The $t$-Stability Number of a Random Graph

  • Nikolaos Fountoulakis
  • Ross J. Kang
  • Colin McDiarmid


Given a graph $G = (V,E)$, a vertex subset $S \subseteq V$ is called $t$-stable (or $t$-dependent) if the subgraph $G[S]$ induced on $S$ has maximum degree at most $t$. The $t$-stability number $\alpha_t(G)$ of $G$ is the maximum order of a $t$-stable set in $G$. The theme of this paper is the typical values that this parameter takes on a random graph on $n$ vertices and edge probability equal to $p$. For any fixed $0 < p < 1$ and fixed non-negative integer $t$, we show that, with probability tending to $1$ as $n\to\infty$, the $t$-stability number takes on at most two values which we identify as functions of $t$, $p$ and $n$. The main tool we use is an asymptotic expression for the expected number of $t$-stable sets of order $k$. We derive this expression by performing a precise count of the number of graphs on $k$ vertices that have maximum degree at most $t$.

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