TY - JOUR

T1 - Matching structure of symmetric bipartite graphs and a generalization of Pólya's problem

AU - Kakimura, Naonori

N1 - Funding Information:
The author is very obliged to Satoru Iwata for helpful suggestions and valuable comments on the manuscript. This work is partially supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research and by Global COE Program “The research and training center for new development in mathematics” from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

PY - 2010/11

Y1 - 2010/11

N2 - A bipartite graph is said to be symmetric if it has symmetry of reflecting two vertex sets. This paper investigates matching structure of symmetric bipartite graphs. We first apply the Dulmage-Mendelsohn decomposition to a symmetric bipartite graph. The resulting components, which are matching-covered, turn out to have symmetry. We then decompose a matching-covered bipartite graph via an ear decomposition, which is a sequence of subgraphs obtained by adding an odd-length path repeatedly. We show that, if a matching-covered bipartite graph is symmetric, an ear decomposition can retain symmetry by adding no more than two paths. As an application of these decompositions to combinatorial matrix theory, we present a natural generalization of Pólya's problem. We introduce the problem of deciding whether a rectangular {0,1}-matrix has a signing that is totally sign-nonsingular or not, where a rectangular matrix is totally sign-nonsingular if the sign of the determinant of each submatrix with the entire row set is uniquely determined by the signs of the nonzero entries. We show that this problem can be solved in polynomial time with the aid of the matching structure of symmetric bipartite graphs. In addition, we provide a characterization of this problem in terms of excluded minors.

AB - A bipartite graph is said to be symmetric if it has symmetry of reflecting two vertex sets. This paper investigates matching structure of symmetric bipartite graphs. We first apply the Dulmage-Mendelsohn decomposition to a symmetric bipartite graph. The resulting components, which are matching-covered, turn out to have symmetry. We then decompose a matching-covered bipartite graph via an ear decomposition, which is a sequence of subgraphs obtained by adding an odd-length path repeatedly. We show that, if a matching-covered bipartite graph is symmetric, an ear decomposition can retain symmetry by adding no more than two paths. As an application of these decompositions to combinatorial matrix theory, we present a natural generalization of Pólya's problem. We introduce the problem of deciding whether a rectangular {0,1}-matrix has a signing that is totally sign-nonsingular or not, where a rectangular matrix is totally sign-nonsingular if the sign of the determinant of each submatrix with the entire row set is uniquely determined by the signs of the nonzero entries. We show that this problem can be solved in polynomial time with the aid of the matching structure of symmetric bipartite graphs. In addition, we provide a characterization of this problem in terms of excluded minors.

KW - Combinatorial matrix theory

KW - Dulmage-Mendelsohn decomposition

KW - Ear decomposition

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U2 - 10.1016/j.jctb.2010.06.003

DO - 10.1016/j.jctb.2010.06.003

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:77956227794

SN - 0095-8956

VL - 100

SP - 650

EP - 670

JO - Journal of Combinatorial Theory. Series B

JF - Journal of Combinatorial Theory. Series B

IS - 6

ER -