Discrete & Computational Geometry

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 57–97 | Cite as

On Forbidden Induced Subgraphs for Unit Disk Graphs

  • Aistis Atminas
  • Viktor Zamaraev


A unit disk graph is the intersection graph of disks of equal radii in the plane. The class of unit disk graphs is hereditary, and therefore admits a characterization in terms of minimal forbidden induced subgraphs. In spite of quite active study of unit disk graphs very little is known about minimal forbidden induced subgraphs for this class. We found only finitely many minimal non-unit disk graphs in the literature. In this paper we study in a systematic way forbidden induced subgraphs for the class of unit disk graphs. We develop several structural and geometrical tools, and use them to reveal infinitely many new minimal non-unit disk graphs. Further we use these results to investigate structure of co-bipartite unit disk graphs. In particular, we give structural characterization of those co-bipartite unit disk graphs whose edges between parts form a \(C_4\)-free bipartite graph, and show that bipartite complements of these graphs are also unit disk graphs. Our results lead us to propose a conjecture that the class of co-bipartite unit disk graphs is closed under bipartite complementation.


Unit disk graphs Co-bipartite graphs Forbidden induced subgraphs 

Mathematics Subject Classification

05C75 05C62 



The authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their careful reading of the paper and many helpful suggestions and comments. Zamaraev acknowledges support from EPSRC, Grant EP/L020408/1; and from Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Grant 14-01-00515-a.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Science and TechnologyNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Mathematics InstituteUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

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