Induced subgraphs and tree decompositions I. Even-hole-free graphs of bounded degree

Tara Abrishami, Maria Chudnovsky, Kristina Vušković

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Treewidth is a parameter that emerged from the study of minor closed classes of graphs (i.e. classes closed under vertex and edge deletion, and edge contraction). It in some sense describes the global structure of a graph. Roughly, a graph has treewidth k if it can be decomposed by a sequence of noncrossing cutsets of size at most k into pieces of size at most k+1. The study of hereditary graph classes (i.e. those closed under vertex deletion only) reveals a different picture, where cutsets that are not necessarily bounded in size (such as star cutsets, 2-joins and their generalization) are required to decompose the graph into simpler pieces that are structured but not necessarily bounded in size. A number of such decomposition theorems are known for complex hereditary graph classes, including even-hole-free graphs, perfect graphs and others. These theorems do not describe the global structure in the sense that a tree decomposition does, since the cutsets guaranteed by them are far from being noncrossing. They are also of limited use in algorithmic applications. We show that in the case of even-hole-free graphs of bounded degree the cutsets described in the previous paragraph can be partitioned into a bounded number of well-behaved collections. This allows us to prove that even-hole-free graphs with bounded degree have bounded treewidth, resolving a conjecture of Aboulker et al. (2021) [1]. As a consequence, it follows that many algorithmic problems can be solved in polynomial time for this class, and that even-hole-freeness is testable in the bounded degree graph model of property testing. In fact we prove our results for a larger class of graphs, namely the class of C4-free odd-signable graphs with bounded degree.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-175
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Combinatorial Theory. Series B
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


  • Even-hole-free graphs
  • Treewidth


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