Open Access

Helly property, clique raphs, complementary graph classes, and sandwich problems

  • Mitre C. Dourado1,
  • Priscila Petito2,
  • Rafael B. Teixeira2 and
  • Celina M. H. de Figueiredo2
Journal of the Brazilian Computer Society14:BF03192558

DOI: 10.1007/BF03192558

Received: 18 January 2008

Accepted: 12 May 2008


A sandwich problem for property π asks whether there exists a sandwich graph of a given pair of graphs which has the desired property π Graph sandwich problems were first defined in the context of Computational Biology as natural generalizations of recognition problems. We contribute to the study of the complexity of graph sandwich problems by considering the Helly property and complementary graph classes. We obtain a graph class defined by a finite family of minimal forbidden subgraphs for which the sandwich problem is NP-complete. A graph is clique-Helly when its family of cliques satisfies the Helly property. A graph is hereditary clique-Helly when all of its induced subgraphs are clique-Helly. The clique graph of a graph is the intersection graph of the family of its cliques. The recognition problem for the class of clique graphs was a long-standing open problem that was recently solved. We show that the sandwich problems for the graph classes: clique, clique-Helly, hereditary clique-Helly, and clique-Helly nonhereditary are all NP-complete. We propose the study of the complexity of sandwich problems for complementary graph classes as a mean to further understand the sandwich problem as a generalization of the recognition problem.


Helly property Clique graphs Sandwich problems Computational difficulty of problems