Induced subgraphs of Ramsey graphs with many distinct degrees

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1 Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series B 97 (2007) Induced subgraphs of Ramsey graphs with many distinct degrees Boris Bukh a, Benny Sudakov a,b a Department of Mathematics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA b Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA Received 2 June 2006 Available online 4 November 2006 Abstract An induced subgraph is called homogeneous if it is either a clique or an independent set. Let hom(g) denote the size of the largest homogeneous subgraph of a graph G. In this short paper we study properties of graphs on n vertices with hom(g) C log n for some constant C. We show that every such graph contains an induced subgraph of order αn in which β n vertices have different degrees, where α and β depend only on C. This proves a conjecture of Erdős, Faudree and Sós Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Keywords: Ramsey graph; Erdős problem; Distinct degrees. Introduction All graphs considered here are finite, undirected and simple. Given a graph G with vertex set V(G)and edge set E(G), letα(g) and ω(g) denote the size of the largest independent set and the size of the largest clique in G, respectively. An induced subgraph of G is called homogeneous if it is either a clique or an independent set. The size of the largest homogeneous subgraph of a graph G is denoted by hom(g), i.e., let hom(g) = max(α(g), ω(g)). A classic result in Ramsey theory [3] asserts that hom(g) 2 log n for any graph G on n vertices. On the other hand, it was shown by Erdős [7] that there are graphs with hom(g) 2logn. (Here, and throughout the paper all logarithms are to the base 2.) The graphs for which hom(g) is very small compared to Research supported in part by NSF CAREER award DMS , NSF Grant DMS , USA Israeli BSF Grant, Alfred P. Sloan fellowship, and the State of New Jersey. addresses: (B. Bukh), (B. Sudakov) /\$ see front matter 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. doi:0.06/j.jctb

2 B. Bukh, B. Sudakov / Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series B 97 (2007) the number of vertices are usually called Ramsey graphs. The only kind of proof of existence of graphs with hom(g) O(log n) which we have so far comes from various models of random graphs with edge density bounded away from 0 and. This supports the belief that any graph with small hom(g) looks random in one sense or another. By now there are several known results which indeed show that Ramsey graphs have certain random-like properties. The first advance in making the above intuition rigorous was made by Erdős and Szemerédi [4] who proved that hom(g) C log n for fixed C implies that the edge density of G is indeed bounded away from 0 and. Later Erdős and Hajnal [0] proved that such graphs are k-universal for every fixed k, i.e., they contain every graph H on k vertices as induced subgraph. This was extended further by Prömel and Rödl [6], who obtained asymptotically best possible result. They proved that if hom(g) C log n then G is in fact c log n-universal for some constant c which depends on C. A related result which shows that Ramsey graphs have many distinct induced subgraphs was obtained by Shelah [7] (improving earlier estimate from [2]). He settled a conjecture of Erdős and Rényi, that every graph G with hom(g) C log n contains 2 cn non-isomorphic induced subgraphs, where c is a positive constant depending only on C. Another question, with a similar flavor, was posed by Erdős and McKay [8,9]. It asks whether every graph on n vertices with no homogeneous subgraph of order C log n contains an induced subgraph with exactly t edges for every t Θ(n 2 ). This conjecture is still wide open. In [5] it was proved for random graphs. In the general case, Alon, Krivelevich and Sudakov [4] proved that such graph always contains induced subgraphs with every number of edges up to n δ, where δ>0 depends only on C. In this paper we study the number of distinct degrees in induced subgraphs of Ramsey graphs. The following problem was posed by Erdős, Faudree and Sós [8,9]. They conjectured that every G on n vertices with hom(g) C log n contains an induced subgraph on a constant fraction of vertices which has Ω( n) different degrees. Here we obtain the result that confirms this conjecture and gives an additional evidence for the random-like behavior of Ramsey graphs. Theorem.. Let G be a graph on n vertices with hom(g) C log n, for some constant C. Then G contains an induced subgraph of order αn with β n vertices of different degrees, where α and β depend only on C. Throughout this paper, we will make no attempt to optimize our absolute constants, and will often omit floor and ceiling signs whenever they are not crucial, for the sake of clarity of presentation. We also may and will assume that the number of vertices of G is sufficiently large. 2. Proof of the main theorem First we define the notation that we are going to use. Numerous absolute constants that appear throughout the proof are denoted by c,c 2,... In a graph, the density of a set of vertices A is defined as d(a) = e(a) ) ( A 2 where e(a) is the number of edges which are contained inside A. Similarly, for any two sets A and B the density is d(a,b) = e(a,b) A B

