Size Ramsey Numbers of Bounded-Degree Triangle-Free Graphs

23 February 2016
Rajko Nenadov

The size Ramsey number r'(H) of a graph H is the smallest number of edges in a graph G which is Ramsey with respect to H, that is, such that any 2-colouring of the edges of G contains a monochromatic copy of H. A famous result of Beck states that the size Ramsey number of the path with n vertices is at most bn for some fixed constant b > 0. An extension of this result to graphs of maximum degree ∆ was recently given by Kohayakawa, Rödl, Schacht and Szemerédi, who showed that there is a constant b > 0 depending only on ∆ such that if H is a graph with n vertices and maximum degree ∆ then r'(H) < bn^{2 - 1/∆} (log n)^{1/∆}. On the other hand, the only known lower-bound on the size Ramsey numbers of bounded-degree graphs is of order n (log n)^c for some constant c > 0, due to Rödl and Szemerédi.

Together with David Conlon, we make a small step towards improving the upper bound. In particular, we show that if H is a ∆-bounded-degree triangle-free graph then r'(H) < s(∆) n^{2 - 1/(∆ - 1/2)} polylog n. In this talk we discuss why 1/∆ is the natural "barrier" in the exponent and how we go around it, why we need the triangle-free condition and what are the limits of our approach.

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar