Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Committee Chair

P. Mark Kayll

Commitee Members

Min Chen, Solomon Harrar, Jennifer McNulty, D. George McRae


acyclic, coloring, digraph, graph, homomorphism


University of Montana


In 1959 Paul Erdos (Graph theory and probability, Canad. J. Math. 11 (1959), 34-38) famously proved, nonconstructively, that there exist graphs that have both arbitrarily large girth and arbitrarily large chromatic number. This result, along with its proof, has had a number of descendants (D. Bokal, G. Fijavz, M. Juvan, P.M. Kayll and B. Mohar, The circular chromatic number of a digraph, J. Graph Theory 46 (2004), 227-240; B. Bollobas and N. Sauer, Uniquely colourable graphs with large girth, Canad. J. Math. 28 (1976), 1340-1344; J. Nesetril and X. Zhu, On sparse graphs with given colorings and homomorphisms, J. Combin. Theory Ser. B 90 (2004), 161-172; X. Zhu, Uniquely H-colorable graphs with large girth, J. Graph Theory 23 (1996), 33-41) that have extended and generalized the result while strengthening the techniques used to achieve it. We follow the lead of Xuding Zhu (op. cit.) who proved that, for a suitable graph H, there exist graphs of arbitrarily large girth that are uniquely H-colorable. We establish an analogue of Zhu's results in a digraph setting.

Let C and D be digraphs. A mapping f:V(D)&rarr V(C) is a C-coloring if for every arc uv of D, either f(u)f(v) is an arc of C or f(u)=f(v), and the preimage of every vertex of C induces an acyclic subdigraph in D. We say that D is C-colorable if it admits a C-coloring and that D is uniquely C-colorable if it is surjectively C-colorable and any two C-colorings of D differ by an automorphism of C. We prove that if D is a digraph that is not C-colorable, then there exist graphs of arbitrarily large girth that are D-colorable but not C-colorable. Moreover, for every digraph D that is uniquely D-colorable, there exists a uniquely D-colorable digraph of arbitrarily large girth.



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