Shannon Capacity and the Categorical Product

  • Gábor Simonyi


Shannon OR-capacity $C_{\rm OR}(G)$ of a graph $G$, that is the traditionally more often used Shannon AND-capacity of the complementary graph, is a homomorphism monotone graph parameter therefore $C_{\rm OR}(F\times G)\leqslant\min\{C_{\rm OR}(F),C_{\rm OR}(G)\}$ holds for every pair of graphs, where $F\times G$ is the categorical product of graphs $F$ and $G$. Here we initiate the study of the question when could we expect equality in this inequality. Using a strong recent result of Zuiddam, we show that if this "Hedetniemi-type" equality is not satisfied for some pair of graphs then the analogous equality is also not satisfied for this graph pair by some other graph invariant that has a much "nicer" behavior concerning some different graph operations. In particular, unlike Shannon OR-capacity or the chromatic number, this other invariant is both multiplicative under the OR-product and additive under the join operation, while it is also nondecreasing along graph homomorphisms. We also present a natural lower bound on $C_{\rm OR}(F\times G)$ and elaborate on the question of how to find graph pairs for which it is known to be strictly less than the upper bound $\min\{C_{\rm OR}(F),C_{\rm OR}(G)\}$. We present such graph pairs using the properties of Paley graphs.

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