Infinite uniquely hamiltonian graphs

Importance: Medium ✭✭
Author(s): Mohar, Bojan
Recomm. for undergrads: no
Posted by: Robert Samal
on: July 24th, 2007
Problem   Are there any uniquely hamiltonian locally finite 1-ended graphs which are regular of degree $ r > 2 $?

(Originally appeared as [M].)

Let $ G $ be a locally finite infinite graph and let $ I(G) $ be the set of ends of~$ G $. The Freudenthal compactification of $ G $ is the topological space $ |G| $ which is obtained from the usual topological space of the graph, when viewed as a 1-dimensional cell complex, by adding all points of $ I(G) $ and setting, for each end $ t \in I(G) $, the basic set of neighborhoods of $ t $ to consist of sets of the form $ C(S, t) \cup  I(S,t) \cup E'(S,t) $, where $ S $ ranges over the finite subsets of $ V(G) $, $ C(S, t) $ is the component of $ G - S $ containing all rays in $ t $, the set $ I(S,t) $ contains all ends in $ I(G) $ having rays in $ C(S, t) $, and $ E'(S,t) $ is the union of half-edges $ (z,y] $, one for every edge $ xy $ joining $ S $ and $ C(S,t) $. We define a hamilton circle in $ |G| $ as a homeomorphic image $ C $ of the unit circle $ S^1 $ into $ |G| $ such that every vertex (and hence every end) of $ G $ appears in $ C $. More details about these notions can be found in [D].

A graph $ G $ (finite or infinite) is said to be uniquely hamiltonian if it contains precisely one hamilton circle.

For finite graphs, the celebrated Sheehan's conjecture states that there are no $ r $-regular uniquely hamiltonian graphs for $ r>2 $; this is known for all odd $ r $ and even $ r > 23 $. For infinite graphs this is false even for odd $ r $ (e.g. for the two-way infinite ladder), but each of the known counterexamples has at least 2 ends, leading to the problem stated.

Another way to extend Sheehan's conjecture to infinite graphs is to define degree of an end $ t \in I(G) $ to be the maximal number of disjoint rays in $ t $ and ask the following:

Problem   Are there any uniquely hamiltonian locally finite graphs where every vertex and every end has the same degree $ r > 2 $?


[D] R. Diestel, Graph Theory, Third Edition, Springer, 2005.

*[M] Bojan Mohar, Problem of the Month

* indicates original appearance(s) of problem.