Toughness of $K_{a,t}$-Minor-free Graphs

Guantao Chen, Yoshimi Egawa, Ken-ichi Kawarabayashi, Bojan Mohar, Katsuhiro Ota

Abstract


The toughness of a non-complete graph $G$ is the minimum value of $\frac{|S|}{\omega(G-S)}$ among all separating vertex sets $S\subset V(G)$, where $\omega(G-S)\ge 2$ is the number of components of $G-S$. It is well-known that every $3$-connected planar graph has toughness greater than $1/2$. Related to this property, every $3$-connected planar graph has many good substructures, such as a spanning tree with maximum degree three, a $2$-walk, etc. Realizing that 3-connected planar graphs are essentially the same as 3-connected $K_{3,3}$-minor-free graphs, we consider a generalization to $a$-connected $K_{a,t}$-minor-free graphs, where $3\le a\le t$. We prove that there exists a positive constant $h(a,t)$ such that every $a$-connected $K_{a,t}$-minor-free graph $G$ has toughness at least $h(a,t)$. For the case where $a=3$ and $t$ is odd, we obtain the best possible value for $h(3,t)$. As a corollary it is proved that every such graph of order $n$ contains a cycle of length $\Omega(\log_{h(a,t)} n)$.


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