Forcing faces in plane bipartite graphs

Zhongyuan Che, Zhibo Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Let Ω denote the class of connected plane bipartite graphs with no pendant edges. A finite face s of a graph G ∈ Ω is said to be a forcing face of G if the subgraph of G obtained by deleting all vertices of s together with their incident edges has exactly one perfect matching. This is a natural generalization of the concept of forcing hexagons in a hexagonal system introduced in Che and Chen [Forcing hexagons in hexagonal systems, MATCH Commun. Math. Comput. Chem. 56 (3) (2006) 649-668]. We prove that any connected plane bipartite graph with a forcing face is elementary. We also show that for any integers n and k with n ≥ 4 and n ≥ k ≥ 0, there exists a plane elementary bipartite graph such that exactly k of the n finite faces of G are forcing. We then give a shorter proof for a recent result that a connected cubic plane bipartite graph G has at least two disjoint M-resonant faces for any perfect matching M of G, which is a main theorem in the paper [S. Bau, M.A. Henning, Matching transformation graphs of cubic bipartite plane graphs, Discrete Math. 262 (2003) 27-36]. As a corollary, any connected cubic plane bipartite graph has no forcing faces. Using the tool of Z-transformation graphs developed by Zhang et al. [Z-transformation graphs of perfect matchings of hexagonal systems, Discrete Math. 72 (1988) 405-415; Plane elementary bipartite graphs, Discrete Appl. Math. 105 (2000) 291-311], we characterize the plane elementary bipartite graphs whose finite faces are all forcing. We also obtain a necessary and sufficient condition for a finite face in a plane elementary bipartite graph to be forcing, which enables us to investigate the relationship between the existence of a forcing edge and the existence of a forcing face in a plane elementary bipartite graph, and find out that the former implies the latter but not vice versa. Moreover, we characterize the plane bipartite graphs that can be turned to have all finite faces forcing by subdivisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2427-2439
Number of pages13
JournalDiscrete Mathematics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 28 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics

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