# Nonseparable Graphs

March 18, 2010

1

Cut Vertices
• A cut vertex of graph G is a vertex v such that when the vertex v and the edges incident with v are removed, the number of connected components are increased, i.e., c(G − v) > c(G). • A connected graph is said to be 2-connected if it is a single vertex, or a single loop, or it has at least two vertices and any two vertices lie on a common cycle.

Theorem 1.1. Let G be a connected graph G with at least three vertices. Then G has no cut vertex if and only if any two distinct vertices are connected by two internally disjoint paths. Proof. We ﬁrst prove the suﬃciency. Since any two vertices of G are connected by two internally disjoint paths, then for each vertex v of G, any two vertices of G − v are connected by at least one path, i.e., c(G − v) = c(G). Hence G has no cut vertex. Next we prove the necessity. Let u, v be two distinct vertices of G. To show that there are internally disjoint paths between u and v, we apply induction on the distance d(u, v) between u and v. When d(u, v) = 1, i.e., u, v are end-vertices of an edge e in G. Since both u and v are not cut vertices, the edge e is not a cut edge. So e is contained in a cycle C. Thus uev and C\e are two internally disjoint paths between u and v. Now assume that any two vertices having distance less than d are connected by two internally disjoint paths, where d ≥ 2. Let d(u, v) = d. Let P := v0 e1 v1 · · · vd−1 ed vd be a path from u = v0 to v = vd . Since d(v0 , vd−1 ) = d−1, there are two internally disjoint paths P1 and P2 from v0 to vd−1 in G. Since G has no cut vertex, the subgraph G − vd−1 is connected. Then there is a uv-path P3 in G − vd−1 . Let w be the last vertex of P3 that meets P1 ∪ P2 . Without loss of generality, we may assume that w lies in P1 . Write P1 = P1 Q1 , P3 = P3 Q3 , where P1 is the sub-path of P from v0 to w, and Q3 is the sub-path of P3 from w to vd ; see Figure below.

P’ 1 v0 v1 v2 P2 P’ 3

w

Q’ 3 Q’ 1 vd−1 ed vd

...

Then P := P1 Q3 and Q := P2 ed vd are two internally disjoint paths from u to v.

2

Separation and Blocks
• A separation of a connected graph G is a decomposition of G into two connected subgraphs G1 , G2 that have exactly one vertex in common, and no one is contained in another. This common vertex is called a separating vertex of G. • A cut vertex is a separating vertex, and a separating vertex is not necessarily a cut vertex. 1

