The number of independent sets in an irregular graph
Abstract
Settling Kahn's conjecture (2001), we prove the following upper bound on the number $i(G)$ of independent sets in a graph $G$ without isolated vertices: \[ i(G) \le \prod_{uv \in E(G)} i(K_{d_u,d_v})^{1/(d_u d_v)}, \] where $d_u$ is the degree of vertex $u$ in $G$. Equality occurs when $G$ is a disjoint union of complete bipartite graphs. The inequality was previously proved for regular graphs by Kahn and Zhao. We also prove an analogous tight lower bound: \[ i(G) \ge \prod_{v \in V(G)} i(K_{d_v+1})^{1/(d_v + 1)}, \] where equality occurs for $G$ a disjoint union of cliques. More generally, we prove bounds on the weighted versions of these quantities, i.e., the independent set polynomial, or equivalently the partition function of the hardcore model with a given fugacity on a graph.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 May 2018
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1805.04021
 Bibcode:
 2018arXiv180504021S
 Keywords:

 Mathematics  Combinatorics
 EPrint:
 18 pages