Paths vs. Stars in the Local Profile of Trees

  • Éva Czabarka
  • László Székely
  • Stephan Wagner
Keywords: Trees, Subtrees, Local profile, Paths, Stars


The aim of this paper is to provide an affirmative answer to a recent question by Bubeck and Linial on the local profile of trees. For a tree $T$, let $p^{(k)}_1(T)$ be the proportion of paths among all $k$-vertex subtrees (induced connected subgraphs) of $T$, and let $p^{(k)}_2(T)$ be the proportion of stars. Our main theorem states: if $p^{(k)}_1(T_n) \to 0$ for a sequence of trees $T_1,T_2,\ldots$ whose size tends to infinity, then $p^{(k)}_2(T_n) \to 1$. Both are also shown to be equivalent to the statement that the number of $k$-vertex subtrees grows superlinearly and the statement that the $(k-1)$th degree moment grows superlinearly.
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