Contraction Blockers for Graphs with Forbidden Induced Paths
We consider the following problem: can a certain graph parameter of some given graph be reduced by at least d for some integer d via at most k edge contractions for some given integer k? We examine three graph parameters: the chromatic number clique number and independence number. For each of these graph parameters we show that when d is part of the input this problem is polynomial-time solvable on P-4-free graphs and NP-complete as well as W-hard with parameter d for split graphs. As split graphs form a subclass of P-5-free graphs both results together give a complete complexity classification for P-l-free graphs. The W-hardness result implies that it is unlikely that the problem is fixed-parameter tractable for split graphs with parameter d. But we do show on the positive side that the problem is polynomial-time solvable for each parameter on split graphs if d is fixed i.e. not part of the input. We also initiate a study into other subclasses of perfect graphs namely cobipartite graphs and interval graphs.