Sufficient Conditions for Tuza's Conjecture on Packing and Covering Triangles

24 May 2016  ·  Chen Xujin, Diao Zhuo, Hu Xiaodong, Tang Zhongzheng ·

Given a simple graph $G=(V,E)$, a subset of $E$ is called a triangle cover if it intersects each triangle of $G$. Let $\nu_t(G)$ and $\tau_t(G)$ denote the maximum number of pairwise edge-disjoint triangles in $G$ and the minimum cardinality of a triangle cover of $G$, respectively... Tuza conjectured in 1981 that $\tau_t(G)/\nu_t(G)\le2$ holds for every graph $G$. In this paper, using a hypergraph approach, we design polynomial-time combinatorial algorithms for finding small triangle covers. These algorithms imply new sufficient conditions for Tuza's conjecture on covering and packing triangles. More precisely, suppose that the set $\mathscr T_G$ of triangles covers all edges in $G$. We show that a triangle cover of $G$ with cardinality at most $2\nu_t(G)$ can be found in polynomial time if one of the following conditions is satisfied: (i) $\nu_t(G)/|\mathscr T_G|\ge\frac13$, (ii) $\nu_t(G)/|E|\ge\frac14$, (iii) $|E|/|\mathscr T_G|\ge2$. Keywords: Triangle cover, Triangle packing, Linear 3-uniform hypergraphs, Combinatorial algorithms read more

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