Partitioning the Power Set of $[n]$ into $C_k$-free parts

  • Eben Blaisdell
  • András Gyárfás
  • Robert A. Krueger
  • Ronen Wdowinski


We show that for $n \geq 3, n\ne 5$, in any partition of $\mathcal{P}(n)$, the set of all subsets of $[n]=\{1,2,\dots,n\}$, into $2^{n-2}-1$ parts, some part must contain a triangle — three different subsets $A,B,C\subseteq [n]$ such that $A\cap B,A\cap C,B\cap C$ have distinct representatives. This is sharp, since by placing two complementary pairs of sets into each partition class, we have a partition into $2^{n-2}$ triangle-free parts.  We also address a more general Ramsey-type problem: for a given graph $G$, find (estimate) $f(n,G)$, the smallest number of colors needed for a coloring of $\mathcal{P}(n)$, such that no color class contains a Berge-$G$ subhypergraph. We give an upper bound for $f(n,G)$ for any connected graph $G$ which is asymptotically sharp when $G$ is a cycle, path, or star. Additional bounds are given when $G$ is a $4$-cycle and when $G$ is a claw.

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