Discrete Mathematics & Theoretical Computer Science, Vol 11, No 2 (2009)

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Spectral characterizations of sun graphs and broken sun graphs

Romain Boulet


Several matrices can be associated to a graph such as the adjacency matrix or the Laplacian matrix. The spectrum of these matrices gives some informations about the structure of the graph and the question ``Which graphs are determined by their spectrum?'' remains a difficult problem in algebraic graph theory. In this article we enlarge the known families of graphs determined by their spectrum by considering some unicyclic graphs. An odd (resp. even) sun is a graph obtained by appending a pendant vertex to each vertex of an odd (resp. even) cycle. A broken sun is a graph obtained by deleting pendant vertices of a sun. In this paper we prove that a sun is determined by its Laplacian spectrum, an odd sun is determined by its adjacency spectrum (counter-examples are given for even suns) and we give some spectral characterizations of broken suns.

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