Let G be a simple graph on n vertices, and let S(G) be the class of all real-valued symmetric nxn matrices whose nonzero off-diagonal entries occur in exactly the positions corresponding to the edges of G. The smallest rank achieved by a matrix in S(G) is called the minimum rank of G, denoted mr(G). The maximum nullity achieved by a matrix in S(G) is denoted M(G). For each graph G, there is an associated minimum rank class, MR(G) consisting of all matrices A in S(G) with rank A = mr(G). Although no restrictions are applied to the diagonal entries of matrices in S(G), sometimes diagonal entries corresponding to specific vertices of G must be zero for all matrices in MR(G). These vertices are known as nil vertices (see ). In this paper I discuss some basic results about nil vertices in general and nil vertices in cographs and prove that cographs with a nil vertex of a particular form contain two other nil vertices symmetric to the first. I discuss several open questions relating to these results and a counterexample. I prove that for all cographs G without an induced complete tripartite graph with independent sets all of size 3, the zero-forcing number Z(G), a graph theoretic parameter, is equal to M(G). In fact this result holds for a slightly larger class of cographs and in particular holds for all threshold graphs. Lastly, I prove that the maximum of the minimum ranks of all cographs on n vertices is the floor of 2n/3.
College and Department
Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Mathematics
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Malloy, Nicole Andrea, "Minimum Rank Problems for Cographs" (2013). All Theses and Dissertations. 3873.
cographs, edge subdivision, graph theory, minimum rank, nil vertices, symmetric matrices, threshold graphs, zero forcing