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Subgraphs and well-quasi-ordering. (English) Zbl 0762.05093
Let \(K\) be a class, a quasi-ordering \(\preccurlyeq\) on \(K\) is said to be a well-quasi-ordering (shortly a wqo) if for every infinite sequence \(x_ 1,x_ 2,\dots\) of elements of \(K\) there are \(i,j\), \(i<j\), such that \(x_ i\preccurlyeq x_ j\). For the class \(G\) of all finite simple graphs neither the subgraph relation \(\subseteq\) nor the induced subgraph relation \(\preccurlyeq\) is a wqo.
In the paper ideals \(H\) of \(G\) are studied such that \(\subseteq\) or \(\preccurlyeq\) is a wqo on \(H\). The following theorem is proved: Let \(H\) be an ideal of \(G\), with respect to \(\subseteq\), then the following are equivalent: (1) \((H,\subseteq)\) is a wqo; (2) \((H,\preccurlyeq)\) is a wqo; (3) \(H\) contains only finitely many \(C_ n\) and \(F_ n\), where \(C_ n\) is a circuit on \(n\) vertices, \(F_ n\) is the graph on \(\{y_ 1,y_ 2,z_ 1,z_ 2,x_ 1,x_ 2,\dots,x_ n\}\) with the edge set \(\{y_ 1x_ 1,y_ 2x_ 1,z_ 1x_ n,z_ 2x_ n,x_ 1x_ 2,x_ 2x_ 3,\dots,x_{n-1}x_ n\}\).
For \(\preccurlyeq\) three wqo ideals are presented, one being the class of all graphs without the path on \(n\) vertices as a subgraph, two others are classes of bipartite graphs.
Connections between the obtained results and digraphs are considered (although no necessary and sufficient condition for an ideal \(D\) of digraphs for which \((D,\subseteq)\) is a wqo is known yet). Examples are constructed disproving some of the possible generalizations of the stated results.

MSC:
05C99 Graph theory
06A06 Partial orders, general
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