Contagious Sets in Dense Graphs

17 Nov 2015  ·  Freund Daniel, Poloczek Matthias, Reichman Daniel ·

We study the activation process in undirected graphs known as bootstrap percolation: a vertex is active either if it belongs to a set of initially activated vertices or if at some point it had at least r active neighbors, for a threshold r that is identical for all vertices. A contagious set is a vertex set whose activation results with the entire graph being active. Let m(G,r) be the size of a smallest contagious set in a graph G on n vertices. We examine density conditions that ensure m(G,r) = r for all r >= 2. With respect to the minimum degree, we prove that such a smallest possible contagious set is guaranteed to exist if and only if G has minimum degree at least (k-1)/k * n. Moreover, we study the speed with which the activation spreads and provide tight upper bounds on the number of rounds it takes until all nodes are activated in such a graph. We also investigate what average degree asserts the existence of small contagious sets. For n >= k >= r, we denote by M(n,k,r) the maximum number of edges in an n-vertex graph G satisfying m(G,r)>k. We determine the precise value of M(n,k,2) and M(n,k,k), assuming that n is sufficiently large compared to k.

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Discrete Mathematics Combinatorics


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