### Between 2- and 3-Colorability

#### Abstract

We consider the question of the existence of homomorphisms between $G_{n,p}$ and odd cycles when $p=c/n$, $1<c\leq 4$. We show that for any positive integer $\ell$, there exists $\epsilon=\epsilon(\ell)$ such that if $c=1+\epsilon$ then w.h.p. $G_{n,p}$ has a homomorphism from $G_{n,p}$ to $C_{2\ell+1}$ so long as its odd-girth is at least $2\ell+1$. On the other hand, we show that if $c=4$ then w.h.p. there is no homomorphism from $G_{n,p}$ to $C_5$. Note that in our range of interest, $\chi(G_{n,p})=3$ w.h.p., implying that there is a homomorphism from $G_{n,p}$ to $C_3$. These results imply the existence of random graphs with circular chromatic numbers $\chi_c$ satisfying $2<\chi_c(G)<2+\delta$ for arbitrarily small $\delta$, and also that $2.5\leq \chi_c(G_{n,\frac 4 n})<3$ w.h.p.

#### Keywords

Random Graphs; Homomorphisms