Sum-distinguishing number of sparse hypergraphs

Maria Axenovich, Yair Caro, Raphael Yuster

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A vertex labeling of a hypergraph is sum distinguishing if it uses positive integers and the sums of labels taken over the distinct hyperedges are distinct. Let s(H) be the smallest integer N such that there is a sum-distinguishing labeling of H with each label at most N. The largest value of s(H) over all hypergraphs on n vertices and m hyperedges is denoted s(n,m). We prove that s(n,m) is almost-quadratic in m as long as m is not too large. More precisely, the following holds: If n≤m≤nO(1) then [Formula presented] where w(m) is a function that goes to infinity and is smaller than any polynomial in m. The parameter s(n,m) has close connections to several other graph and hypergraph functions, such as the irregularity strength of hypergraphs. Our result has several applications, notably: • We answer a question of Gyárfás et al. whether there are n-vertex hypergraphs with irregularity strength greater than 2n. In fact we show that there are n-vertex hypergraphs with irregularity strength at least n2−o(1). • In addition, our results imply that s(n)=n2/w(n) where s(n) is the distinguishing closed-neighborhood number, i.e., the smallest integer N such that any n-vertex graph allows for a vertex labeling with positive integers at most N so that the sums of labels on distinct closed neighborhoods of vertices are distinct.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103712
JournalEuropean Journal of Combinatorics
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics


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