Coloring Intersection Graphs of Arc-Connected Sets in the Plane

Discrete & Computational Geometry, Sep 2014

A family of sets in the plane is simple if the intersection of any subfamily is arc-connected, and it is pierced by a line \(L\) if the intersection of any member with \(L\) is a nonempty segment. It is proved that the intersection graphs of simple families of compact arc-connected sets in the plane pierced by a common line have chromatic number bounded by a function of their clique number.

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Coloring Intersection Graphs of Arc-Connected Sets in the Plane

Micha Lason 0 Piotr Micek 0 Arkadiusz Pawlik 0 Bartosz Walczak 0 0 M. Lason Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences , Warsaw, Poland A family of sets in the plane is simple if the intersection of any subfamily is arc-connected, and it is pierced by a line L if the intersection of any member with L is a nonempty segment. It is proved that the intersection graphs of simple families of compact arc-connected sets in the plane pierced by a common line have chromatic number bounded by a function of their clique number. A proper coloring of a graph is an assignment of colors to the vertices of the graph such that no two adjacent ones are assigned the same color. The minimum number of colors sufficient to color a graph G properly is called the chromatic number of G and - denoted by (G). The maximum size of a clique (a set of pairwise adjacent vertices) in a graph G is called the clique number of G and denoted by (G). It is clear that (G) (G). The chromatic and clique numbers of a graph can be arbitrarily far apart. There are various constructions of graphs that are triangle-free (have clique number 2) and still have arbitrarily large chromatic number. The first one was given in 1949 by Zykov [16], and the one perhaps best known is due to Mycielski [11]. However, these classical constructions require a lot of freedom in connecting vertices by edges, and many important classes of graphs derived from specific (e.g. geometric) representations have chromatic number bounded in terms of the clique number. A class of graphs is called -bounded if there is a function f : N N such that (G) f ((G)) holds for any graph G from the class. In this paper, we focus on the relation between the chromatic number and the clique number for geometric intersection graphs. The intersection graph of a family of sets F is the graph with vertex set F and edge set consisting of pairs of intersecting elements of F . We consider finite families F of arc-connected compact sets in the plane which are simple in the sense that the intersection of any subfamily of F is also arc-connected. We usually identify the family F with its intersection graph and use such terms as chromatic number, clique number or -boundedness referring directly to F . In the one-dimensional case of subsets of R, the only arc-connected compact sets are closed intervals. They define the class of interval graphs, which have chromatic number equal to their clique number. The study of the chromatic number of intersection graphs of geometric objects in higher dimensions was initiated in the seminal paper of Asplund and Grnbaum [1], where they proved that the families of axis-aligned rectangles in R2 are -bounded. On the other hand, Burling [2] showed that intersection graphs of axis-aligned boxes in R3 with clique number 2 can have arbitrarily large chromatic number. Since then, a lot of research focused on proving -boundedness of the families of geometric objects in the plane with various restrictions on the kind of objects considered, their positions, or the way they can intersect. Gyrfs [5,6] proved that the families of chords of a circle are -bounded. This was generalized by Kostochka and Kratochvl [8] to the families of convex polygons inscribed in a circle. Kim et al. [7] showed that the families of homothetic (uniformly scaled) copies of a fixed convex compact set in the plane are -bounded. Fox and Pach [3] showed that the intersection graphs of any arc-connected compact sets in the plane that do not contain a fixed bipartite subgraph H have chromatic number bounded by a function of H . This easily implies that the families of pseudodiscs, that is, closed disc homeomorphs in the plane the boundaries of any two of which cross at most twice, are -bounded. Note that families of pseudodiscs are simple. The above-mentioned results of [7] and [3] are actually strongerthey state that the number of edges of the intersection graph of a respective family F is bounded by f ((F ))|F | for some function f . A family of sets F is pierced by a line L if the intersection of any member of F with L is a nonempty segment. McGuinness [9] proved that the families of L-shapes (shapes consisting of a horizontal and a vertical segments of arbitrary lengths, forming the letter L) pierced by a fixed vertical line are -bounded. Later [10], he showed that the triangle-free simple families of compact arc-connected sets in the plane pierced by a common line have bounded chromatic number. Suk [15] proved -boundedness of the simple families of x -monotone curves intersecting a fixed vertical line. In this paper, we generalize the results of McGuinness, allowing any bound on the clique number, and of Suk, removing the x -monotonicity condition. Theorem 1 The class of simple families of compact arc-connected sets in the plane pierced by a common line is -bounded. By contrast, Pawlik et al. [12,13] proved that there are intersection graphs of straight-line segments (or geometric sets of many other kinds) with clique number 2 and arbitrarily large chromatic number. This justifies the assumption of Theorem 1 that the sets are pierced by a common line. The best known upper bound on the chromatic number of simple families of curves in the plane with clique number is lloogg n O(log ) due to Fox and Pach [4]. The bound on the chromatic number following from our proof of Theorem 1 is double exponential in terms of the clique number. The ultimate goal of this quest is to understand the border line between the classes of graphs (and classes of geometric objects) that are -bounded and those that are not. In a preliminary version of this paper, we proposed the following two problems. Problem 1 Are the families (not necessarily simple) of x -monotone curves in the plane pierced by a common vertical line -bounded? Rok and Walczak [14] proved recently that the answers to both these questions are positive. However, the bound on the chromatic number in terms of the clique number resulting from their proof is enormous (greater than an exponential tower), which is much worse than the double exponential bound of Theorem 1. 2 Topological Preliminaries All the geometric sets that considered in this paper are assumed to be subsets of the Euclidean plane R2 or, further in the paper, subsets of the closed upper halfplane R [0, +). An arc between points x , y R2 is the image of a continuous injective map : [0, 1] R2 such that (0) = x and (1) = y. A set X R2 is arc-connected if any two points of X are connected by an arc in X . The union of two arc-connected sets that have non-empty intersection is itself arc-connected. More generally, if X is a family of arc-connected sets whose intersection graph is connected, then X is arc-connected. For a set X R2, the relation {(x , y) X 2 : X contains an arc between x and y} is an equivalence, whose equivalence classes are the arc-connected components of X . Every arc-connected component of an open set is itself an open set. All families of sets that we consider are finite. A family F of sets in R2 is simple if the intersection of any subfamily of F is arc-connected (possibly empty). A set X is simple with respect to a family Y if {X } Y is simple. Lemma 2 Let X be a compact arc-connected set and Y be a family of compact arcconnected sets such that X is simple with respect to Y and the intersections of the members of Y with X are pairwise disjoint. Between any points x1, x2 X , there is an arc A X that is simple with respect to Y. Proof Let Y = {Y1, . . . , Yn}. For i {0, . . . , n}, we construct an arc Ai X between x1 and x2 that is simple with respect to {Y1, . . . , Yi }. As X is arc-connected, we pick A0 to be any arc between x1 and x2 within X . We construct Ai from Ai1 as follows. If Ai1 Yi = , then we take Ai = Ai1. Otherwise, let y1 and y2 be respectively the first and the last points on Ai1 that belong to Yi (which exist as Ai Yi is non-empty and compact). To obtain Ai , replace the part of Ai1 between y1 and y2 by any arc between y1 and y2 in X Yi (which exists because X Yi is arc-connected). Clearly, Ai is simple with respect to Yi . Since X Yi is disjoint from each of Y1, . . . , Yi1, Ai remains simple with respect to Y1, . . . , Yi1. A Jordan curve is the image of a continuous map : [0, 1] R2 such that (0) = (1) and is injective on [0, 1). The famous Jordan curve theorem states that if C R2 is a Jordan curve, then R2 C has exactly two arc-connected components, one bounded and one unbounded. An extension of this, called Jordan-Schnflies theorem, adds that there is a homeomorphism of R2 that maps C to a unit