Endomorphism Breaking in Graphs

  • Wilfried Imrich
  • Rafał Kalinowski
  • Florian Lehner
  • Monika Pilśniak
Keywords: distinguishing number, endomorphisms, infinite graphs


We introduce the endomorphism distinguishing number $D_e(G)$ of a graph $G$ as the least cardinal $d$ such that $G$ has a vertex coloring with $d$ colors that is only preserved by the trivial endomorphism. This generalizes the notion of the distinguishing number $D(G)$ of a graph $G$, which is defined for automorphisms instead of endomorphisms.

As the number of endomorphisms can vastly exceed the number of automorphisms, the new concept opens challenging problems, several of which are presented here. In particular, we investigate relationships between $D_e(G)$ and the endomorphism motion of a graph $G$, that is, the least possible number of vertices moved by a nontrivial endomorphism of $G$. Moreover, we extend numerous results about the distinguishing number of finite and infinite graphs to the endomorphism distinguishing number.
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