. 2). then Bi have no loops.2 (Block-Tree Decomposition). B1 . this is a contradiction. In fact. e2 is a loop. Note that B − v1 = (B1 − v1 ) ∪ (B2 − v1 ). We prove (c). then G contains no loops. . This means that there is a cycle containing both edges e1 . G1 has an edge at v1 . This is contradict to the maximality of B1 . and S the set of separating vertices. • A nonseparable graph is either a single vertex. Then G must be separated at the vertex w into two connected subgraphs G1 . G can be decomposed into two connected subgraphs G1 . G2 with vi ∈ V (Gi ). • A block of a graph is a maximal nonseparable subgraph. where v belongs to B. vk in common and k ≥ 2. . or a loop. Proof. . Let G be a connected graph. suppose B is separated at v into G1 . B}. then by Theorem 1. Let vi be another end-vertex of ei (i = 1. It is clear that there is no v1 v2 -path in G − v. then either G1 has an edge at v1 or G2 has an edge at v2 . Then G can be decomposed into blocks such that (a) Any two blocks of G have at most one vertex in common.e. Thus ei are non-loops. Let G be a connected graph.1. (a) Suppose there are two distinct blocks B1 . “⇒”: If G is a loop. • Let B denote the set of blocks of a connected graph G. v2 . . no one is contained in another and have exactly one vertex v in common. Then G is nonseparable if and only if any two edges lie on a common cycle. e2 . Likewise. let e1 .• A connected graph G is said to be separable if it has at least one separating vertex. then G has no loops. B cannot be separated at vi . B such that V (Bi ) ∩ V (Bi+1 ) = ∅ (0 ≤ i ≤ ). where G +1 = G0 . • A loop is a nonseparable graph. it is clear that there is no cycle containing both e1 . Subdivide ei by introducing a new vertex vi on ei to obtain a new graph G (i = 1. e2 . Let e be an edge with end-vertices v1 . B2 − v1 are connected and have the vertex v2 in common. “⇐”: Suppose G is separable. Let ei be edges of Gi (i = 1. suppose G is separable. 2). Then both G1 and G2 contain edges of B1 . Hence there is no cycle in G that contains both e1 . Therefore G can be separated at v1 into G1 and G2 ∪ e ∪ v1 . If one of e1 . . Consider the subgraph B := i=0 Bi . Consider the subgraph B := B1 ∪ B2 .1. and whose edges are the pairs {v. • Any vertex of a block of G other than the separating vertex is called an internal vertex of the block. • The blocks of G corresponding to the leaves of the block tree B(G) are called end blocks. Suppose there is a sequence B0 . Thus G\e has two connected components G1 . the edge e is a cut edge of G. e2 be two edges of G. Thus B1 is separated at v into B1 ∩ G1 and B2 ∩ G2 . B1 . Now. Proof. there are two internally disjoint v1 v2 -paths. e2 . there is no blocks B0 . In fact. We shall see that B cannot be separated at a vertex v other than vi . B}. Let B(G) denote the bipartite graph whose vertex set has the bipartition {S. (b) and (c) are equivalent.e. then nothing is to be proved. We claim that G is also nonseparable. B of blocks such that V (Bi ) ∩ V (Bi+1 ) = {vi }. 2) incident with v. . then B cannot be separated at v1 . If a graph G is nonseparable and is not a single loop. (b) Every cycle is contained in a block of G. Then G is nonseparable. say. Theorem 2. 2) other than v respectively.. Since Nonseparable graphs have no cut vertices. . It is clear that B is connected and cannot be separated at any vertex other than vi . . where B +1 = B0 . This is contradict to the maximality of Bi . We may assume that G has at least two edges. Theorem 2. So B is nonseparable. This is a contradiction.. or a 2-connected graph. (c) There is no block cycle. We may assume that vi belongs to Gi (i = 1. Then w is a cut vertex of G . Since Bi are not single loops. i. . G2 . So B is a block containing both B1 and B2 . this is a contradiction. Since G has at least two edges. subsequently. Since B1 − v1 . . The resulted graph G is also nonseparable and has at least three vertices. i. called the block tree of G. Then B(G) is a tree. G2 and v ∈ V (B1 ). B2 having k vertices v1 . If G is not a loop. B cannot be separated at the vertices vi . Subdivide e into two edges by introducing a new vertex w on e to obtain a new graph G . 0 ≤ i ≤ . 2 . 0 ≤ i ≤ . or a link edge. v2 . otherwise it is said to be nonseparable. Likewise. . B2 . G2 .

