Ordered Unavoidable Sub-Structures in Matchings and Random Matchings

  • Andrzej Dudek
  • Jarosław Grytczuk
  • Andrzej Ruciński


An ordered matching of size $n$ is a graph on a linearly ordered vertex set $V$, $|V|=2n$, consisting of $n$ pairwise disjoint edges. There are three different ordered matchings of size two on $V=\{1,2,3,4\}$: an alignment $\{1,2\},\{3,4\}$,  a nesting $\{1,4\},\{2,3\}$, and a crossing $\{1,3\},\{2,4\}$. Accordingly, there are three basic homogeneous types of ordered matchings (with all pairs of edges arranged  in the same way) which we call, respectively, lines, stacks, and waves.   We prove an Erdős-Szekeres type result guaranteeing in every ordered matching of size $n$ the presence of one of the three basic sub-structures of a given size. In particular, one of them must be of size at least $n^{1/3}$. We also investigate the size of each of the three sub-structures in a random ordered matching. Additionally, the former result is generalized to $3$-uniform ordered matchings.   Another type of unavoidable patterns we study are twins, that is,  pairs of order-isomorphic, disjoint sub-matchings. By relating to a similar problem for permutations, we prove that the maximum size of twins that occur in every ordered matching of size $n$ is $O\left(n^{2/3}\right)$ and $\Omega\left(n^{3/5}\right)$. We conjecture that the upper bound is the correct order of magnitude  and  confirm it for almost all matchings. In fact, our results for twins are proved more generally for $r$-multiple twins, $r\ge2$. 
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