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BIRS Workshop Lecture Videos

Maximum number of colourings and Tomescu's conjecture Mohar, Bojan


It is proved that every connected graph $G$ on $n$ vertices with $\chi(G) \geq 4$ has at most $k(k-1)^{n-3}(k-2)(k-3)$ $k$-colourings for every $k \geq 4$. Equality holds for some (and then for every) $k$ if and only if the graph is formed from $K_4$ by repeatedly adding leaves. This confirms (a strengthening of) the $4$-chromatic case of a long-standing conjecture of Tomescu [Le nombre des graphes connexes $k$-chromatiques minimaux aux sommets etiquetes, C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris 273 (1971), 1124--1126]. Proof methods may be of independent interest. In particular, one of our auxiliary results about list-chromatic polynomials solves a recent conjecture of Brown, Erey, and Li. (Joint work with Fiachra Knox.)

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