Even Subgraph Expansions for the Flow Polynomial of Planar Graphs with Maximum Degree at Most 4
As projections of links, 4-regular plane graphs are important in combinatorial knot theory. The flow polynomial of 4-regular plane graphs has a close relation with the two-variable Kauffman polynomial of links. F. Jaeger in 1991 provided even subgraph expansions for the flow polynomial of cubic plane graphs. Starting from and based on Jaeger's work, by introducing splitting systems of even subgraphs, we extend Jaeger's results from cubic plane graphs to plane graphs with maximum degree at most 4 including 4-regular plane graphs as special cases. Several consequences are derived and further work is discussed.