Matroids, delta-matroids and embedded graphs

Carolyn Chun, Iain Moffatt, Steven Noble, Ralf Rueckriemen

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Matroid theory is often thought of as a generalization of graph theory. In this paper we propose an analogous correspondence between embedded graphs and delta-matroids. We show that delta-matroids arise as the natural extension of graphic matroids to the setting of embedded graphs. We show that various basic ribbon graph operations and concepts have delta-matroid analogues, and illus- trate how the connections between embedded graphs and delta-matroids can be exploited. Also, in direct analogy with the fact that the Tutte polynomial is matroidal, we show that several polynomials of embedded graphs from the literature, including the Las Vergnas, Bollabas-Riordan and Krushkal polynomials, are in fact delta-matroidal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-59
Number of pages53
JournalJournal of Combinatorial Theory, Series A
Early online date12 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

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