On the 12-representability of induced subgraphs of a grid graph

Chen, Joanna N. and Kitaev, Sergey (2022) On the 12-representability of induced subgraphs of a grid graph. Discussiones Mathematicae Graph Theory, 42 (2). pp. 383-403. ISSN 1234-3099 (https://doi.org/10.7151/dmgt.2263)

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The notion of a 12-representable graph was introduced by Jones, Kitaev, Pyatkin and Remmel in [Representing graphs via pattern avoiding words, Electron. J. Combin. 22 (2015) #P2.53]. This notion generalizes the notions of the much studied permutation graphs and co-interval graphs. It is known that any 12-representable graph is a comparability graph, and also that a tree is 12-representable if and only if it is a double caterpillar. Moreover, Jones et al. initiated the study of 12- representability of induced subgraphs of a grid graph, and asked whether it is possible to characterize such graphs. This question of Jones et al. is meant to be about induced subgraphs of a grid graph that consist of squares, which we call square grid graphs. However, an induced subgraph in a grid graph does not have to contain entire squares, and we call such graphs line grid graphs. In this paper we answer the question of Jones et al. by providing a complete characterization of 12-representable square grid graphs in terms of forbidden induced subgraphs. Moreover, we conjecture such a characterization for the line grid graphs and give a number of results towards solving this challenging conjecture. Our results are a major step in the direction of characterization of all 12-representable graphs since beyond our characterization, we also discuss relations between graph labelings and 12-representability, one of the key open questions in the area.