Non-Separating Planar Graphs

  • Hooman R. Dehkordi
  • Graham Farr


A graph $G$ is a non-separating planar graph if there is a drawing $D$ of $G$ on the plane such that (1) no two edges cross each other in $D$ and (2) for any cycle $C$ in $D$, any two vertices not in $C$ are on the same side of $C$ in $D$.

Non-separating planar graphs are closed under taking minors and are a subclass of planar graphs and a superclass of outerplanar graphs.

In this paper, we show that a graph is a non-separating planar graph if and only if it does not contain $K_1 \cup K_4$ or $K_1 \cup K_{2,3}$ or $K_{1,1,3}$ as a minor.

Furthermore, we provide a structural characterisation of this class of graphs. More specifically, we show that any maximal non-separating planar graph is either an outerplanar graph or a wheel or it is a graph obtained from the disjoint union of two triangles by adding three vertex-disjoint paths between the two triangles.

Lastly, to demonstrate an application of non-separating planar graphs, we use the characterisation of non-separating planar graphs to prove that there are maximal linkless graphs with $3n-3$ edges. Thus, maximal linkless graphs can have significantly fewer edges than maximum linkless graphs; Sachs exhibited linkless graphs with $n$ vertices and $4n-10$ edges (the maximum possible) in 1983.

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