On Automorphisms of the Double Cover of a Circulant Graph

  • Ademir Hujdurović
  • Đorđe Mitrović
  • Dave Witte Morris


A graph $X$ is said to be unstable if the direct product $X \times K_2$ (also called the canonical double cover of $X$) has automorphisms that do not come from automorphisms of its factors $X$ and $K_2$. It is nontrivially unstable if it is unstable, connected, and nonbipartite, and no two distinct vertices of $X$ have exactly the same neighbors.

We find three new conditions that each imply a circulant graph is unstable. (These yield infinite families of nontrivially unstable circulant graphs that were not previously known.) We also find all of the nontrivially unstable circulant graphs of order $2p$, where $p$ is any prime number.

Our results imply that there does not exist a nontrivially unstable circulant graph of order $n$ if and only if either $n$ is odd, or $n < 8$, or $n = 2p$, for some prime number $p$ that is congruent to $3$ modulo $4$.

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