Expected Chromatic Number of Random Subgraphs

Research paper by Ross Berkowitz, Pat Devlin, Catherine Lee, Henry Reichard, David Townley

Indexed on: 05 Nov '18Published on: 05 Nov '18Published in: arXiv - Mathematics - Combinatorics


Given a graph $G$ and $p \in [0,1]$, let $G_p$ denote the random subgraph of $G$ obtained by keeping each edge independently with probability $p$. Alon, Krivelevich, and Sudokov proved $\mathbb{E} [\chi(G_p)] \geq C_p \frac{\chi(G)}{\log |V(G)|}$, and Bukh conjectured an improvement of $\mathbb{E}[\chi(G_p)] \geq C_p \frac{\chi(G)}{\log \chi(G)}$. We prove a new spectral lower bound on $\mathbb{E}[\chi(G_p)]$, as progress towards Bukh's conjecture. We also propose the stronger conjecture that for any fixed $p \leq 1/2$, among all graphs of fixed chromatic number, $\mathbb{E}[\chi(G_p)]$ is minimized by the complete graph. We prove this stronger conjecture when $G$ is planar or $\chi(G) < 4$. We also consider weaker lower bounds on $\mathbb{E}[\chi(G_p)]$ proposed in a recent paper by Shinkar; we answer two open questions of Shinkar negatively and propose a possible refinement of one of them.