Long Heterochromatic Paths in Edge-Colored Graphs

He Chen, Xueliang Li

Abstract


Let $G$ be an edge-colored graph. A heterochromatic path of $G$ is such a path in which no two edges have the same color. $d^c(v)$ denotes the color degree of a vertex $v$ of $G$. In a previous paper, we showed that if $d^c(v)\geq k$ for every vertex $v$ of $G$, then $G$ has a heterochromatic path of length at least $\lceil{k+1\over 2}\rceil$. It is easy to see that if $k=1,2$, $G$ has a heterochromatic path of length at least $k$. Saito conjectured that under the color degree condition $G$ has a heterochromatic path of length at least $\lceil{2k+1\over 3}\rceil$. Even if this is true, no one knows if it is a best possible lower bound. Although we cannot prove Saito's conjecture, we can show in this paper that if $3\leq k\leq 7$, $G$ has a heterochromatic path of length at least $k-1,$ and if $k\geq 8$, $G$ has a heterochromatic path of length at least $\lceil{3k\over 5}\rceil+1$. Actually, we can show that for $1\leq k\leq 5$ any graph $G$ under the color degree condition has a heterochromatic path of length at least $k$, with only one exceptional graph $K_4$ for $k=3$, one exceptional graph for $k=4$ and three exceptional graphs for $k=5$, for which $G$ has a heterochromatic path of length at least $k-1$. Our experience suggests us to conjecture that under the color degree condition $G$ has a heterochromatic path of length at least $k-1$.


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