Abstract:

Two graphs with adjacency matrices $\mathbf{A}$ and $\mathbf{B}$ are isomorphic if there exists a permutation matrix $\mathbf{P}$ for which the identity $\mathbf{P}^{\mathrm{T}} \mathbf{A} \mathbf{P} = \mathbf{B}$ holds. Multiplying through by $\mathbf{P}$ and relaxing the permutation matrix to a doubly stochastic matrix leads to the linear programming relaxation known as fractional isomorphism. We show that the levels of the SheraliAdams (SA) hierarchy of linear programming relaxations applied to fractional isomorphism interleave in power with the levels of a wellknown colorrefinement heuristic for graph isomorphism called the WeisfeilerLehman algorithm, or, equivalently, with the levels of indistinguishability in a logic with counting quantifiers and a bounded number of variables. This tight connection has quite striking consequences. For example, it follows immediately from a deep result of Grohe in the context of logics with counting quantifiers that a fixed number of levels of SA suffice to determine isomorphism of planar and minorfree graphs. We also offer applications in both finite model theory and polyhedral combinatorics. First, we show that certain properties of graphs, such as that of having a flow circulation of a prescribed value, are definable in the infinitary logic with counting with a bounded number of variables. Second, we exploit a lower bound construction due to Cai, Fürer, and Immerman in the context of counting logics to give simple explicit instances that show that the SA relaxations of the vertexcover and cut polytopes do not reach their integer hulls for up to $\Omega(n)$ levels, where $n$ is the number of vertices in the graph. 