Between Treewidth and Clique-Width
Many hard graph problems can be solved efficiently when restricted to graphs of bounded treewidth, and more generally to graphs of bounded clique-width. But there is a price to be paid for this generality, exemplified by the four problems MaxCut, Graph Coloring, Hamiltonian Cycle and Edge Dominating Set that are all FPT parameterized by treewidth but none of which can be FPT parameterized by clique-width unless the Exponential Time Hypothesis fails, as shown by Fomin et al. . We therefore seek a structural graph parameter that shares some of the generality of clique-width without paying this price.
Based on splits, branch decompositions and the work of Vatshelle  on Maximum Matching-width, we consider the graph parameter sm-width which lies between treewidth and clique-width. Some graph classes of unbounded tree-width, like distance-hereditary graphs, have bounded sm-width. We show that MaxCut, Graph Coloring, Hamiltonian Cycle and Edge Dominating Set are all FPT parameterized by sm-width.
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