Majority Colorings of Sparse Digraphs

  • Michael Anastos
  • Ander Lamaison
  • Raphael Steiner
  • Tibor Szabó


A majority coloring of a directed graph is a vertex-coloring in which every vertex has the same color as at most half of its out-neighbors. Kreutzer, Oum, Seymour, van der Zypen and Wood proved that every digraph has a majority $4$-coloring and conjectured that every digraph admits a majority $3$-coloring. They observed that the Local Lemma implies the conjecture for digraphs of large enough minimum out-degree if, crucially, the maximum in-degree is bounded by a(n exponential) function of the minimum out-degree.

Our goal in this paper is to develop alternative methods that allow the verification of the conjecture for natural, broad digraph classes, without any restriction on the in-degrees. Among others, we prove the conjecture 1) for digraphs with chromatic number at most $6$ or dichromatic number at most $3$, and thus for all planar digraphs; and 2) for digraphs with maximum out-degree at most $4$. The benchmark case of $r$-regular digraphs remains open for $r \in [5,143]$.

Our inductive proofs depend on loaded inductive statements about precoloring extensions of list-colorings. This approach also gives rise to stronger conclusions, involving the choosability version of majority coloring.

We also give further evidence towards the existence of majority-$3$-colorings by showing that every digraph has a fractional majority 3.9602-coloring. Moreover we show that every digraph with large enough minimum out-degree has a fractional majority $(2+\varepsilon)$-coloring.

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