Outerstring graphs are $\chi$-bounded

Alexandre Rok, Bartosz Walczak

An outerstring graph is an intersection graph of curves that lie in a common half-plane and have one endpoint on the boundary of that half-plane. We prove that the class of outerstring graphs is $\chi$-bounded, which means that their chromatic number is bounded by a function of their clique number. This generalizes a series of previous results on $\chi$-boundedness of outerstring graphs with various additional restrictions on the shape of curves or the number of times the pairs of curves can cross. The assumption that each curve has an endpoint on the boundary of the half-plane is justified by the known fact that triangle-free intersection graphs of straight-line segments can have arbitrarily large chromatic number.

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