circle, the bounded arc-connected component of R2 C to the interior of this circle, and the unbounded arc-connected component of R2 C to the exterior of the circle. We will use a special case of the Jordan curve theorem for arcs in the closed upper halfplane R [0, +). Namely, if x and y are two points on the horizontal axis R {0} and A is an arc between x and y such that A {x , y} R (0, +), then the set (R [0, +)) A has exactly two arc-connected components, one bounded and one unbounded. This in particular implies that for any four points x1, x2, y1 and y2 in this order on the horizontal axis, every arc in R [0, +) between x1 and y1 intersects every arc in R [0, +) between x2 and y2. 3 Grounded Families In Theorem 1, a family F compact arc-connected sets in the plane is assumed to be pierced by a common line. We assume without loss of generality that this piercing line is the horizontal axis R {0} and call it the baseline. The base of a set X , denoted by base(X ), is the intersection of X with the baseline. We fix a positive integer k and assume (F ) k. The intersection graph of the bases of the members of F is an interval graph, so it can be properly colored with k colors. To find a proper coloring of F with a number of colors bounded in terms of k, we can restrict our attention to one color class in the coloring of this interval graph. Therefore, without loss of generality, we assume that no two members of F intersect on the baseline and show that F can be colored properly with a bounded number of colors. Moreover, it is clear that the families F + = {X (R [0, +)) : X F } and F = {X (R (, 0]) : X F } are simple. It suffices to obtain proper colorings + and of F + and F , respectively, with bounded numbers of colors, since then F may be colored by pairs (+, ). We only focus on coloring F +, as F can be Fig. 1 A grounded family of sets handled by symmetry. To simplify notation, we rename F + to F . Therefore, each set X F is assumed to satisfy the following: and F is assumed to be simple. Any set that satisfies the conditions above is called grounded, and any simple family of grounded sets with pairwise disjoint bases is also called grounded (see Fig. 1). All the geometric sets that we consider from now on are contained in R [0, +). To prove Theorem 1, it suffices to show the following. Proposition 3 For k family F with (F ) The case k = 1 is trivial, and the case k = 2 with some additional assumptions meant to avoid topological pathologies was settled by McGuinness [10]. We write X Y if base(X ) is entirely to the left of base(Y ). The relation is a total order on a grounded family and naturally extends to its subfamilies (or any other families of grounded sets with pairwise disjoint bases): for example, X Y denotes that X Y for any Y Y. For grounded sets X1 and X2 such that X1 X2, we define F (X1, X2) = {Y F : X1 Y X2}. For a grounded set X , we define F (, X ) = {Y F : Y X } and F (X, +) = {Y F : X Y }. The proof of Proposition 3 heavily depends on two decomposition lemmas, which given a grounded family with large chromatic number find its subfamily with large chromatic number and some special properties. The first one is a reformulation of Lemma 2.1 in [9]. Lemma 4 Let F be a grounded family with (F ) > 2a(b + 1), where a, b 0. There is a subfamily H of F that satisfies (H) > a and (F (H1, H2)) > b for any intersecting H1, H2 H. Proof We partition F into subfamilies F0 Fn so that (Fi ) = b + 1 for 0 i < n. This can be done by adding sets to F0 in the increasing -order until we get (F0) = b + 1, then following the same procedure with the remaining sets to form F1, and so on. Let F 0 = i F2i and F 1 = i F2i+1. Since (F 0 F 1) > 2a(b +1), Fig. 2 An externally supported family of sets we have (F k ) > a(b + 1) for k = 0 or k = 1. We now color each F2i+k properly using the same set of b + 1 colors. This coloring induces a partitioning of the entire F k into subfamilies H0, . . . , Hb such that for 0 i n, 0 j b the family Fi H j is independent. We set H = H j , where H j has the maximum chromatic number among H0, . . . , Hb. Since (F k ) > a(b + 1), we have (H) > a. It remains to show that (F (H1, H2)) > b for H1, H2 H with H1 H2 = . Indeed, such sets H1 and H2 must lie in different families F2i1+k and F2i2+k , respectively, so (F (H1, H2)) (F2i1+k+1) = b + 1 > b, as required. For a set X , we define ext(X ) to be the only unbounded arc-connected component of (R [0, +)) X . For a grounded family F , we define ext(F ) = ext( F ). A subfamily G of a grounded family F is externally supported in F if for any X G there exists Y F such