The $t$-Pebbling Number is Eventually Linear in $t$

  • Michael Hoffmann
  • Jiří Matoušek
  • Yoshio Okamoto
  • Philipp Zumstein


In graph pebbling games, one considers a distribution of pebbles on the vertices of a graph, and a pebbling move consists of taking two pebbles off one vertex and placing one on an adjacent vertex. The $t$-pebbling number $\pi_t(G)$ of a graph $G$ is the smallest $m$ such that for every initial distribution of $m$ pebbles on $V(G)$ and every target vertex $x$ there exists a sequence of pebbling moves leading to a distibution with at least $t$ pebbles at $x$. Answering a question of Sieben, we show that for every graph $G$, $\pi_t(G)$ is eventually linear in $t$; that is, there are numbers $a,b,t_0$ such that $\pi_t(G)=at+b$ for all $t\ge t_0$. Our result is also valid for weighted graphs, where every edge $e=\{u,v\}$ has some integer weight $\omega(e)\ge 2$, and a pebbling move from $u$ to $v$ removes $\omega(e)$ pebbles at $u$ and adds one pebble to $v$.

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