Improved Bounds for Weak Coloring Numbers

  • Gwenaël Joret
  • Piotr Micek


Weak coloring numbers generalize the notion of degeneracy of a graph. They were introduced by Kierstead & Yang in the context of games on graphs. Recently, several connections have been uncovered between weak coloring numbers and various parameters studied in graph minor theory and its generalizations. In this note, we show that for every fixed $k\geq1$, the maximum $r$-th weak coloring number of a graph with simple treewidth $k$ is $\Theta(r^{k-1}\log r)$. As a corollary, we improve the lower bound on the maximum $r$-th weak coloring number of planar graphs from $\Omega(r^2)$ to $\Omega(r^2\log r)$, and we obtain a tight bound of $\Theta(r\log r)$ for outerplanar graphs.

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