that Y X = and Y ext(G) = (see Fig. 2). The idea behind the following lemma is due to Gyrfs [5] and was subsequently used in [9,10,15]. Lemma 5 Let F be a grounded family with (F ) > 2a, where a 1. There is a subfamily G of F that is externally supported in F and satisfies (G) > a. Proof For convenience, we restrict F to its connected component with maximum chromatic number. Let X0 be the -least member of F . For i 0, let Fi be the family of members of F that are at distance i from X0 in the intersection graph of F . It follows that F0 = {X0} and, for |i j | > 1, each member of Fi is disjoint from each member of F j . Clearly, ( i F2i ) > a or ( i F2i+1) > a, and therefore there is d 1 with (Fd ) > a. We claim that Fd is externally supported in F . Fix Xd Fd , and let X0, . . . , Xd be a shortest path from X0 to Xd in the intersection graph of F . Since X0 ext(Fd ) = and X0, . . . , Xd2 are disjoint from Fd , we have X0, . . . , Xd2 ext(Fd ). Thus Xd1 ext(Fd ) = and Xd1 Xd = . 4 Cliques and Brackets Let F be a grounded family with (F ) k. A k-clique in F is a family of k pairwise intersecting members of F . For a k-clique K, we denote by int(K) the only arcconnected component of (R [0, +)) K containing the part of the baseline Fig. 3 A k-bracket B with k-clique K and support S between the two -least members of K. A k-bracket in F is a subfamily of F consisting of a k-clique K and a set S called the support such that S K or K S and S int(K) = . For such a k-bracket B, we denote by int(B) the only arc-connected component of (R [0, +)) B containing the part of the baseline between S and K (see Fig. 3). Lemma 6 Let F be a grounded family, X, Y, Z F , and X Y = . Let C1 and C2 be any two distinct arc-connected components of (R [0, +)) (X Y ). Let z, z Z C1. If every arc between z and z within Z intersects C2, then every such arc intersects both X and Y . Proof Suppose there is an arc A Z between z and z such that A X = or A Y = . If A X = and A Y = , then A C1, so A C2 = . Now, suppose A X = and A Y = . Let y and y be respectively the first and last points of A in Y . Since Z Y is arc-connected, there is an arc A in Z that is simple with respect to Y and goes along A from z to y, then to y inside Y , and finally along A to z . It follows that A C1 Y , so A C2 = . The case that A X = and A Y = is symmetric. Corollary 7 Let F be a grounded family, K be a k-clique in F , and X F . If x , y X int(K) (or x , y X ext(K)) and every arc between x and y within X intersects ext(K) (int(K), respectively), then X intersects every member of K. Proof Let K = {K1, . . . , Kk } and K1 int(K) K2 Kk . The statement follows directly from Lemma 6 and the fact that int(K) and ext(K) belong to distinct arc-connected components of (R [0, +)) (K1 Ki ) for 2 i k. Corollary 8 Let F be a grounded family and B be a bracket in F with clique K and support S. Let X F . If X int(B) = and X ext(B) = , then X intersects S or every member of K. Proof Let x X int(B) and x X ext(B), and suppose X S = . By the Jordan curve theorem, every arc between x and x within X must intersect S int(K) and thus int(K). Since x , x X ext(K), it follows from Corollary 7 that X intersects every member of K. 5 Proof of Proposition 3 The proof goes by induction on k. Proposition 3 holds trivially for k = 1 with 1 = 1. Therefore, we assume that k 2 and that the statement of the proposition holds for k 1. This context of the induction step is maintained throughout the entire remaining part of the paper. A typical application of the induction hypothesis looks as follows: if F is a grounded family with (F ) k, G F , and there is X F G intersecting all members of G, then (G) k 1 and thus (G) k1. Define k = 8kk21, k,k = 0, k, j = k + 2k, j+1 + 2k1(kk1 + k + 2) + 2 for k 1 j 0, and finally k = 2k+2(k,0 + 2k1 + 1). We say that a grounded set X (a grounded family X ) is surrounded by a set S if X (every member of X , respectively) is disjoint from S ext(S). For a set S and a grounded set R such that base(R) is surrounded by S, let cut(R, S) denote the closure of the unique arc-connected component of R S containing base(R). For a set S and a grounded family R of sets whose bases are surrounded by S, let cut(R, S) = {cut(R, S) : R R}. First, we present a technical lemma, which generalizes similar statements from [10] (Lemma 3.2) and [15] (Lemma 4.1), and which we will prove in Sect. 6. Loosely speaking, it says that one can color properly, with the number of colors bounded in terms of k, all the members of F surrounded by a set S which intersect cut(R, S) for any set R F intersecting S. Suppose for the