3 64 B. Bukh, B. Sudakov / Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series B 97 (2007) where e(a,b) is the number of edges between A and B. We abbreviate d({x},b) to d(x,b). For any vertex x and a set B the neighbors of x in B are denoted by N B (x) and non-neighbors are denoted by N B (x). We denote the degree by deg B (x) = N B (x). For two sets X and Y,the usual symmetric difference (X \ Y) (Y \ X) is denoted by X Y. In the proof we will use the following theorem of Erdős Szemerédi mentioned above. Theorem 2.. [4] Let G be a graph on n vertices of density d /2. Then there exist an absolute constant c such that hom(g) c log n. d log(/d) Our proof of the conjecture of Erdős and Sós is based on the following result, which merits being stated separately. First, we need a definition, though. A graph H of order n is called c-diverse if for every vertex x V(H) there are at most n /5 vertices y V(H) with N H (x) N H (y) <cn. Lemma 2.2. Let G be a graph on n vertices with hom(g) C log n. Let K = c 2 C log(c + ), m = 8 K n and c = /K. Ifm 4 and an absolute constant c 2 is sufficiently large, then G contains an induced c-diverse subgraph on at least m vertices. Proof. To prove this statement we will use some ideas from [6,7]. Suppose the conclusion of the lemma fails. We will construct a sequence of disjoint vertex sets S,S 2,...,S K each of the size m /5 such that for every j K either d(s j,s i )<8c for all i>j (a) or d(s j,s i )> 8c for all i>j. (b) Simultaneously with the sequence of S i s we construct a nested sequence of induced subgraphs G = G 0 G G K, which satisfy G i G i /8 for all i K. ThesetsS i will be chosen so that S i G i. Suppose the sets S j as well as the graphs G j have been constructed for all j<iand we wish to construct S i and G i. The inductive hypothesis implies that G i 8 i G m. Since the conclusion of the lemma fails, G i is not c-diverse. Therefore, there exist x V(G i ) and a set S i G i with S i m /5 such that N Gi (x) N Gi (y) c G i for every y S i.by throwing away elements of S i if needed, we can assume that S i =m /5.LetB = V(G i ) \ S i. Since clearly m /5 m/2, we have that B G i /2. Suppose N B (x) B /2. Then for every y S i we have d(y,n B (x)) c G i / N B (x) 4c.LetF ={z N B (x) d(z,s i ) 8c} and D = N B (x) \ F. Since 8c D d(z,s i ) = e(d,s i) S z D i = N B(x) S i y S i d e(n B(x), S i ) S i ( y,n B (x) ) 4c N B (x), we have that D N B (x) /2 and so F N B (x) /2 B /4. Similarly, if N B (x) B /2, then we set F ={y N B (x) d(y,s i ) 8c} and F B /4 holds again. Let G i be the

