Upper Bounds on the Minimum Size of Hamilton Saturated Hypergraphs

  • Andrzej Ruciński
  • Andrzej Żak
Keywords: Hypergraphs, Saturation Number, Hamiltonian Cycles


For $1\leqslant \ell< k$,  an $\ell$-overlapping $k$-cycle is a $k$-uniform hypergraph in which, for some cyclic vertex ordering, every edge consists of $k$ consecutive vertices and every two consecutive edges share exactly $\ell$ vertices.

A $k$-uniform hypergraph $H$ is $\ell$-Hamiltonian saturated if $H$ does not contain an $\ell$-overlapping Hamiltonian $k$-cycle but every hypergraph obtained from $H$ by adding one edge does contain such a cycle. Let $\mathrm{sat}(n,k,\ell)$ be the smallest number of edges in an $\ell$-Hamiltonian saturated $k$-uniform hypergraph on $n$ vertices. In the case of graphs Clark and Entringer showed in 1983 that $\mathrm{sat}(n,2,1)=\lceil \tfrac{3n}2\rceil$. The present authors proved that for $k\geqslant 3$ and $\ell=1$, as well as for all $0.8k\leqslant \ell\leq k-1$, $\mathrm{sat}(n,k,\ell)=\Theta(n^{\ell})$. In this paper we prove two upper bounds which cover the remaining range of $\ell$. The first, quite technical one, restricted to $\ell\geqslant\frac{k+1}2$, implies in particular that for $\ell=\tfrac23k$ and $\ell=\tfrac34k$ we have $\mathrm{sat}(n,k,\ell)=O(n^{\ell+1})$. Our main result provides an upper bound $\mathrm{sat}(n,k,\ell)=O(n^{\frac{k+\ell}2})$ valid for all $k$ and $\ell$. In the smallest open case we improve it further to $\mathrm{sat}(n,4,2)=O(n^{\frac{14}5})$.
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