Boundary properties of factorial classes of graphs

For a class of graphs X, let X_n be the number of graphs with vertex set {1,...,n} in the class X, also known as the speed of X. It is known that in the family of hereditary classes (i.e. those that are closed under taking induced subgraphs) the speeds constitute discrete layers and the first four lower layers are constant, polynomial, exponential, and factorial. For each of these four layers a complete list of minimal classes is available, and this information allows to provide a global structural characterization for the first three of them. The minimal layer for which no such characterization is known is the factorial one. A possible approach to obtaining such a characterization could be through identifying all minimal superfactorial classes. However, no such class is known and possibly no such class exists. To overcome this difficulty, we employ the notion of boundary classes that has been recently introduced to study algorithmic graph problems and reveal the first few boundary classes for the factorial layer.

Joint work with Vadim Lozin.