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On Vertex-Triads in 3-Connected Binary Matroids

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 December 1998

Department of Mathematics, Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA 70813, USA (e-mail:


A cocircuit C* in a matroid M is said to be non-separating if and only if M[setmn ]C*, the deletion of C* from M, is connected. A vertex-triad in a matroid is a three-element non-separating cocircuit. Non-separating cocircuits in binary matroids correspond to vertices in graphs. Let C be a circuit of a 3-connected binary matroid M such that [mid ]E(M)[mid ][ges ]4 and, for all elements x of C, the deletion of x from M is not 3-connected. We prove that C meets at least two vertex-triads of M. This gives direct binary matroid generalizations of certain graph results of Halin, Lemos, and Mader. For binary matroids, it also generalizes a result of Oxley. We also prove that a minimally 3-connected binary matroid M which has at least four elements has at least ½r*(M)+1 vertex-triads, where r*(M) is the corank of the matroid M. An immediate consequence of this result is the following result of Halin: a minimally 3-connected graph with n vertices has at least 2n+6/5 vertices of degree three. We also generalize Tutte's Triangle Lemma for general matroids.

Research Article
1998 Cambridge University Press

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