4 B. Bukh, B. Sudakov / Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series B 97 (2007) graph induced on F. By the definition of the set F either all subsets U G i satisfy d(s i,u) 8c or they all satisfy d(s i,u) 8c. This guarantees that for t>ieither all d(s i,s t ) will satisfy (a) or they all will satisfy (b). Since B G i /2, we have G i G i /8. This completes the inductive construction of S i and G i. By passing to the complement if needed, we may assume that for at least half of all the sets {S i } K i= the alternative (a) holds. Recall that c = /K. LetS i,...,s ir be the sets for which (a) holds, where r K/2. Let S = r k= S ik. It is easy to see that, d(s) 8c + /r 0/K. K Therefore Theorem 2. implies that hom(g) hom(s) c 0 log(k/0) log S. Since log S 5 log m 5 log n K, by choosing a large enough value of c 2, we get hom(g) hom(s) 6C log S >Clog n contradicting the assumption of the lemma. Remark. The constant /5 appearing in the definition of diverse graph can be replaced by any fixed 0 <ɛ<. In the case of such a replacement, the (far from optimal) constants appearing in Lemma 2.2 will have to be changed accordingly. Lemma 2.3. Let G be a c-diverse graph on n vertices. Then for each n/4 m 3n/4 there is an induced subgraph of G on m vertices containing vertices of 576 cn distinct degrees. Proof. Fix m as above and choose a set A uniformly at random among all m-element subsets of V(G).LetH be the graph induced on A. It is enough to show that with positive probability H has the desired property. For distinct vertices x,y V(G)define the indicator random variable I xy by {, if x,y V(H)and degh (x) = deg I xy = H (y), 0, otherwise. Then E[I xy ]=Pr [ x,y V(H) ] Pr [ deg H (x) = deg H (y) ] x,y V(H) Pr [ deg A (x) = deg A (y) ]. Furthermore, Pr [ deg A (x) = deg A (y) ] = Pr [ ( N G (x) \ N G (y) ) A = ( NG (y) \ N G (x) ) A ]. Let D = N G (x) N G (y) and k = D A. Suppose that D cn and let W be the event that k < D /8 ork > 7 D /8. Since the value of k has hypergeometric distribution, it is sharply concentrated around its mean D /4 m n D 3 D /4. Thus, by Azuma Hoeffding inequality (see, e.g., [5, Chapter 2]), we have Pr[W ] e Θ( D ) = e Θ(n) = o(n /2 ). Then Pr [ deg A (x) = deg A (y) ( NG (x)\n ] G (y) )( NG (y)\n G (x)) k/2 k/2 D /8 D A =k 7 D /8 = ), which by Stirling s formula together with convexity does not exceed ( D /2 ) 2 k/2 ( D k ) ( + o() ) 2 D k( D k) 7 7. D cn Summing up over all values of k we conclude that if N G (x) N G (y) cn then E[I xy ] 8 cn. ( D k

5 66 B. Bukh, B. Sudakov / Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series B 97 (2007) Let I = x,y V(G) I xy. By the definition of c-diverse graph we have that E[I xy ] 8 cn for all but at most n +/5 pairs x,y V(G). Therefore E[I] n +/5 + 8n 2 / cn 9n 3/2 / c. Hence there is a particular choice for A such that I 9n 3/2 / c.letr be the number of vertices of distinct degrees in H and let a k be the number of vertices in H with degree k. Then k a k = m and by convexity I = k ( ak 2 ) ( r r k a k 2 ) m2 4r n2 64r. This implies r 9 64 cn and completes the proof. The proof of Theorem. follows immediately from the two previous lemmas. It is worth noting that the value of β that it gives is (C + ) c 3C for some absolute constant c 3. We have been unable to decide whether in Theorem. the exponent /2inn /2 can be further improved to /2 + ɛ for some constant ɛ>0. However, using random graphs, one can show that /2 cannot be replaced by anything greater than 2/3. As usual, G(n,/2) is the probability space of all labeled graphs on n vertices, where every edge appears randomly and independently with probability /2. We say that the random graph has a property P almost surely, or a.s. for brevity, if the probability that G(n, /2) satisfies P tends to as n tends to infinity. It is well known (see [7]) that the largest homogeneous subgraph of G(n, /2) has a.s. size O(log n). Nextwe prove that an induced subgraph of this graph cannot have too many distinct degrees. Proposition 2.4. The random graph G(n,/2) almost surely contains no induced subgraph with 8n 2/3 vertices of distinct degrees. Proof. Let A be a subset of G(n, /2) of size a such that the subgraph G induced by A has 8n 2/3 vertices with different degrees. Then either G has at least 2n 2/3 vertices with degree a/2 + 2n 2/3 or it has at least 2n 2/3 vertices with degree a/2 2n 2/3. Consider the first case, the other one can be treated similarly. Let B A be the set of b = 2n 2/3 vertices whose degree in G is at least a/2 + 2n 2/3. Since v B deg A (v) = 2e(B) + e(b,a \ B), it is easy to see that, either there are at least b 2 /4 + bn 2/3 /2 edges inside B or there are at least b(a b)/2 + bn 2/3 edges between B and A \ B. By Chernoff s inequality (see, e.g., [3, Appendix A]) the probability of the first event is at most ( ) n e Θ(n4/3) e O(n2/3 log n) e Θ(n4/3) = o(). b Similarly the probability of the second event is bounded by ( )( ) n n e bn4/3 /(2a) n n b 2 n e n = 2 (+o())n e n = o(). b a a Thus with probability o() there is no induced subgraph G as above. It is worth noting that the exponent 2/3 in the above proof is essentially best possible, since G(n, /2) a.s. contains an induced subgraph G of order m which has Ω(n 2/3 ) vertices of degree m/2 + Ω(n 2/3 ). Indeed, fix an arbitrary set B of size 4n 2/3 in G(n, /2), and let A = { x V(G)\ B degb (x) B /2 + n /3}.

