On the arithmetic of graphs

Oliver Knill

The Zykov ring of signed finite simple graphs with topological join as addition and compatible multiplication is an integral domain but not a unique factorization domain. We know that because by taking graph complements, it becomes isomorphic to the strong Sabidussi ring with disjoint union as addition. We prove that the Euler characteristic is a ring homomorphism from the strong ring to the integers by demonstrating that the strong ring is homotopic to a Stanley-Reisner Cartesian ring. More generally, the Kuenneth formula holds on the strong ring so that the Poincare polynomial is compatible with the ring structure. The Zykov ring has the clique number as a ring homomorphism. Furthermore, the Cartesian ring has the property that the functor which attaches to a graph the spectrum of its connection Laplacian is multiplicative. The reason is that the connection Laplacians do tensor under multiplication, similarly to what the adjacency matrix does for the weak ring. The strong ring product of two graphs contains both the weak and direct product graphs as subgraphs. The Zykov, Sabidussi or Stanley-Reisner rings are so manifestations of a network arithmetic which has remarkable cohomological properties, dimension and spectral compatibility but where arithmetic questions like the complexity of detecting primes or factoring are not yet studied well. We illustrate the Zykov arithmetic with examples, especially from the subring generated by point graphs which contains spheres, stars or complete bipartite graphs. While things are formulated in the language of graph theory, all constructions generalize to the larger category of finite abstract simplicial complexes.

Knowledge Graph



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