Face-Degree Bounds for Planar Critical Graphs
The only remaining case of a well known conjecture of Vizing states that there is no planar graph with maximum degree 6 and edge chromatic number 7. We introduce parameters for planar graphs, based on the degrees of the faces, and study the question whether there are upper bounds for these parameters for planar edge-chromatic critical graphs. Our results provide upper bounds on these parameters for smallest counterexamples to Vizing's conjecture, thus providing a partial characterization of such graphs, if they exist.
For $k \leq 5$ the results give insights into the structure of planar edge-chromatic critical graphs.