6 B. Bukh, B. Sudakov / Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series B 97 (2007) Using approximation of the binomial distribution by standard normal distribution it is easy to check that for each x/ B, Pr[x A] /0. Since for distinct vertices these events are clearly independent, we have that a.s. A n/. Let B = { y B deg A (y) A /2 + n 2/3 /00 } and B 2 = B \ B. Then, using that A n/ and B 2 4n 2/3, we conclude e(a,b ) = e(a,b) e(a,b 2 ) A B /2 + A n /3 A B 2 /2 B 2 n 2/3 /00 A B /2 + A n /3 /2. (2) Suppose that B n 2/3 /40, then by Chernoff bound the probability that G(n, /2) contains sets A and B satisfying inequality (2) is at most ( )( ) ( ) n n e A n 2/3 /(8 B en (+o()) A ) e 5 A e 4 A e 5 A = o(). B A A This implies that a.s. B >n 2/3 /40. Since a.s. most v B satisfy deg B (v) B /2 n /2 we have that the subgraph induced by B A has the desired property. 3. Concluding remarks We already mentioned in introduction several results and conjectures about properties of Ramsey graphs. An additional such problem, which is closely related to our results, was posed by Erdős, Faudree and Sós [8,9]. They conjectured that every graph on n vertices with no homogeneous subset of size C log n contains at least Ω(n 5/2 ) induced subgraphs any two of which differ either in the number of vertices or in the number of edges. Using our proof of Theorem. one can easily obtain the following result. Proposition 3.. If G has n vertices and hom(g) C log n, then the number of distinct pairs ( V(H), E(H) ) as H ranges over all induced subgraphs of G is at least Ω(n 3/2 ). Proof. By Lemma 2.2, G contains an induced c-diverse subgraph G on n = Ω(n) vertices. By Lemma 2.3, G contains for every n /4 m 3n /4 an induced subgraph on m vertices with Ω( n ) = Ω( n) distinct degrees. Deleting these vertices, one at a time, gives Ω( n) induced subgraphs of G of order m all of which obviously have different numbers of edges. Since there are Ω(n) choices for m the result follows. Although this proposition is much weaker than Erdős Faudree Sós conjecture, we believe that our methods might prove useful to attack their problem. The conventional belief that graphs with small homogeneous subgraphs have many randomlike properties goes beyond the graphs with hom(g) C log n. For example, the famous Erdős Hajnal conjecture [] states that for every fixed graph H, there exist ɛ(h) > 0 such that every graph on n vertices without homogeneous subgraphs of order n ɛ contains an induced copy of H. Even graphs with relatively large homogeneous subgraphs tend to be jumbled. For instance, Alon and Bollobás [] proved that for sufficiently small δ if a graph contains no homogeneous set on ( 4δ)n vertices, then the graph contains δn 2 non-isomorphic induced subgraphs. A somewhat stronger result was proved by Erdős and Hajnal [2].

