On the Hyperbolicity Constant of Line Graphs

  • Walter Carballosa
  • José M. Rodríguez
  • José M. Sigarreta
  • María Villeta


If X is a geodesic metric space and $x_1,x_2,x_3\in X$, a geodesic triangle $T=\{x_1,x_2,x_3\}$ is the union of the three geodesics $[x_1x_2]$, $[x_2x_3]$ and $[x_3x_1]$ in $X$. The space $X$ is $\delta$-hyperbolic $($in the Gromov sense$)$ if any side of $T$ is contained in a $\delta$-neighborhood of the union of the two other sides, for every geodesic triangle $T$ in $X$. We denote by $\delta(X)$ the sharp hyperbolicity constant of $X$, i.e., $\delta(X):=\inf\{\delta\ge 0: X \text{ is }\delta\text{-hyperbolic}\}$. The study of hyperbolic graphs is an interesting topic since the hyperbolicity of a geodesic metric space is equivalent to the hyperbolicity of a graph related to it. The main aim of this paper is to obtain information about the hyperbolicity constant of the line graph $\mathcal{L}(G)$ in terms of parameters of the graph $G$. In particular, we prove qualitative results as the following: a graph $G$ is hyperbolic if and only if $\mathcal{L}(G)$ is hyperbolic; if $\{G_n\}$ is a T-decomposition of $G$ ($\{G_n\}$ are simple subgraphs of $G$), the line graph $\mathcal{L}(G)$ is hyperbolic if and only if $\sup_n \delta(\mathcal{L}(G_n))$ is finite. Besides, we obtain quantitative results. Two of them are quantitative versions of our qualitative results. We also prove that $g(G)/4 \le \delta(\mathcal{L}(G)) \le c(G)/4+2$, where $g(G)$ is the girth of $G$ and $c(G)$ is its circumference. We show that $\delta(\mathcal{L}(G)) \ge \sup \{L(g):\, g \,\text{ is an isometric cycle in }\,G\,\}/4$. Furthermore, we characterize the graphs $G$ with $\delta(\mathcal{L}(G)) < 1$.

Article Number