Optimal packings of bounded degree trees

Research paper by Felix Joos, Jaehoon Kim, Daniela Kühn, Deryk Osthus

Indexed on: 13 Jun '16Published on: 13 Jun '16Published in: Mathematics - Combinatorics


We prove that if $T_1,\dots, T_n$ is a sequence of bounded degree trees so that $T_i$ has $i$ vertices, then $K_n$ has a decomposition into $T_1,\dots, T_n$. This shows that the tree packing conjecture of Gy\'arf\'as and Lehel from 1976 holds for all bounded degree trees (in fact, we can allow the first $o(n)$ trees to have arbitrary degrees). Similarly, we show that Ringel's conjecture from 1963 holds for all bounded degree trees. We deduce these results from a more general theorem, which yields decompositions of dense quasi-random graphs into suitable families of bounded degree graphs. Our proofs involve Szemer\'{e}di's regularity lemma, results on Hamilton decompositions of robust expanders, random walks, iterative absorption as well as a recent blow-up lemma for approximate decompositions.