sake of contradiction that there is a grounded family F with (F ) k and (F ) > k = 2k+2(k,0 + 2k1 + 1). A repeated application of Lemma 5 yields a sequence of families F = Fk+1 Fk F0 such that Fi is externally supported in Fi+1 and (Fi ) > 2i+1(k,0 + 2k1 + 1), for 0 i k. The following claim is the core of the proof. Claim 10 For 0 j the following properties: k, there are families S, G F j and sets S1, . . . , S j S with (i) G is surrounded by S, (ii) (G) > k, j , (iii) the sets S1, . . . , S j pairwise intersect, (iv) every member of F intersecting ext(S) and some member of G also intersects each of S1, . . . , S j . Proof The proof goes by induction on j . First, let j = 0. Apply Lemma 4 to find H F0 such that (H) > 1 and for any intersecting H1, H2 H we have (F0(H1, H2)) > k,0 + 2k1. Since (H) > 1, such two intersecting H1, H2 H exist. Let S = {H1, H2} and G be the family of those members of F0(H1, H2) that are disjoint from H1 H2. It is clear that (i) holds. Since the members of F0(H1, H2) intersecting H1 H2 have chromatic number at most 2k1, we have (G) > k,0, so (ii) holds. The conditions (iii) and (iv) are satisfied vacuously. Now, assume that j 1 and the claim holds for j 1, that is, there are families S , G F j1 and sets S1, . . . , S j1 S satisfying (i)(iv). Let R = D = R F : base(R) is surrounded by D G : D S ) = . S and R S = , It follows from Lemma 9 that (D) k and thus (G D) > 2k, j +2k1(kk1 + k + 2) + 2. Since the chromatic number of a graph is the maximum chromatic number of its connected component, there is G G D such that the intersection graph of G is connected and (G ) > 2k, j + 2k1(kk1 + k + 2) + 2. Partition G into three subfamilies X , Y, Z so that X Y Z and (X ) = (Z) = k, j +(k +1)k1 +1. It follows that (Y) > 2k1(kk1 + 1). Apply Lemma 4 to find H Y such that (H) > k1 and for any intersecting H1, H2 H we have (Y(H1, H2)) > kk1. Since (H) > k1, there is a k-clique K H. The members of Y intersecting K have chromatic number at most kk1, so there is P Y that is contained in int(K). Since F j1 is externally supported in F j , there is S j F j such that S j P = and S j ext(S ) S j ext(F j1) = . Therefore, since S and G satisfy (iv), S j intersects each of S1, . . . , S j1 and thus (iii) holds for S1, . . . , S j . We show that S j G or G S j . Suppose that neither of these holds. It follows that base(S j ) is surrounded by S , which yields S j R. Moreover, base(S j ) is surrounded by G , as the intersection graph of G is connected. Therefore, we have cut(S j , S ) G = , so there is X G such that X cut(S j , S ) = . This means that X D, which contradicts the definition of G . Now, we have S j int(K) S j P = and S j K or K S j , so the k-clique K and the support S j form a k-bracket. Let S = S K {S j }. If S j G , then S j X K. In this case, let G be the family of those members of X that are disjoint from K S j . It is clear that (i) holds. Since (X ) > k, j + (k + 1)k1 and the members of X intersecting K S j have chromatic number at most (k + 1)k1, we have (G) > k, j , so (ii) holds. Since ext(S) ext(K {S j }), it follows from Corollary 8 that every member of F intersecting ext(S) and some member of G intersects S j . Hence (iv) holds. If G S j , then let G be the family of those members of Z that are disjoint from K S j . An analogous argument shows that (i), (ii), and (iv) are satisfied. Let S, G, and S1, . . . , Sk be as guaranteed by Claim 10 for j = k. By (ii), we have (G) > 0, so there is P G. Since Fk is externally supported in F , there is Sk+1 F such that Sk+1 P = and Sk+1 ext(S) = . By (iii) and (iv), we conclude that S1, . . . , Sk+1 pairwise intersect. This contradicts the assumption that (F ) k, thus completing the proof of Proposition 3. Fig. 4 The setting of the proof of Lemma 9: the set S with a dashed arc S and three sets from R 6 Proof of Lemma 9 The proof of Lemma 9 goes along similar lines to the proof of Lemma 4.1 in [15]. Since D is surrounded by S, there is an arc S S such that D is surrounded by S . We can assume without loss of generality that base(S ) = { p, q} for some points p and q on the baseline such that p D q. For every R R we have cut(R, S) cut(R, S ). Hence every member of D intersects cut(R, S ) (see Fig. 4). Proof Consider a relation < on cut(R, S ) defined as follows: R1 < R2 if and only if R1 R2 and R1 R2 = . It is clear that < is irreflexive and antisymmetric. It is also transitive, which follows from the fact that if R1, R2, R3 R, R1 R2 R3, and R1 R3 = , then R2 (R1 R3) = . Therefore, < is a strict partial order. The intersection graph of cut(R, S ) is the incomparability