# Tree-layout based graph classes: proper chordal graphs

Many standard graph classes are known to be characterized by means of layouts (a permutation of its vertices) excluding some patterns. Important such graph classes are among others: proper interval graphs, interval graphs, chordal graphs, permutation graphs, (co-)comparability graphs. For example, a graph G=(V,E) is a proper interval graph if and only if G has a layout L such that for every triple of vertices such that x≺_L y≺_L z, if xz∈ E, then xy∈ E and yz∈ E. Such a triple x, y, z is called an indifference triple and layouts excluding indifference triples are known as indifference layouts. In this paper, we investigate the concept of tree-layouts. A tree-layout T_G=(T,r,ρ_G) of a graph G=(V,E) is a tree T rooted at some node r and equipped with a one-to-one mapping ρ_G between V and the nodes of T such that for every edge xy∈ E, either x is an ancestor of y or y is an ancestor of x. Clearly, layouts are tree-layouts. Excluding a pattern in a tree-layout is defined similarly as excluding a pattern in a layout, but now using the ancestor relation. Unexplored graph classes can be defined by means of tree-layouts excluding some patterns. As a proof of concept, we show that excluding non-indifference triples in tree-layouts yields a natural notion of proper chordal graphs. We characterize proper chordal graphs and position them in the hierarchy of known subclasses of chordal graphs. We also provide a canonical representation of proper chordal graphs that encodes all the indifference tree-layouts rooted at some vertex. Based on this result, we first design a polynomial time recognition algorithm for proper chordal graphs. We then show that the problem of testing isomorphism between two proper chordal graphs is in P, whereas this problem is known to be GI-complete on chordal graphs.

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