then G1 has an ear in G. then G must have an edge not in H. . there is a (v. • A sequence G0 .1. Proof. this is a contradiction. Since Gi Gi+1 and G is ﬁnite. Let H be a nontrivial subgraph of a nonseparable graph G. then G0 is a proper subgraph of G. is nonempty. If H is not a spanning subgraph. and (iii) Gk = G. Continue this procedure. Proof. Applying Theorem 2. Then H is neither a single vertex nor a loop. A digraph D is strong if and only if for any two vertices u. If G is neither a single vertex nor a link edge.4. then every edge e ∈ E(G) − E(H) is a link edge. It is clear that H ∪ P cannot be separated at any vertex of H. the initial and terminal vertices of P lie in H. the vertices u.3.2. then G0 has an ear P0 in G by Theorem 3. . then V (H) = V (G) and E(G) − E(H) = ∅. . X c ).2. consisitng of edges whose orientations have tails in X and heads in X c . but has an ear in G. is an ear of H in G. P H−u H Since G is nonseparable. then G\e is connected. Proposition 3. H − u)-path P in G\e. G1 . . and internal vertices of P lie outside H. 0 ≤ i ≤ k − 1. Theorem 3. Thus G contains a cycle G0 with at least two vertices. Since H is a nontrivial subgraph. then G has an ear decomposition.1. since G is connected. G1 . Proposition 3.. and let P be an ear of H in G. where Pi is an ear of Gi in G. there is an edge e with an end-vertex u ∈ V (H) and an end-vertex v ∈ V (H). then H is not a single vertex and cannot be G. Gk of nonseparable subgraphs of G such that (i) G0 is a cycle. the procedure must end up with Gk = G at some step k. . thus G is separated at v into H and G\e. Thus Q := ueP is an ear of H in G. e u v Proposition 3. 3 . v are strongly connected. (ii) Gi+1 = Gi ∪ Pi . If H is a spanning subgraph of G. Since G is neither a single vertex nor a link edge. • An ear of a subgraph H of a graph G is a path P in G such that P is not closed. .e.1. any two edges of G lie on a common cycle. Applying Proposition 3. Since G0 is neither a single vertex nor a link edge. and subsequently. i. Let G be a nonseparable graph. Similarly. • An ear decomposition of a nonseparable graph G is a nested sequence G0 .3 Ear Decomposition • Every nonseparable graph other than a single vertex or a link edge contains a cycle. If G0 = G. . Let H be a nonseparable subgraph of a graph G. subsequently. Then H ∪ P is nonseparable. then G contains at least two edges. It is also clear that H ∪ P cannot be separated at any internal vertex of P . if G1 is a proper subgraph of G. there is a directed path from u to v and a directed path from v to u. Recall that a digraph D is said to be strongly connected (or just strong) if for any proper subset X the set (X. V (D). Proof. G1 := G0 ∪ P0 is nonseparable. where 0 ≤ i ≤ k − 1. If H is a loop e at a vertex v. see Figure below. v of D. Since H is neither a single vertex nor a loop. we obtain nonseparable subgraphs Gi and its ears Pi in G such that Gi+1 := Gi ∪ Pi . Gk of graphs is said to be nested if Gi ⊂ Gi+1 . .

