### Contact Representations of Sparse Planar Graphs [article]

Md. Jawaherul Alam, David Eppstein, Michael Kaufmann, Stephen G. Kobourov, Sergey Pupyrev, Andre Schulz, Torsten Ueckerdt
2015 arXiv   pre-print
We study representations of graphs by contacts of circular arcs, CCA-representations for short, where the vertices are interior-disjoint circular arcs in the plane and each edge is realized by an endpoint of one arc touching the interior of another. A graph is (2,k)-sparse if every s-vertex subgraph has at most 2s - k edges, and (2, k)-tight if in addition it has exactly 2n - k edges, where n is the number of vertices. Every graph with a CCA- representation is planar and (2, 0)-sparse, and it
more » ... llows from known results on contacts of line segments that for k >= 3 every (2, k)-sparse graph has a CCA-representation. Hence the question of CCA-representability is open for (2, k)-sparse graphs with 0 <= k <= 2. We partially answer this question by computing CCA-representations for several subclasses of planar (2,0)-sparse graphs. In particular, we show that every plane (2, 2)-sparse graph has a CCA-representation, and that any plane (2, 1)-tight graph or (2, 0)-tight graph dual to a (2, 3)-tight graph or (2, 4)-tight graph has a CCA-representation. Next, we study CCA-representations in which each arc has an empty convex hull. We characterize the plane graphs that have such a representation, based on the existence of a special orientation of the graph edges. Using this characterization, we show that every plane graph of maximum degree 4 has such a representation, but that finding such a representation for a plane (2, 0)-tight graph with maximum degree 5 is an NP-complete problem. Finally, we describe a simple algorithm for representing plane (2, 0)-sparse graphs with wedges, where each vertex is represented with a sequence of two circular arcs (straight-line segments).