New methods for finding minimum genus embeddings of graphs on orientable and non-orientable surfaces

Marston D. E. Conder, Klara Stokes


The question of how to find the smallest genus of all embeddings of a given finite connected graph on an orientable (or non-orientable) surface has a long and interesting history. In this paper we introduce four new approaches to help answer this question, in both the orientable and non-orientable cases. One approach involves taking orbits of subgroups of the automorphism group on cycles of particular lengths in the graph as candidates for subsets of the faces of an embedding. Another uses properties of an auxiliary graph defined in terms of compatibility of these cycles. We also present two methods that make use of integer linear programming, to help determine bounds for the minimum genus, and to find minimum genus embeddings. This work was motivated by the problem of finding the minimum genus of the Hoffman-Singleton graph, and succeeded not only in solving that problem but also in answering several other open questions.


Graph embedding, genus


ISSN: 1855-3974

Issues from Vol 6, No 1 onward are partially supported by the Slovenian Research Agency from the Call for co-financing of scientific periodical publications