A proper edge-coloring of a graph G is an assignment of colors to the edges of G such that adjacent edges receive distinct colors. A proper edge-coloring defines at each vertex the set of colors of its incident edges. Following the terminology introduced by Horňák, Kalinowski, Meszka and Woźniak, we call such a set of colors the palette of the vertex. What is the minimum number of distinct palettes taken over all proper edge-colorings of G? A complete answer is known for complete graphs and cubic graphs. We study in some detail the problem for 4-regular graphs. In particular, we show that certain values of the palette index imply the existence of an even cycle decomposition of size 3 (a partition of the edge-set of a graph into 3 2-regular subgraphs whose connected components are cycles of even length). This result can be extended to 4d-regular graphs. Moreover, in studying the palette index of a 4-regular graph, the following problem arises: does there exist a 4-regular graph whose even cycle decompositions cannot have size smaller than 4?

### Edge-Colorings of 4-Regular Graphs with the Minimum Number of Palettes

#### Abstract

A proper edge-coloring of a graph G is an assignment of colors to the edges of G such that adjacent edges receive distinct colors. A proper edge-coloring defines at each vertex the set of colors of its incident edges. Following the terminology introduced by Horňák, Kalinowski, Meszka and Woźniak, we call such a set of colors the palette of the vertex. What is the minimum number of distinct palettes taken over all proper edge-colorings of G? A complete answer is known for complete graphs and cubic graphs. We study in some detail the problem for 4-regular graphs. In particular, we show that certain values of the palette index imply the existence of an even cycle decomposition of size 3 (a partition of the edge-set of a graph into 3 2-regular subgraphs whose connected components are cycles of even length). This result can be extended to 4d-regular graphs. Moreover, in studying the palette index of a 4-regular graph, the following problem arises: does there exist a 4-regular graph whose even cycle decompositions cannot have size smaller than 4?
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2016
Palette index,4-Regular graphs, Edge-coloring, Even cycle decomposition, Even 2-factor
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