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Hamiltonian Maker-Breaker games on small graphs

by   Miloš Stojaković, et al.
University of Novi Sad

We look at the unbiased Maker-Breaker Hamiltonicity game played on the edge set of a complete graph K_n, where Maker's goal is to claim a Hamiltonian cycle. First, we prove that, independent of who starts, Maker can win the game for n = 8 and n = 9. Then we use an inductive argument to show that, independent of who starts, Maker can win the game if and only if n ≥ 8. This, in particular, resolves in the affirmative the long-standing conjecture of Papaioannou. We also study two standard positional games related to Hamiltonicity game. For Hamiltonian Path game, we show that Maker can claim a Hamiltonian path if and only if n ≥ 5, independent of who starts. Next, we look at Fixed Hamiltonian Path game, where the goal of Maker is to claim a Hamiltonian path between two predetermined vertices. We prove that if Maker starts the game, he wins if and only if n ≥ 7, and if Breaker starts, Maker wins if and only if n ≥ 8. Using this result, we are able to improve the previously best upper bound on the smallest number of edges a graph on n vertices can have, knowing that Maker can win the Maker-Breaker Hamiltonicity game played on its edges. To resolve the outcomes of the mentioned games on small (finite) boards, we devise algorithms for efficiently searching game trees and then obtain our results with the help of a computer.


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