min{rank(f, A) A S(F, G)} defined in Section 1.1. This is clear because S l (F,G) S(F, G). Also note that, unlike when the diagonal is free, it is possible with restricted diagonals to have mr l (F, G) = n, where n is the order of G.

19 17 Example Let G be the path on 3 vertices with a loop at vertex 3 as in Figure Figure 1.8 Path on three vertices with loop on one end used in Example The symmetric zero-nonzero pattern described by the path is: 0 0 X = X l (G) = 0. 0 To see that for every field F mr l (F, G) = 3, observe that for any A = [a ij ] S l (F,G), det(a) = a 12 a 21 a So every matrix in S l (F,G) = S l (F,Z) is nonsingular. Lastly we define rank spread of a vertex for a graph (that allows loops). Definition Given a graph G with vertex v, the rank spread of v for G is r l v(f,g) = mr l (F, G) mr l (F, G v). That is, rank spread is the difference in the minimum rank of a graph and the minimum rank of that same graph with a particular vertex deleted. Examples 2.3, 2.4, and others demonstrate rank spread.

20 18 2 Minimum rank of a graph with a cut vertex In this section we reduce the problem of computing minimum rank of a graph with a cut vertex to computing the minimum rank of smaller graphs related to the original graph. These related graphs are either induced subgraphs or are induced subgraphs with a loop deleted or with an extra loop (see Definition 2.5). Note that all of our results in this section are valid over all fields F Z 2. However, for graphs that allow loops the omission of Z 2 is not much of a drawback. Observation 2.1. For a given graph G, there is only one matrix in S l (Z 2, G). Now consider a matrix A partitioned as follows: A = a bt b A Let A F n n. to define a, b, and A, we use the matrix notation: a = A[1], b = A(1, 1], and A = A(1). Note that b range(a ) is equivalent to there exists a vector x F n 1 such that b = A x.. Observation 2.2. Let There are three cases. A = a bt b A A F n n, and A = A T.

21 19 1. rank(f, A) = rank(f, A ) (there exists an x F n 1 so that A x = b and a = x T A x), i.e. A = xt A x (A x) T A x A, 2. rank(f, A) = rank(f, A ) + 1 (there exists a vectorx F n 1 so that A x = b but for any such x, x T A x a). 3. rank(f, A) = rank(f, A ) + 2 b / range(a ). We return now to the concept of rank spread from Definition 1.22 in the last section. Notice that deleting a vertex from a graph G has the effect of deleting a row and corresponding column from the matrices in S l (F,G). Then, because deleting a row and column of a matrix cannot decrease its rank by more than two, and it cannot increase the rank, rank spread can neither be greater than two nor less than zero. That is, 0 rv(f,g) l 2 (as was noted in [3] for r v (G)). For instance, rv(f,g) l = 2 if for all A S l (F,G), A(v, v] / range(a(v)). This is the case in our next example. Example 2.3. Let G be the graph in Figure v=1 3 2 Figure 2.1 Graph for Example 2.3, in which r l 1(F,G) = 2.

22 20 The znz pattern for G is: X = Notice that the first row can never be in the range of any A(1) where A S l (F,X) because the last three elements of row 1 ([* 0 0]) are (for any nonzero value of *) never in the range of X[{4, 5, 6}] = Thus, r l 1(F,G) = 2. The next example illustrates a different case where r l v(f,g) = 2. Example 2.4. Let G be the graph in Figure v= Figure 2.2 Graph for Example 2.4, in which r l 1(R,G) = 2.

23 21 The graph in Figure 2.2 has the znz pattern: X = Notice X(1), which corresponds to G 1, is block diagonal. Each block corresponds to a component of G 1. The minimum rank of each component of G 1 is 2, which is attained by the matrix formed by setting all nonzero entries to one. Observe that for any A = [a ij ] S l (R,X), A[{4, 5, 6}] must have rank 3 in order to get [a ] T in the range of A[{4, 5, 6}]. To see this consider X[{4, 5, 6}, {1, 4, 5, 6}]: Permuting the second and last columns we get: (2.1) Clearly any matrix in the class associated with the znz-pattern in (2.1) has rank at least 3. However, notice that for any such matrix, if the last column is not linearly independent of the two middle columns, the first column fails to be in the range of the other three. To achieve A(1, 1] rangea(1), for any A S l (R,X), A must have rank(r, A(1)) = mr l (R, G 1) + 1. However, for all vectors x R 6 with A(1)x = A(1, 1], x has the form

24 22 x = [x 1, 0, x 3, x 4, x 5, x 6 ] T (note one of x 1 or x 3 could be zero and x 6 could be zero). Then x T A(1)x = 0 x 1 + a x 3 + a 15 x x x 6 = a 15 x 4 0. Hence, such an A has rank(r, A) = rank(r, A(1)) + 1. Thus, mr l (R, G) = mr l (R, G 1) + 2. Note that this example is also valid for any field F such that F Z 2. Before we can prove the results that allow us to determine rv(f,g), l we need some definitions and lemmas. All of the graphs we discuss have at least one cut vertex. The cases when the cut vertex in question has a loop (a looped vertex) and does not are handled separately but in parallel. Definition 2.5. Let v be a cut vertex of a graph G. Let W i denote the set of vertices of the i th component. Let G i = G[W i {v}]. Define graphs G 0 i and G l i to have the same vertices as G i, and almost the same edge set. Regardless of whether G i has a loop at v, G 0 i does not, and G l i does (they are otherwise the same as G i ). These graphs are important to our discussion because even though they are not all subgraphs of G, a suitable linear combination of matrices from their associated symmetric classes (embedded in larger matrices of zeros) may be in S l (F,G). Observation 2.6. Let G be connected graph having a cut vertex v. Using the notation of Definition 2.5, mr l (F, G i ) min{mr l (F, G 0 i ), mr l (F, G l i)}. The next example shows that the minimum of {mr l (F, G 0 i ), mr l (F, G l i)} need not be unique. Example 2.7. Consider the graph G = G(X) described by the following zero-nonzero pattern X: X =

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