# Canonical decompositions in monadically stable and bounded shrubdepth graph classes

We use model-theoretic tools originating from stability theory to derive a result we call the Finitary Substitute Lemma, which intuitively says the following. Suppose we work in a stable graph class C, and using a first-order formula ϕ with parameters we are able to define, in every graph G in C, a relation R that satisfies some hereditary first-order assertion ψ. Then we are able to find a first-order formula ϕ' that has the same property, but additionally is finitary: there is finite bound k such that in every graph G in C, different choices of parameters give only at most k different relations R that can be defined using ϕ'. We use the Finitary Substitute Lemma to derive two corollaries about the existence of certain canonical decompositions in classes of well-structured graphs. - We prove that in the Splitter game, which characterizes nowhere dense graph classes, and in the Flipper game, which characterizes monadically stable graph classes, there is a winning strategy for Splitter, respectively Flipper, that can be defined in first-order logic from the game history. Thus, the strategy is canonical. - We show that for any fixed graph class C of bounded shrubdepth, there is an O(n^2)-time algorithm that given an n-vertex graph G in C, computes in an isomorphism-invariant way a structure H of bounded treedepth in which G can be interpreted. A corollary of this result is an O(n^2)-time isomorphism test and canonization algorithm for any fixed class of bounded shrubdepth.

READ FULL TEXT