### Vertex-decomposable Graphs, Codismantlability, Cohen-Macaulayness, and Castelnuovo-Mumford Regularity

#### Abstract

We call a vertex $x$ of a graph $G=(V,E)$ a *codominated vertex* if $N_G[y]\subseteq N_G[x]$ for some vertex $y\in V\backslash \{x\}$, and a graph $G$ is called *codismantlable* if either it is an edgeless graph or it contains a codominated vertex $x$ such that $G-x$ is codismantlable. We show that $(C_4,C_5)$-free vertex-decomposable graphs are codismantlable, and prove that if $G$ is a $(C_4,C_5,C_7)$-free well-covered graph, then vertex-decomposability, codismantlability and Cohen-Macaulayness for $G$ are all equivalent. These results complement and unify many of the earlier results on bipartite, chordal and very well-covered graphs. We also study the Castelnuovo-Mumford regularity $reg(G)$ of such graphs, and show that $reg(G)=im(G)$ whenever $G$ is a $(C_4,C_5)$-free vertex-decomposable graph, where $im(G)$ is the induced matching number of $G$. Furthermore, we prove that $H$ must be a codismantlable graph if $im(H)=reg(H)=m(H)$, where $m(H)$ is the matching number of $H$. We further describe an operation on digraphs that creates a vertex-decomposable and codismantlable graph from any acyclic digraph. By way of application, we provide an infinite family $H_n$ ($n\geq 4$) of sequentially Cohen-Macaulay graphs whose vertex cover numbers are half of their orders, while containing no vertex of degree-one such that they are vertex-decomposable, and $reg(H_n)=im(H_n)$ if $n\geq 6$. This answers a recent question of Mahmoudi et al.