graph of <, so it is perfect, which implies (cut(R, S )) = (cut(R, S )) k. By Claim 11, there is a coloring of R with k colors such that for any R1, R2 R with (R1) = (R2), we have cut(R1, S ) cut(R2, S ) = . For a color c, let Rc = {R R : (R) = c} and Dc = {D D : D cut(Rc, S ) = }. We are going to show that (Dc) 8k21. Once this is obtained, we will have (D) c (Dc) 8kk21 = k . Since the sets cut(R, S ) for R Rc are pairwise disjoint, the curve S and the families cut(Rc, S ) and Dc satisfy the assumptions of Lemma 9. To simplify the notation, we assume for the remainder of the proof that S = S , R = cut(R, S ) for every R R , R = cut(Rc, S ), and D = Dc. By Jordan-Schnflies theorem, c the segment pq and the arc S form a Jordan curve which is the boundary of a set J homeomorphic to a closed disc. In this new setting, S is an arc and RD is a grounded family with the following properties: We enumerate the members of R as R1, . . . , Rm in the -order, that is, so that R1 Rm . We are going to show that (D) 8k21. Claim 12 For 1 Ri+1, . . . , R j1. m, any arc in J between Ri and R j intersects all Proof Let A be an arc in J between points xi Ri and x j R j . For any R {Ri+1, . . . , R j1}, base(R) is surrounded by Ri A R j and we have R (Ri A R j ) = , as R S = . Since R is disjoint from Ri and R j , we have R A = . A point x J is a neighbor of Ri if there is an arc in J between x and Ri disjoint from all R1, . . . , Rm except Ri . It follows from Claim 12 that each point in J is a neighbor of at most two consecutive sets of R1, . . . , Rm . For 1 i < m, let Ii denote the set of points in J that are neighbors of Ri and Ri+1. Claim 13 Any arc-connected subset of J intersects an interval of sets in the sequence R1, I1, R2, . . . , Im1, Rm . Proof Let X be an arc-connected subset of J . First, we show that if X intersects Ri and Ri+1, then it also intersects Ii . This is guaranteed by the compactness of Ri and Ri+1. Indeed, take a -minimal arc in J between Ri and Ri+1. By Claim 12, the interior of this arc is disjoint from all R1, . . . , Rm and therefore must lie in Ii . Now, let i be the least index such that X (Ri Ii ) = and j be the greatest index such that X (I j1 R j ) = . Let A be an arc in X between points xi X (Ri Ii ) and x j X (I j1 R j ). Since xi is a neighbor of Ri , there is an arc Ai J between xi and Ri disjoint from all R1, . . . , Rm except Ri . Similarly, since x j is a neighbor of R j , there is an arc A j J between x j and R j disjoint from all R1, . . . , Rm except R j . There is an arc A Ai A A j between Ri and R j . By Claim 12, A intersects all Ri+1, . . . , R j1. But Ri+1, . . . , R j1 are disjoint from Ai and A j , hence they intersect A. For convenience, define I0 = Im = . For D D, define leftclip(D) = D Ii and rightclip(D) = D I j , where i and j are chosen so that Ri+1 is the first and R j is the last member of R intersecting D (see Fig. 5). This definition extends to families M D: leftclip(M) = {leftclip(M ) : M M} and rightclip(M) = {rightclip(M ) : M M}. Proof We present the proof only for leftclip(D), as for rightclip(D) it is analogous. The sets I1, . . . , Im1 are open in J , as they are arc-connected components of the set J R, which is open in J . Each member of leftclip(D) is a difference of a compact set in D and one of I1, . . . , Im1 and thus is compact as well. To prove that leftclip(D) is simple and consists of arc-connected sets, we need to show that leftclip(M) is arc-connected for any M D. Let x , y leftclip(M) M. Since M is arc-connected, Lemma 2 provides us with an arc A M between x and y that is simple with respect to R. It suffices to show A leftclip(M ) for each M M. To this end, fix M M and let Ri be the -least member of R intersecting M . Suppose there is a point z A (M leftclip(M )) Ii1. Since x , y leftclip(M ) mj=i ( R j I j ), it follows from Claim 13 that the parts of A from x to z and from z to y intersect Ri . This and z / Ri contradict the simplicity of A with respect to Ri . Claim 15 leftclip(D) and rightclip(D) have clique number at most k 1. Proof Again, we present the proof only for leftclip(D). Let K be a clique in leftclip(D). By Claim 14, each member of K is arc-connected. Therefore, by Claim 13, each member of K intersects an interval of sets in the sequence R1, I1, . . . , Rm1, Im1, Rm , the first set in this interval being of the form R j . Since the members of K pairwise intersect, these intervals also pairwise intersect, which implies that they all contain a common R j . Thus K { R j } is a clique, and (R D) k yields |K| k 1. L = { X D : base(leftclip( X )) = }, R = { X D : base(rightclip( X )) = }. D D STihnecreefeoarceh, mit eismebneoruogfhDtoinstehroswectthsaatt lea(Dst Lo)ne of4Rk12, 1. .a.n,dRm(,DweR )have4Dk2L1.DWRe=onDly. present the proof of (D R ) 4k21, as the proof of the other inequality is analogous. By Claims 14 and 15, rightclip(D R ) is a grounded family with clique number at most k 1. This and the induction hypothesis yield (rightclip(D R )) k1. We fix a coloring R of D R with k1 colors so that R ( X ) = R (Y ) for any X, Y D R with rightclip( X ) rightclip(Y ) = . Let M D R be a family of sets having the same color in R . In particular, we have rightclip( X ) rightclip(Y ) = for any X, Y M. It remains to prove that (M) 4k1. We show how to construct a coloring L of M with k1 colors such that leftclip( X ) leftclip(Y ) = for any X, Y M with L ( X ) = L (Y ). We exploit the fact that members of M have pairwise disjoint intersections with each Ri to simplify the topology of M and R1, . . . , Rm . Recall that S is an arc with base(S) = { p, q}. For 1 i m, by Lemma 2, there is an arc Qi Ri between base( Ri ) and Ri S that is simple with respect to M. We assume without loss of generality that base(Qi ) = {ui } and Qi S = {vi }. The points v1, . . . , vm occur in this order on S as moving from p to q. Moreover, the arcs Q1, . . . , Qm partition J into m + 1 sets J0, . . . , Jm , each homeomorphic to a closed disc, so that Ji1 Ji = Qi for 1 i m. It is clear that each arc-connected subset of J intersects an interval of sets in the sequence J0, Q1, J1, . . . , Qm , Jm . Since Q1, . . . , Qm are simple with respect to M, so are J0, . . . , Jm . Since the sets J0, . . . , Jm are homeomorphic to a closed disc and so are rectangles with bottom sides base( J0), . . . , base( Jm ), there are homeomorphisms 0, . . . , m such that i is constant on base( Ji ) and maps Ji onto a rectangle with bottom side base( Ji ) for 0 i m, i1 and i agree on Qi for 1 i m. Thus 0 m is a homeomorphism between J and a rectangle with bottom side base( J ), and it extends to a homeomorphism of R [0, +) whose restriction to each Ji is i . Let 0, . . . , m be horizontal translations such that 0(u) m (u) for a point u on the baseline. Let x1, . . . , xm be the x -coordinates of the points u1, . . . , um , respectively, so that ui = (xi , 0) for 1 i m. Define Note that Ji Ji and Qi Q i . For a set X , define where [Y, Z ] denotes the rectangle with left side Y and right side Z . It is clear that the map X X preserves compactness and arc-connectedness and is compatible with unions and intersections. In particular, M = {X : X M} is a grounded family with intersection graph isomorphic to that of M (see Fig. 6). In the remainder of the proof, we will deal with M and R1, . . . , Rm , but for simplicity we relabel them to M and R1, . . . , Rm , respectively. We also relabel I0 , . . . , Im to I0, . . . , Im , Q1, . . . , Qm to Q1, . . . , Qm , S to S, J to J , and 0( J0), . . . , m ( Jm ) to J0, . . . , Jm . The following properties clearly follow: J0, . . . , Jm are pairwise disjoint rectangles, Qi is a rectangle whose left side is the right side of Ji1 and whose right side is the left side of Ji , for 1 i m, every arc-connected subset of J intersects an interval of sets in the sequence J0, Q1, J1, . . . , Qm , Jm , Qi Ri for 1 i m, the intersection of any member of M with any Ji is arc-connected, the intersection of any member of M with any Qi is a rectangle or horizontal segment spanning the entire width of Qi . Fig. 6 The transformation X X ; top: a family M before transformation; bottom: the families M (including the marked regions) and M+ (excluding the marked regions), and connections of the sets in M to the baseline with intersection graph isomorphic to that Proof Let Mi = { X M : X Ri = } for 1 i m. It follows that leftclip( X ) = X Ii for every X Mi+1 Mi and 1 i < m. We can assume without loss of generality that each member of Mi+1 Mi intersects Qi+1 for 1 i < m, as those that do not are isolated vertices in the intersection graph of leftclip(M) and thus do not influence the existence of M . For X Mi+1 Mi and 1 i < m, let X + denote the part of X to the right of Qi+1 including the right side of Qi+1, that is, X + = X ( Ji+1 Qi+2 Ji+2 Qm Jm ). It follows that X + leftclip( X ) X + Ri+1 and X + is compact and arc-connected. For X M1, let X + = X = leftclip( X ). Let M+ = { X + : X M}. Since the intersections of the members of leftclip(M) with each Ri+1 are pairwise disjoint, the intersection graphs of M+ and leftclip(M) are isomorphic. We show how to extend the sets X + for which base( X +) = base(leftclip( X )) = to connect