Can Colour-Blind Distinguish Colour Palettes?

  • Rafał Kalinowski
  • Monika Pilśniak
  • Jakub Przybyło
  • Mariusz Woźniak
Keywords: Graph colouring, Distinguishing adjacent vertices, Lovász Local Lemma


Let $c:E(G)\rightarrow [k]$ be  a colouring, not necessarily proper, of edges of a graph $G$. For a vertex $v\in V$, let $\overline{c}(v)=(a_1,\ldots,a_k)$, where $ a_i =|\{u:uv\in E(G),\;c(uv)=i\}|$, for $i\in [k].$ If we re-order the sequence $\overline{c}(v)$ non-decreasingly, we obtain a sequence $c^*(v)=(d_1,\ldots,d_k)$, called a palette of a vertex $v$. This can be viewed as the most comprehensive information about colours incident with $v$ which can be delivered by a person who is unable to name colours but distinguishes one from another. The smallest $k$ such that $c^*$ is a proper colouring of vertices of $G$ is called the colour-blind index of a graph $G$, and is denoted by dal$(G)$. We conjecture that there is a constant $K$ such that dal$(G)\leq K$ for every graph $G$ for which the parameter is well defined. As our main result we prove that $K\leq 6$ for regular graphs of sufficiently large degree, and for irregular graphs with $\delta (G)$ and $\Delta(G)$ satisfying certain conditions. The proofs are based on the Lopsided Lovász Local Lemma. We also show that $K=3$ for all regular bipartite graphs, and for complete graphs of order $n\geq 8$.
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