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You are on page 1of 2

Lecture Outline

April 14, 2010

A graph G is connected if there is a path in G between its every pair of vertices. A

graph H is a connected component(island) of G if (a) H is a subgraph of G, (b) H is

connected, and (c) H is maximal, i.e., adding any vertices to H will disconnect it. In short,

H is a connected component of G if H is a maximal subgraph of G that is connected.

Example 1. Prove that every graph with n vertices and m edges has at least n m

connected components.

Solution. We will prove this claim by doing induction on m.

Base Case: m = 0. A graph with n vertices and no edges has n connected components as

each vertex itself is a connected component. Hence the claim is true for m = 0.

Induction Hypothesis: Assume that for some k 0, every graph with n vertices and k edges

has at least n k connected components.

Induction Step: We want to prove that a graph, G, with n vertices and k + 1 edges has at

least n(k +1) = nk 1 connected components. Consider a subgraph G

of G obtained

by removing any arbitrary edge, say {u, v}, from G. The graph G

edges. By induction hypothesis, G

{u, v} to G

Case I: u and v belong to the same connected component of G

edge {u, v} to G

. Hence, in this

case the number of connected components of G is the same as the number of connected

components of G

CaseII: u and v belong to dierent connected components of G

connected components containing u and v become one connected component in G. All

other connected components in G

component than G

Example 2. Prove that every connected graph with n vertices has at least n 1 edges.

Solution. We will prove the contrapositive, i.e., a graph G with m n2 edges is discon-

nected. From the result of the previous problem, we know that the number of components

of G is at least

n m n (n 2) = 2

which means that G is disconnected. This proves the claim.

One could also have proved the above claim directly by observing that a connected graph

has exactly one connected component. Hence, 1 n m. Rearranging the terms gives us

m n 1.

2 Lecture Outline April 14, 2010

Trees

A graph with no cycles is acyclic. A tree is a connected acyclic graph. A vertex of degree

greater than 1 in a tree is called an internal vertex, otherwise it is called a leaf.

Example 3. Prove that every tree with at least two vertices has at least two leaves and

deleting a leaf from an n-vertex tree produces a tree with n 1 vertices.

Solution. A connected graph with at least two vertices has an edge. In an acyclic graph,

an endpoint of a maximal non-trivial path (a path that is not contained in a longer path)

has no neighbors other than its only neighbor on the path. Hence, the endpoints of such a

path are leaves.

Let v be a leaf of a tree T and let T

connecting two vertices other than v. Hence, for any two vertices u, w V (T

), every path

from u to w in T is also in T

. Hence T

a cycle, T

Example 4. For a n-vertex graph G, the following are equivalent and characterize trees

with n vertices.

(1) G is a tree.

(2) G is connected and has n 1 edges.

(3) G is minimally connected, i.e., G is connected but G {e} is disconnected

for every edge e G.

(4) G contains no cycle but G+ {x, y} does, for any two non-adjacent vertices

x, y G.

(5) Any two vertices of G are linked by a unique path in G.

Solution. (1 2). We can prove this by induction on n. The property is clearly true for

n = 1 as G has 0 edges. Assume that any tree with k vertices, for some k 0, has k 1

edges. We want to prove that a tree G with k + 1 vertices has k edges. From the example

we did in last class we know that G has a leaf, say v, and that G

= G{v} is connected.

By induction hypothesis, G

(2 3). Note that G {e} has n vertices and n 2 edges. We know that such a graph

has at least 2 connected components and hence is disconnected.

(3 4). We are assuming that removing any edge in G disconnects G. If G contains a

cycle then removing any edge, say {u, v}, that is part of the cycle does not disconnect G as

any path that uses {u, v} can now use the alternate route from u to v on the cycle. Since

G is connected there is a path from x to y in G. Let G

= G+{x, y}. G

consists of a cycle

formed by the edge {x, y} and the path from x to y in G.

We will nish this proof in the next lecture.

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