them to the baseline without creating any new intersections (see Fig. 6). Let 1 i < m, X Mi+1 Mi , and base( X +) = . Thus base( X ) base( Ji ). For every Y Mi , it is an immediate consequnce of the Jordan curve theorem and arc-connectedness of X Ji and (Y Ri ) Ji that Y Qi+1 is empty or lies above X Qi+1. Therefore, we can connect X + to base(Qi+1) by an arc inside Qi+1 that is disjoint from any other Y + M+. Moreover, all these arcs for X Mi+1 Mi with base( X +) = can be drawn so that they are pairwise disjoint. Doing so for all i with 1 i < m, we transform M+ into a grounded family M with intersection graph isomorphic to the intersection graph of M+ and hence of leftclip(M). Claim 16 allows us to use the induction hypothesis on leftclip(M) to obtain a coloring L of M with L w(Xith) =k1Lc(oYl)o.rsLesutcNh that leftclip( X ) leftclip(Y ) = for any X, Y M M be a family of sets having the same color in L . In particular, we have leftclip( X ) leftclip(Y ) = and rightclip( X ) rightclip(Y ) = for any X, Y N . The following claim completes the proof of Lemma 9. The planarity argument used in the proof applies the ideas of McGuinness [10]. NNNiLLR === {{{XXX NNN L:: :XXX lreilgfethfcttlccipllii(ppX((XX) ))==}J,i}}, for 1 i < m, NiR = { X N R : X rightclip( X ) Ji } for 1 i < m, Ni = NiL NiR , C XL to be the arc-connected component of ( Ni ) Ji containing X leftclip( X ), for X NiL and 1 i < m, C XR to be the arc-connected component of ( Ni ) Ji containing X rightclip( X ), for X NiR and 1 i < m, C to be the family of arc-connected components of ( Ni ) Ji for 1 i < m, that is, C = {C XL : X N L } {C XR : X N R }. For X Ni and 1 i < m, the set X Ji is arc-connected and thus entirely contained in one member of C. It is clear that C XL = C XR for X N L N R . Consider the graph G with vertex set C and edges connecting C XL and C XR for all X N L N R . We are to show that G is planar. We construct sets V E N with the following properties: (i) V is a finite subset of C, (ii) E is a finite union of arcs with endpoints in V , pairwise disjoint outside of V , (iii) E C is arc-connected for every component C C, (iv) every X N L N R contains an arc in E between C XL and C XR . The construction proceeds by induction on the members of N . We start with V containing one (arbitrary) point in each member of C, and with E = V . They clearly satisfy (i)(iii). Then, for each X N L N R , we enlarge V and E to satisfy the condition (iv) for X , as follows. Since C L X X C XR is arc-connected, there is an arc A C L X X X C XR between E C XL and E C R . We can furthermore assume that A E C XL = {v L } and A E C XR = {v R }. This implies that A E = {v L , v R }, aasndX A t(oCEXL. ACfteXRr)pirsodciessjosiinngt farlolmXanyNmLembNer Rof, tNhe re{sXul}t.inWgeseatdsdVv LanadndEv sRattoisfVy (i)(iv). We have thus obtained a planar representation of a graph H with vertex set V and edge set consisting of maximal arcs in E internally disjoint from V . It follows from (iii) that the subgraph of H induced on V C is connected for every C C. Consider the graph obtained from H by contracting V C for every C C. Its vertices represent members of C, and by (iv), its edges connect the vertices representing C XL and C XR for all X N L N R . Hence this graph is isomorphic to G. This shows that G is planar, as a contraction of a planar graph is planar. Since G is planar, there is a proper coloring of the vertices of G with four colors {1, 2, 3, 4}. Choose a coloring : N {1, 2, 3, 4} so that Such a coloring exists, because (C XL ) = (C XR ) for any X N L N R . To see that is a proper coloring of N , consider some X, Y N such that X Y and X Y = . Since L ( X ) = L (Y ) and R ( X ) = R (Y ) we have leftclip( X ) leftclip(Y ) = and rightclip( X ) rightclip(Y ) = . Therefore, rightclip( X )) (Y leftclip(Y )) = X Y = . In particular, we have X N R and Y N L . The set X Y is arc-connected, so C R X = C L . This yields ( X ) = (C R ) = (CYL ) = (Y ). Y X Acknowledgments M. Lason, P. Micek, and A. Pawlik were supported and B. Walczak was partially supported by Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland Grant 884/N-ESF-EuroGIGA/10/2011/0 within ESF EuroGIGA project GraDR. B. Walczak was partially supported by Swiss National Science Foundation Grant 200020-144531. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.


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Michał Lasoń, Piotr Micek, Arkadiusz Pawlik, Bartosz Walczak. Coloring Intersection Graphs of Arc-Connected Sets in the Plane, Discrete & Computational Geometry, 2014, 399-415, DOI: 10.1007/s00454-014-9614-5