Disconnected Cuts in Claw-free Graphs

by   Barnaby Martin, et al.

A disconnected cut of a connected graph is a vertex cut that itself also induces a disconnected subgraph. The decision problem whether a graph has a disconnected cut is called Disconnected Cut. This problem is closely related to several homomorphism and contraction problems, and fits in an extensive line of research on vertex cuts with additional properties. It is known that Disconnected Cut is NP-hard on general graphs, while polynomial-time algorithms are known for several graph classes. However, the complexity of the problem on claw-free graphs remained an open question. Its connection to the complexity of the problem to contract a claw-free graph to the 4-vertex cycle C_4 led Ito et al. (TCS 2011) to explicitly ask to resolve this open question. We prove that Disconnected Cut is polynomial-time solvable on claw-free graphs, answering the question of Ito et al. The centerpiece of our result is a novel decomposition theorem for claw-free graphs of diameter 2, which we believe is of independent interest and expands the research line initiated by Chudnovsky and Seymour (JCTB 2007-2012) and Hermelin et al. (ICALP 2011). On our way to exploit this decomposition theorem, we characterize how disconnected cuts interact with certain cobipartite subgraphs, and prove two further novel algorithmic results, namely Disconnected Cut is polynomial-time solvable on circular-arc graphs and line graphs.


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