Rooted $K_4$-Minors

  • Ruy Fabila-Monroy
  • David R. Wood
Keywords: graph theory, graph minor, rooted minor, linkage


Let $a,b,c,d$ be four vertices in a graph $G$. A $K_4$ minor rooted at $a,b,c,d$ consists of four pairwise-disjoint pairwise-adjacent connected subgraphs of $G$, respectively containing $a,b,c,d$. We characterise precisely when $G$ contains a $K_4$-minor rooted at $a,b,c,d$ by describing six classes of obstructions, which are the edge-maximal graphs containing no $K_4$-minor rooted at $a,b,c,d$. The following two special cases illustrate the full characterisation: (1) A 4-connected non-planar graph contains a $K_4$-minor rooted at $a,b,c,d$ for every choice of $a,b,c,d$. (2) A 3-connected planar graph contains a $K_4$-minor rooted at $a,b,c,d$ if and only if $a,b,c,d$ are not on a single face.

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