A tight bound on the collection of edges in MSTs of induced subgraphs

Let G=(V,E) be a complete n-vertex graph with distinct positive edge weights. We prove that for k{1,2,…,n−1}, the set consisting of the edges of all minimum spanning trees (MSTs) over induced subgraphs of G with n−k+1 vertices has at most elements. This proves a conjecture of Goemans and Vondrák [M.X. Goemans, J. Vondrák, Covering minimum spanning trees of random subgraphs, Random Structures Algorithms 29 (3) (2005) 257–276]. We also show that the result is a generalization of Mader's Theorem, which bounds the number of edges in any edge-minimal k-connected graph.

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/35407/