Proof. Theorem 3. and P2 := vj ej+1 vj+1 · · · el vl P0 e1 v1 · · · ei−1 vi is a directed from v to u in H ∪ P . A directed ear of H in D is a directed path P in D whose distinct initial and terminal vertices lie in H and internal vertices lie outside H. If H is strongly connected and P is a directed path. Proof. vi−1 ). having less number of reversing edges comparing with the walk P . vi is neither a source nor a sink. Let P be an ear of a subgraph H in a digraph D. 1 ≤ i ≤ − 1. v be the ﬁrst and last vertices in Q such that u. Proposition 3. (ei . Proposition 4. For necessity. Now orient edges of G0 and Pi so that G0 becomes a directed cycle and Pi becomes a directed path. For two vertices u.6.3. let P0 be a directed path from vl to v0 in H. Vu c ) c be an edge with an end-vertex w1 ∈ Vu and an end-vertex w2 ∈ Vu . So H ∪ P is strongly connected. vi )εW (ei+1 . Let ei be an edge whose orientation is from vi to vi−1 . A direction εW of W with εW (e1 . v ∈ H respectively. Let H be a nontrivial strong subdigraph of a nonseparable strong digraph D. and let P be a directed path from u to w1 . v ∈ H ∪ P . for D is strong. If Vu = V (D). Proposition 3. Proof. u = ui and v = vj with i < j. If G is a single vertex or a loop.1. say. this is contradict to the choice of P . we may assume that G is nonseparable and has no cut edges. v ∈ H. since H is strongly connected. then 4 . this is contradict to that there is no directed path from u to w2 . A connected digraph is strong if and only if each of its block is strong. . Then one of the vertices vi−1 and vi is outside H. • A direction of a walk W = v0 e1 v1 · · · e v is a function εW on the pairs (ei . Trivial. Hence G = Gk is strongly connected.7. Vu c ) is nonempty. vi )εP (ei+1 . v0 ) = 1 is usually called a positive direction of W . having no vertices repeating.1. . Among these ears we choose an ear P having minimal number of reversing edges. then H ∪ P is also strongly connected. . G0 is strongly connected. and let P2 be the subpath of P from v to vi . we see that all Gi+1 = Gi ∪ Pi are strongly connected. Vv = V (D). Vu = ∅. vk ∈ H.5. since we allow directed path of length zero. It suﬃces to show that each block of G has a strong orientation. v0 ) = 1 is usually called a positive direction of P . vi ) = −1. G has an ear decomposition (G0 . then H has ears in D by Proposition 3. Then H has a directed ear in D. We claim that such an ear P is actually a directed ear of H in D. Let e ∈ (Vu . having less number of reversing edges comparing with P . Gk ). then either P or P −1 is a directed ear for H. Let P = v0 e1 v1 · · · ek vk . where Pi is an ear of Gi in G and Gi+1 = Gi ∪ Pi . there is a directed path P from vi−1 to vi in D. Note that G cannot be a link edge. Then for any vertex w ∈ Vu c there is no directed path from u to w . Without loss of generality. Then P1 := vi ei+1 vi+1 · · · ej vj is a directed path from u to v. . Then Q is an ear of H in D. 4 Ear Decomposition of Digraphs • Let D = (G. except v0 . We must have k ≥ 2.. If k = 1. Suppose P is not a directed path. Since D is strong. If P ∩ H = ∅. analogously. If u. 1 ≤ i ≤ l − 1. Then Q := v0 e1 v1 · · · ei−1 P ei+1 vi+1 · · · ek vk is a walk from v0 to vk . Let Q be a path followed the walk Q from v0 to vk . • A direction of a path P = v0 e1 v1 · · · e v is an orientation εP on P such that εP (ei . applying Theorem 3. If P ∩ H = ∅.e. This means that u. if u. Then Q := P ew2 is a directed path from u to w2 . If u = v. 0 ≤ i ≤ k − 1. Applying Lemma 3. A direction εP of P with εP (e1 . Since D is nonseparable and H is a nontrivial subgraph of D. i. let Vu be the set of all vertices w such that there exists a directed path from u to w in D. then (Vu . it is trivial that G can be oriented to be strongly connected. Every connected graph G without cut edges has a strong orientation. then Q is disjoint from H. Initially. Proof. Hence Vu = V (D). vi ) = −1. nothing is to be proved. vi ) (1 ≤ i ≤ l) such that εW (ei . Let P = v0 e1 v1 · · · el vl be directed from v0 to vl . let u. The suﬃciency is trivial. ε) be a digraph and H a subdigraph of D. Clearly. v are strongly connected. v ∈ P . let P1 be the subpath of P from vi−1 to u. G1 .Proof.6.

