#### Title

Techniques for determining equality of the maximum nullity and the zero forcing number of a graph

#### Degree Type

Dissertation

#### Date of Award

2019

#### Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

#### Department

Mathematics

#### Major

Mathematics

#### First Advisor

Leslie Hogben

#### Abstract

The maximum nullity of a simple graph $ G $ over a field $ \mathcal{F} $ is the

maximum nullity over all symmetric matrices over $ \mathcal{F} $ whose $ ij$th

entry (where $ i \neq j $ ) is nonzero if and only if $ ij $ is an edge in $ G $ and

is zero otherwise. The zero forcing number of a graph is the minimum

cardinality over all zero forcing sets. It is known that the zero forcing number of a graph

is an upper bound for the maximum nullity of the graph (see \cite{MR2388646}).

In this dissertation, we search for characteristics of a graph that guarantee

the maximum nullity of the graph and the zero forcing number of the graph are

the same by studying a variety of graph parameters which bound the maximum nullity

of a graph below. Graph parameters that are considered are a Colin de Verdi\'ere type parameter and the vertex connectivity. We also use matrices, such as a divisor matrix of a graph and an equitable partition of the adjacency matrix of a graph, to establish a lower bound for the nullity of the graph's adjacency matrix. Last, we introduce a new graph parameter and show that it has the same value as the nullity of the graph's adjacency matrix, which is a lower bound for the maximum nullity of a graph.

#### Copyright Owner

Derek Dwight Young

#### Copyright Date

2019-05

#### Language

en

#### File Format

application/pdf

#### File Size

46 pages

#### Recommended Citation

Young, Derek Dwight, "Techniques for determining equality of the maximum nullity and the zero forcing number of a graph" (2019). *Graduate Theses and Dissertations*. 17128.

https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/etd/17128