Distinguishability of Locally Finite Trees

  • Mark E. Watkins
  • Xiangqian Zhou


The distinguishing number $\Delta(X)$ of a graph $X$ is the least positive integer $n$ for which there exists a function $f:V(X)\to\{0,1,2,\cdots,n-1\}$ such that no nonidentity element of $\hbox{Aut}(X)$ fixes (setwise) every inverse image $f^{-1}(k)$, $k\in\{0,1,2,\cdots,n-1\}$. All infinite, locally finite trees without pendant vertices are shown to be 2-distinguishable. A proof is indicated that extends 2-distinguishability to locally countable trees without pendant vertices. It is shown that every infinite, locally finite tree $T$ with finite distinguishing number contains a finite subtree $J$ such that $\Delta(J)=\Delta(T)$. Analogous results are obtained for the distinguishing chromatic number, namely the least positive integer $n$ such that the function $f$ is also a proper vertex-coloring.

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