## Finding Paths between Graph Colourings: PSPACE-completeness and Superpolynomial Distances

 dc.contributor.author Bonsma, Paul dc.contributor.author Cereceda, Luis dc.date.accessioned 2021-12-17T10:07:31Z dc.date.available 2021-12-17T10:07:31Z dc.date.issued 2007 dc.description.abstract Suppose we are given a graph G together with two proper vertex k-colourings of G, α and β. How easily can we decide whether it is possible to transform α into β by recolouring vertices of G one at a time, making sure we always have a proper k-colouring of G? This decision problem is trivial for k=2, and decidable in polynomial time for k=3. Here we prove it is PSPACE-complete for all k >= 4. In particular, we prove that the problem remains PSPACE-complete for bipartite graphs, as well as for: (i) planar graphs and 4 <= k <= 6, and (ii) bipartite planar graphs and k=4. Moreover, the values of k in (i) and (ii) are tight, in the sense that for larger values of k, it is always possible to recolour α to β. We also exhibit, for every k >= 4, a class of graphs {GN,k:N>0}, together with two k-colourings for each GN,k, such that the minimum number of recolouring steps required to transform the first colouring into the second is superpolynomial in the size of the graph: the minimum number of steps is Ω(2N), whereas the size of GN is O(N2). This is in stark contrast to the k=3 case, where it is known that the minimum number of recolouring steps is at most quadratic in the number of vertices. We also show that a class of bipartite graphs can be constructed with this property, and that: (i) for 4 <= k <= 6 planar graphs and (ii) for k=4 bipartite planar graphs can be constructed with this property. This provides a remarkable correspondence between the tractability of the problem and its underlying structure. en dc.identifier.issn 2197-8085 dc.identifier.uri https://depositonce.tu-berlin.de/handle/11303/15620 dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.14279/depositonce-14393 dc.language.iso en en dc.rights.uri http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/ en dc.subject.ddc 510 Mathematik en dc.subject.other vertex recolouring en dc.subject.other colour graph en dc.subject.other PSPACE-completeness en dc.subject.other superpolynomial distance en dc.title Finding Paths between Graph Colourings: PSPACE-completeness and Superpolynomial Distances en dc.type Research Paper en dc.type.version submittedVersion en tub.accessrights.dnb free en tub.affiliation Fak. 2 Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften>Inst. Mathematik de tub.affiliation.faculty Fak. 2 Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften de tub.affiliation.institute Inst. Mathematik de tub.publisher.universityorinstitution Technische Universität Berlin en tub.series.issuenumber 2007, 21 en tub.series.name Preprint-Reihe des Instituts für Mathematik, Technische Universität Berlin en
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