7 68 B. Bukh, B. Sudakov / Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series B 97 (2007) In the light of the above, it seems likely that every graph without homogeneous subgraph of order n ɛ should contain an induced subgraph of linear size with Ω(n /2 ɛ ) distinct degrees. However, our proof of Theorem. does not seem to extend to show this. A tournament with no directed cycles is called transitive. Let tran(t ) be the number of vertices in the largest transitive subtournament of T. It is well known [6,8] that every n-vertex tournament contains a transitive subtournament of order at least c log n, and this result is tight apart from the value of the constant. Similarly, we call a tournament Ramsey if tran(t ) is very small compared to the number of vertices of T. Our technique can be used to prove the following analogue of Theorem.. Theorem 3.2. Let T be a tournament on n vertices with tran(t ) C log n, for some constant C. Then T contains a subtournament of order αn and β n vertices of different outdegrees, where α and β depend only on C. Sketch of proof. To prove this result we need a version of Erdős Szemerédi theorem for tournaments. The version we use states that if there is an ordering of the vertices of the tournament on n vertices with only d ( n 2) edges going in the reverse direction to the ordering, then tran(t ) c log n. d log(/d) To show this, consider a graph G on the same vertex set as T whose edges are the edges of T that go in the reverse direction to the ordering. Then the density of the graph G is d, and therefore Erdős Szemerédi theorem guarantees existence of a homogeneous subgraph of G of size log n. Since every homogeneous subgraph in G is a transitive subtournament of T, c d log(/d) this establishes Erdős Szemerédi theorem for tournaments. Define diverse tournaments in the same way as diverse graphs with neighborhoods replaced by outneighborhoods. With this definition, the rest of the proof (Lemmas 2.2 and 2.3) carries over to the case of tournaments. We omit the details. Acknowledgments The authors thank Noga Alon and Michael Krivelevich for stimulating discussions, and both referees for careful reading of the manuscript. References [] N. Alon, B. Bollobás, Graphs with a small number of distinct induced subgraphs, Discrete Math. 75 (989) [2] N. Alon, A. Hajnal, Ramsey graphs contain many distinct induced subgraphs, Graphs Combin. 7 (99) 6. [3] N. Alon, J. Spencer, The Probabilistic Method, second ed., Wiley, New York, [4] N. Alon, M. Krivelevich, B. Sudakov, Induced subgraphs of prescribed size, J. Graph Theory 43 (2003) [5] N. Calkin, A. Frieze, B. McKay, On subgraph sizes in random graphs, Combin. Probab. Comput. (992) [6] R. Entringer, P. Erdős, C. Harner, Some extremal properties concerning transitivity in graphs, Period. Math. Hungar. 3 (973) [7] P. Erdős, Some remarks on the theory of graphs, Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 53 (947) [8] P. Erdős, Some of my favourite problems in various branches of combinatorics, Matematiche (Catania) 47 (992) [9] P. Erdős, Some recent problems and results in graph theory, Discrete Math. 64 (997) [0] P. Erdős, A. Hajnal, On spanned subgraphs of graphs, in: Contributions to Graph Theory and Its Applications, Internat. Colloq., Oberhof, Tech. Hochschule Ilmenau, Ilmenau, 977, pp

8 B. Bukh, B. Sudakov / Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series B 97 (2007) [] P. Erdős, A. Hajnal, Ramsey-type theorems, Discrete Appl. Math. 25 (989) [2] P. Erdős, A. Hajnal, On the number of distinct induced subgraphs of a graph, Discrete Math. 75 (989) [3] P. Erdős, G. Szekeres, A combinatorial problem in geometry, Compos. Math. 2 (935) [4] P. Erdős, E. Szemerédi, On a Ramsey type theorem, Period. Math. Hungar. 2 (972) [5] S. Janson, T. Łuczak, A. Ruciński, Random Graphs, John Wiley and Sons, New York, [6] H.J. Prömel, V. Rödl, Non-Ramsey graphs are c log n-universal, J. Combin. Theory Ser. A 88 (999) [7] S. Shelah, Erdős and Rényi conjecture, J. Combin. Theory Ser. A 82 (998) [8] J. Spencer, Random regular tournaments, Period. Math. Hungar. 5 (974)

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