Graphs with unique zero forcing sets and Grundy dominating sets

by   Boštjan Brešar, et al.

The concept of zero forcing was introduced in the context of linear algebra, and was further studied by both graph theorists and linear algebraists. It is based on the process of activating vertices of a graph G starting from a set of vertices that are already active, and applying the rule that an active vertex with exactly one non-active neighbor forces that neighbor to become active. A set S⊂ V(G) is called a zero forcing set of G if initially only vertices of S are active and the described process enforces all vertices of G to become active. The size of a minimum zero forcing set in G is called the zero forcing number of G. While a minimum zero forcing set can only be unique in edgeless graphs, we consider the weaker uniqueness condition, notably that for every two minimum zero forcing sets in a graph G there is an automorphism that maps one to the other. We characterize the class of trees that enjoy this condition by using properties of minimum path covers of trees. In addition, we investigate both variations of uniqueness for several concepts of Grundy domination, which first appeared in the context of domination games, yet they are also closely related to zero forcing. For each of the four variations of Grundy domination we characterize the graphs that have only one Grundy dominating set of the given type, and characterize those forests that enjoy the weaker (isomorphism based) condition of uniqueness. The latter characterizations lead to efficient algorithms for recognizing the corresponding classes of forests.



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