New results on the robust coloring problem

by   Delia Garijo, et al.

Many variations of the classical graph coloring model have been intensively studied due to their multiple applications; scheduling problems and aircraft assignments, for instance, motivate the robust coloring problem. This model gets to capture natural constraints of those optimization problems by combining the information provided by two colorings: a vertex coloring of a graph and the induced edge coloring on a subgraph of its complement; the goal is to minimize, among all proper colorings of the graph for a fixed number of colors, the number of edges in the subgraph with the endpoints of the same color. The study of the robust coloring model has been focused on the search for heuristics due to its NP-hard character when using at least three colors, but little progress has been made in other directions. We present a new approach on the problem obtaining the first collection of non heuristic results for general graphs; among them, we prove that robust coloring is the model that better approaches the partition of any system into equal or almost equal conflict-free subsystem, relating strongly this model with the well-known equitable colorings. We also obtain bounds on the associated robust coloring parameter, and solve a conjecture on paths that illustrates the complexity of studying this coloring model.


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