Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Mathematical Science

Committee Member

Dr. Wayne Goddard, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Michael Burr

Committee Member

Dr. Gretchen Matthews

Committee Member

Dr. Beth Novick


A graph coloring is an assignment of labels called “colors” to certain elements of a graph subject to certain constraints. The proper vertex coloring is the most common type of graph coloring, where each vertex of a graph is assigned one color such that no two adjacent vertices share the same color, with the objective of minimizing the number of colors used. One can obtain various generalizations of the proper vertex coloring problem, by strengthening or relaxing the constraints or changing the objective. We study several types of such generalizations in this thesis. Series-parallel graphs are multigraphs that have no K4-minor. We provide bounds on their fractional and circular chromatic numbers and the defective version of these pa-rameters. In particular we show that the fractional chromatic number of any series-parallel graph of odd girth k is exactly 2k/(k − 1), confirming a conjecture by Wang and Yu. We introduce a generalization of defective coloring: each vertex of a graph is assigned a fraction of each color, with the total amount of colors at each vertex summing to 1. We define the fractional defect of a vertex v to be the sum of the overlaps with each neighbor of v, and the fractional defect of the graph to be the maximum of the defects over all vertices. We provide results on the minimum fractional defect of 2-colorings of some graphs. We also propose some open questions and conjectures. Given a (not necessarily proper) vertex coloring of a graph, a subgraph is called rainbow if all its vertices receive different colors, and monochromatic if all its vertices receive the same color. We consider several types of coloring here: a no-rainbow-F coloring of G is a coloring of the vertices of G without rainbow subgraph isomorphic to F ; an F -WORM coloring of G is a coloring of the vertices of G without rainbow or monochromatic subgraph isomorphic to F ; an (M, R)-WORM coloring of G is a coloring of the vertices of G with neither a monochromatic subgraph isomorphic to M nor a rainbow subgraph isomorphic to R. We present some results on these concepts especially with regards to the existence of colorings, complexity, and optimization within certain graph classes. Our focus is on the case that F , M or R is a path, cycle, star, or clique.