Colored Unavoidable Patterns and Balanceable Graphs

  • Matt Bowen
  • Adriana Hansberg
  • Amanda Montejano
  • Alp Müyesser


We study a Turán-type problem on edge-colored complete graphs. We show that for any $r$ and $t$, any sufficiently large $r$-edge-colored complete graph on $n$ vertices with $\Omega(n^{2-1/tr^r})$ edges in each color contains a member from certain finite family $\mathcal{F}_t^r$ of $r$-edge-colored complete graphs. We conjecture that $\Omega(n^{2-1/t})$ edges in each color are sufficient to find a member from ${\mathcal{F}}_t^r$. A result of Girão and Narayanan confirms this conjecture when $r=2$.

Next, we study a related problem where the corresponding Turán threshold is linear. We call an edge-coloring of a path $P_{rk}$ balanced if each color appears $k$ times in the coloring. We show that any $3$-edge-coloring of a large complete graph with $kn+o(n)$ edges in each color contains a balanced $P_{3k}$. This is tight up to a constant factor of $2$. For more colors, the problem becomes surprisingly more delicate. Already for $r=7$, we show that even $n^{2-o(1)}$ edges from each color does not guarantee existence of a balanced $P_{7k}$.

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