The Cost of 2-Distinguishing Cartesian Powers

  • Debra Boutin
Keywords: graph theory, Cartesian product, graph distinguishing


A graph $G$ is said to be $2$-distinguishable if there is a labeling of the vertices with two labels so that only the trivial automorphism preserves the label classes.  The minimum size of a label class in any such labeling of $G$ is called the cost of $2$-distinguishing $G$ and is denoted by $\rho(G)$.  The determining number of a graph $G$, denoted $\det(G)$, is the minimum size of a set of vertices whose pointwise stabilizer is trivial.  The main result of this paper is that if $G^k$ is a $2$-distinguishable Cartesian power of a prime, connected graph $G$ on at least three vertices with $\det(G)\leq k$ and $\max\{2, \det(G)\} < \det(G^k)$, then $\rho(G^k) \in \{\det(G^k), \det(G^k)+1\}$.  In particular, for $n\geq 3$, $\rho(K_3^n)\in \{ \left\lceil {\log_3 (2n+1)} \right\rceil$ $+1, \left\lceil {\log_3 (2n+1)} \right\rceil$ $+2\}$.
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