## Abstract

It is well known that a graph with m edges can be made triangle-free by removing (slightly less than) m/2 edges. On the other hand, there are many classes of graphs which are hard to make triangle-free, in the sense that it is necessary to remove roughly m/2 edges in order to eliminate all triangles. We prove that dense graphs that are hard to make triangle-free have a large packing of pairwise edge-disjoint triangles. In particular, they have more than m(1/4+cβ) pairwise edge-disjoint triangles where β is the density of the graph and c â‰1 is an absolute constant. This improves upon a previous m(1/4-o(1)) bound which follows from the asymptotic validity of Tuza's conjecture for dense graphs. We conjecture that such graphs have an asymptotically optimal triangle packing of size m(1/3-o(1)). We extend our result from triangles to larger cliques and odd cycles.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 952-962 |

Number of pages | 11 |

Journal | Combinatorics Probability and Computing |

Volume | 21 |

Issue number | 6 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Nov 2012 |

## ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Theoretical Computer Science
- Statistics and Probability
- Computational Theory and Mathematics
- Applied Mathematics