6.3. Then by Proposition 3.1. Dk ) of nonseparable strong subdigraphs of D such that (i) D0 is a directed cycle. where Pi is a directed ear of Di in D. then D contains at least two vertices u. Theorem 4. see the left Figure below. If D is separable. Proof. Then W := P Q−1 is a closed directed walk containing both u. By Theorem 4. for each edge of D is contained in a fundamental directed cycle. D0 has a directed ear P0 in D. If D1 \e0 contains no directed cycles. then each of its block is strongly connected.Q := P2 ei P1 is a directed ear of H in D. then the walk Q2 := P2 ei+1 vi+1 · · · ek vk contains a directed ear of H in D. Dk ) of strongly connected nonseparable subdigraphs of D such that Di+1 = Di ∪i . then every component of D must be strongly connected. .2. D1 . If D1 \e0 contains a directed cycle. we obtain a nested sequence (D0 . Thus D\S1 contains no directed cycles. set S1 := S0 . then the directed cycle must contain the path P0 . Choose an edge e0 from D0 and set S0 := {e0 }. • A feedback set S of a digraph D is said to be minimal if for each edge e ∈ S the subdigraph D\S + e contains at least one directed cycle. set Si := Si−1 . v. D0 is strongly connected and non separable. we have a coherent feedback set S = Sk for D. . where D0 is a directed cycle. • A minimal feedback set S of a digraph D is said to be coherent if every edge of D is contained in some fundamental directed cycle of D with respect to S. .2 and Proposition 3. Then Di \Si contains no directed cycles.4. choose an edge e1 from P0 and set S1 := S0 ∪ e1 . having less number of reversing edges comapring with P . 5 . Dk ). It is obviously true if D is a directed loop. Proposition 4. strong digraph D has a directed ear decomposition. This is a directed ear decomposition of D. . W contains a directed cycle D0 that contains both u. then the directed cycle must contain the whole path Pi−1 . having less number of reversing edges comparing with P . and Dk = D. Finally. v. In general. D1 . . Every nontrivial. . and Dk = D. Every strongly connected digraph D admits a coherent feedback set. . If Di \Si−1 contains a directed cycle. Of course. see the right Figure below. Theorem 4. 0 ≤ i ≤ k − 1. D has a directed ear decomposition (D0 . choose an edge ei from Pi−1 and set Si := Si−1 ∪ ei . 0 ≤ i ≤ k − 1. where Pi is a directed ear of Di in D. There is a directed path P from u to v and a directed path Q from v to u. . u H P’ v0 vl vi −1 P ei vi P’ v0 u v H vl P’ vi −1 P ei vi v P’ A directed ear decomposition of a nonseparable strong digraph D is nested sequence (D0 . • If a digraph D admits a coherent feedback set. and we may consider each of its blocks. Continue this procedure. . 0 ≤ i ≤ k − 1. Every strong digraph D has a strong spanning subgraph of at most 2|V (D)| − 2 edges. we may assume that D is nonseparable. . and is called a fundamental directed cycle of D with respect to S. if Di \Si−1 contains no directed cycles. So without loss of generality. v. we have two cases: (i) u = v0 . nonseparable. D1 := D0 ∪ P0 is strongly connected and nonseparable. If D is not a directed loop. • A feedback set of a digraph D is an edge subset S of D such that D\S contains no directed cycles. Di+1 = Di ∪ Pi . Clearly. D1 . then the walk Q1 := v0 e1 v1 · · · vi−2 ei−1 P1 contains an ear of H in D. all these are contradict to the choice of P . (ii) Di+1 = Di ∪ Pi . . (ii) u = vk . If u = v. Pi is a directed ear of Di in D. Each such directed cycle intersects S at the only edge e. By Proposition 4.2. and (iii) Dk = D. . Proof.

Thus k−1 k−1 |E(H)| = |E(D0 )| + i=0 |E(Pi )| = |V (D0 )| + i=0 |V (Pi )| − 1 = |V (H)| + k ≤ 2|V (H)| − 2. D1 . where D0 is a directed cycle. . Di+1 = Di ∪ Pi . Since each ear contains at least one internal vertex and |V (D)| ≥ 2. Dk ) of H. . then |E(D0 )| = |V (D0 )|. Consider a directed ear decomposition of B. . it is clearly true. and a directed ear decomposition (D0 . so we may assume that D contains no loops. |E(Pi )| = |V (Pi )| − 1. Pi is a directed ear of length at least two. we see that k ≤ |V (H)| − |V (D0 )| ≤ |V (H)| − 2. Since D0 is a cycle and Pi are paths.Proof. 6 . 0 ≤ i ≤ k − 1. Since each block B has a strong spanning subdigraph H and |E(H)| ≤ 2|V (H)| − 2. Delete all loops of D if necessary. then each block B of D is strong. Delete from B the edges in the directed ears of length one. and Dk = H. Now the union of the strong subdigraphs H (one for each block B of D) is a strong spanning subdigraph of D. . we obtain a strong spanning subdigraph H of B. it follows that the union H H has the number of edges: E H = H |E(H)| ≤ H 2|V (H)| − 2 = 2 H |V (H)| − 1 = 2|V (D)| − 2. If D is a single vertex. If D is not a single vertex.