Thoughts on Barnette's conjecture
We prove a new sufficient condition for a cubic 3-connected planar graph to be Hamiltonian. This condition is most easily described as a property of the dual graph. Let G be a planar triangulation. Then the dual G∗ is a cubic 3-connected planar graph, and G∗ is bipartite if and only if G is Eulerian. We prove that if the vertices of G are (improperly) coloured blue and red, such that the blue vertices cover the faces of G, there is no blue cycle, and every red cycle contains a vertex of degree at most 4, then G∗ is Hamiltonian. This result implies the following special case of Barnette’s Conjec- ture: if G is an Eulerian planar triangulation, whose vertices are properly coloured blue, red and green, such that every red-green cycle contains a vertex of degree 4, then G∗ is Hamiltonian. Our final result highlights the limitations of using a proper colouring of G as a starting point for proving Barnette’s Conjecture. We also explain related results on Bar- nette’s Conjecture that were obtained by Kelmans and for which detailed self-contained proofs have not been published.
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