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Durham University

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Publication details

Blanché, A., Dabrowski, K.K., Johnson, M., Lozin, V.V., Paulusma, D. & Zamaraev, V. (2017), Clique-Width for Graph Classes Closed under Complementation, in Larsen, Kim G., Bodlaender, Hans L. & Raskin, Jean-Francois eds, LIPIcs–Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics 83: 42nd International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS 2017). Aalborg, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik, Dagstuhl, Germany, 73.

Author(s) from Durham


Clique-width is an important graph parameter due to its algorithmic and structural properties. A graph class is hereditary if it can be characterized by a (not necessarily finite) set H of forbidden induced subgraphs. We initiate a systematic study into the boundedness of clique-width of hereditary graph classes closed under complementation. First, we extend the known classification for the |H|=1 case by classifying the boundedness of clique-width for every set H of self-complementary graphs. We then completely settle the |H|=2 case. In particular, we determine one new class of (H1, complement of H1)-free graphs of bounded clique-width (as a side effect, this leaves only six classes of (H1, H2)-free graphs, for which it is not known whether their clique-width is bounded). Once we have obtained the classification of the |H|=2 case, we research the effect of forbidding self-complementary graphs on the boundedness of clique-width. Surprisingly, we show that for a set F of self-complementary graphs on at least five vertices, the classification of the boundedness of clique-width for ({H1, complement of H1} + F)-free graphs coincides with the one for the |H|=2 case if and only if F does not include the bull (the only non-empty self-complementary graphs on fewer than five vertices are P_1 and P_4, and P_4-free graphs have clique-width at most 2). Finally, we discuss the consequences of our results for COLOURING.