Fractional Decompositions and the Smallest-eigenvalue Separation
A new method is introduced for bounding the separation between the value of $-k$ and the smallest eigenvalue of a non-bipartite $k$-regular graph. The method is based on fractional decompositions of graphs. As a consequence we obtain a very short proof of a generalization and strengthening of a recent result of Qiao, Jing, and Koolen [Electronic J. Combin. 26(2) (2019), #P2.41] about the smallest eigenvalue of non-bipartite distance-regular graphs.