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Planarity and Higher Order


Shawn Cox
CS 594: Graph Theory
Gas Water Electric Problem

Three Rivals all want service from the

three utility services.
If any of the service lines cross, there
will be a fight between the rivals
Is it possible for the utilities to lay the
connections out so that no
confrontations arise?
Gas Water Electric Problem

Turn the problem into a graph theory

Rivals and Utilities are Vertices
Connections between them are Edges
Can we draw it without crossing?
Planarity - Definition
In a given drawing of a graph on a plane, we
can count the number of times that edges that
cross at non-vertex points.
We can only consider crossings of exactly two

# of crossings: 1 # of crossings: Undefined # of crossings: 3

Planarity - Definition
For any given graph, there any number of
representations, each with a possibly different
number of crossings.
The smallest such number is the crossing
number of a graph.
Planarity Definition
A graph G is said to be a planar graph
if it has crossing number 0.
Planarity Examples
Planarity Non-Examples
Not all graphs can be redrawn so that
they are planar.
The smallest non-planar graphs are K5
and K3,3.
Eulers Characteristic for Planar
V = # of vertices in the graph
E = # of edges in the graph
F = # of faces in the graph
Used to describe the shape of a graph
Eulers Characteristic
Only holds for planar graphs
Unable to determine faces if
intersecting edges are allowed
Disproving Planarity K5
K5 has 5 vertices and 10 edges.
If K5 was planar, it would have 7 faces.
A planar graph with n vertices has at
most 2/3 as many faces as it does
Why? Every edge is on exactly two faces,
and every face has at least 3 edges on its
Seven faces is one face too many.
Disproving Planarity K3,3
K3,3 has 6 vertices and 9 edges.
If K3,3 was planar, it would have 5 faces.
A planar graph with n vertices that has
no triangles has at most as many
faces as it does edges.
Similar to before, every edge is used twice,
and every face has at least 4 edges on its
Once again, five faces is one too many.
Generalizing Arguments
Finding a disproof for every graph?
Instead, consider subgraphs of the
If there is exists a subgraph of G that is
non-planar, then G is non-planar.
Alternatively, G is planar if all of its
subgraphs are planar.
Formalized Arguments
Kuratowskis Theorem 1930
Occasionally attributed to Lev Pontryagin
as well, a Soviet Mathematician that
claimed to have proven the theorem, but
never published a proof.
Wagners Theorem 1937
Kuratowskis Theorem
G is planar if and only if there is no
subgraph of G that is a subdivision of K5 or
Any such subgraph is called a Kuratowski
Kuratowskis Theorem
Wagners Theorem 1937
G is planar if and only if there is no
subgraph of G that is a minor of K5 or K3,3.
Published seven years following
Kurtowskis theorem
Equivalent to Kuratowskis proof, since
it is easy to convert the appropriate
minor into a subdivision and vice
Testing for Planarity
Number of Number Number of
Vertices of Graphs Planar
Tons of graphs, Graphs

and a lot of them 1 1 1

are planar. 2 2 2
3 4 4
4 11 11
5 34 33
6 156 142
Testing for Planarity
Path Addition Method
Originally published by Hopcroft and
Tarjan in 1974 for an O(n) algorithm
Vertex Addition Method
Published by Lempel, Even, and
Cederbaum in 1967 for a O(n2) algorithm
Improved by Even and Tarjan and then
Booth and Leuker to O(n)
Outperforms Path Addition.
Results of Planarity
Draw it without crossing lines
Draw the graph with only straight lines
(Farys Theorem)
Chromatic number of at least 4
Higher Order Analogies
Is the sphere different from the plane?
No. In fact the ability to draw a graph on
one immediately gives you a drawing on
the other.
What is different then?
The Torus provides a different space.
Certain graphs can be drawn with crossing
number 0 on a toroid, but not on a plane.
Any such graph on the toroid has at most
chromatic number 7 (Heawood Conjecture).
Genus 1 Embeddings
We can extend the notion of planarity to
higher orders.
If we put a graph G on a toroid, we say that it
is embedded on the toroid if it has crossing
number 0.
We can color any genus 1 embedding
with at most 7 colors.
The following is the canonical example of a 7
colorable toroidal embedding.
Open Problems
Any planar graph can be drawn with
straight lines only, but can it be done
with straight lines of integer lengths?
Can do done for cubic graphs, but not
known for the general case.
Homework Problem 1
Prove that the Heawood Graph (given
below) is non-planar.
Homework 2
Prove or Disprove: The following
graph is planar.
Homework 3
Prove or Disprove: The following
graph is planar.
Kuratowski, Kazimierz (1930), "Sur le problme des courbes
gauches en topologie", Fund. Math. (in French) 15: 271283.

Wagner, K. (1937), "ber eine Eigenschaft der ebenen

Komplexe", Math. Ann. 114: 570590,

Hopcroft, John; Tarjan, Robert E. (1974), "Efficient planarity

testing", Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery
21 (4): 549568, doi:10.1145/321850.321852.
Lempel, A.; Even, S.; Cederbaum, I. (1967), "An algorithm for
planarity testing of graphs", in Rosenstiehl, P., Theory of
Graphs, New York: Gordon and Breach, pp. 215232.
Even, Shimon; Tarjan, Robert E. (1976), "Computing an st-
numbering", Theoretical Computer Science 2 (3): 339344,

Boyer & Myrvold (2004), p. 243: Its implementation in LEDA

is slower than LEDA implementations of many other O(n)-
time planarity algorithms.

Fry, Istvn (1948), "On straight-line representation of planar

graphs", Acta Sci. Math. (Szeged) 11: 229233, MR 0026311.

Weisstein, Eric W. "Heawood Conjecture." From MathWorld--

A Wolfram Web Resource.