We introduce the notion of delineation. A graph class C is said delineated by twin-width (or simply, delineated) if for every hereditary closure D of a subclass of C, it holds that D has bounded twin-width if and only if D is monadically dependent. An effective strengthening of delineation for a class C implies that tractable FO model checking on C is perfectly understood: On hereditary closures of subclasses D of C, FO model checking on D is fixed-parameter tractable (FPT) exactly when D has bounded twin-width. Ordered graphs [BGOdMSTT, STOC ’22] and permutation graphs [BKTW, JACM ’22] are effectively delineated, while subcubic graphs are not. On the one hand, we prove that interval graphs, and even, rooted directed path graphs are delineated. On the other hand, we observe or show that segment graphs, directed path graphs (with arbitrarily many roots), and visibility graphs of simple polygons are not delineated.
In an effort to draw the delineation frontier between interval graphs (that are delineated) and axis-parallel two-lengthed segment graphs (that are not), we investigate the twin-width of restricted segment intersection classes. It was known that (triangle-free) pure axis-parallel unit segment graphs have unbounded twin-width [BGKTW, SODA ’21]. We show that Kt,t-free segment graphs, and axis-parallel Ht-free unit segment graphs have bounded twin-width, where Ht is the half-graph or ladder of height t. In contrast, axis-parallel H4-free two-lengthed segment graphs have unbounded twin-width. We leave as an open question whether unit segment graphs are delineated.
More broadly, we explore which structures (large bicliques, half-graphs, or independent sets) are responsible for making the twin-width large on the main classes of intersection and visibility graphs. Our new results, combined with the FPT algorithm for first-order model checking on graphs given with O(1)-sequences [BKTW, JACM ’22], give rise to a variety of algorithmic win-win arguments. They all fall in the same framework: If p is an FO definable graph parameter that effectively functionally upperbounds twin-width on a class C, then p(G) ⩾ k can be decided in FPT time f(k) · |V (G)|O(1). For instance, we readily derive FPT algorithms for k-Ladder on visibility graphs of 1.5D terrains, and k-Independent Set on visibility graphs of simple polygons. This showcases that the theory of twin-width can serve outside of classes of bounded twin-width.
Joint work with Édouard Bonnet, Dibyayan Chakraborty, Eun Jung Kim, Raul Lopesand Stéphan Thomassé.
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