Chip Games and Paintability

  • Lech Duraj
  • Grzegorz Gutowski
  • Jakub Kozik
Keywords: Paintability, List coloring, Property B, On-Line algorithms


We prove that the paint number of the complete bipartite graph $K_{N,N}$ is $\log N + O(1)$. As a consequence, we get that the difference between the paint number and the choice number of $K_{N,N}$ is $\Theta(\log \log N)$. This answers in the negative the question of Zhu (2009) whether this difference, for all graphs, can be bounded by a common constant. By a classical correspondence, our result translates to the framework of on-line coloring of uniform hypergraphs. This way we obtain that for every on-line two coloring algorithm there exists a $k$-uniform hypergraph with $\Theta(2^k)$ edges on which the strategy fails. The results are derived through an analysis of a natural family of chip games.

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