Graphs with sparsity order at most two: the complex case
Ter Horst, S.
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The sparsity order of a (simple undirected) graph is the highest possible rank (over or ) of the extremal elements in the matrix cone that consists of positive semidefinite matrices with prescribed zeros on the positions that correspond to non-edges of the graph (excluding the diagonal entries). The graphs of sparsity order 1 (for both and ) correspond to chordal graphs, those graphs that do not contain a cycle of length greater than three, as an induced subgraph, or equivalently, is a clique-sum of cliques. There exist analogues, though more complicated, characterizations of the case where the sparsity order is at most 2, which are different for and . The existing proof for the complex case, is based on the result for the real case. In this paper we provide a more elementary proof of the characterization of the graphs whose complex sparsity order is at most two. Part of our proof relies on a characterization of the -free graphs, with the path of length 3 and the stable set of cardinality 3, and of the class of clique-sums of such graphs