Coloring Problems on Bipartite Graphs of Small Diameter

  • Victor A. Campos
  • Guilherme C.M. Gomes
  • Allen Ibiapina
  • Raul Lopes
  • Ignasi Sau
  • Ana Silva


We investigate a number of coloring problems restricted to bipartite graphs with bounded diameter. First, we investigate the $k$-List Coloring, $k$-Coloring, and $k$-Precoloring Extension problems on bipartite graphs with diameter at most $d$, proving $\textsf{NP}$-completeness in most cases, and leaving open only the List $3$-Coloring and $3$-Precoloring Extension problems when $d=3$.

Some of these results are obtained $\textsc{through}$ a proof that the Surjective $C_6$-Homomorphism problem is $\textsf{NP}$-complete on bipartite graphs with diameter at most four. Although the latter result has been already proved [Vikas, 2017], we present ours as an alternative simpler one. As a byproduct, we also get that $3$-Biclique Partition is $\textsf{NP}$-complete. An attempt to prove this result was presented in [Fleischner, Mujuni, Paulusma, and Szeider, 2009], but there was a flaw in their proof, which we identify and discuss here.

Finally, we prove that the $3$-Fall Coloring problem is $\textsf{NP}$-complete on bipartite graphs with diameter at most four, and prove that $\textsf{NP}$-completeness for diameter three would also imply $\textsf{NP}$-completeness of $3$-Precoloring Extension on diameter three, thus closing the previously mentioned open cases. This would also answer a question posed in [Kratochvíl, Tuza, and Voigt, 2002].

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