GATE | GATE-CS-2016 (Set 1) | Question 50

• Last Updated : 28 Jun, 2021

G = (V, E) is an undirected simple graph in which each edge has a distinct weight, and e is a particular edge of G. Which of the following statements about the minimum spanning trees (MSTs) of G is/are TRUE

```I.  If e is the lightest edge of some cycle in G,
then every MST of G includes e
II. If e is the heaviest edge of some cycle in G,
then every MST of G excludes e
```

(A) I only
(B) II only
(C) both I and II
(D) neither I nor II

Explanation:
I is NOT true.
Let G=(V, E) be a rectangular graph where V = {a, b, c, d} and E = {ab, bc, cd, da, ac}.
Let the edges have weights: ab = 1, bc = 2, cd = 4, da = 5, ac = 3. Then, clearly, ac is the lightest edge of the cycle cdac, however, the MST abcd with cost 7 (= ab + bc + cd) does not include it.
Let the edges have weights: ab = 6, bc – 7, cd = 4, da = 5, ac = 3. Then, again, ac is the lightest edge of the cycle cdac, and, the MST bacd with cost 13 (= ba + ac + cd) includes it.
So, the MSTs of G may or may not include the lightest edge.

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II is true
Let the heavies edge be e. Suppose the minimum spanning tree which contains e. If we add one more edge to the spanning tree we will create a cycle. Suppose we add edge e’ to the spanning tree which generated cycle C. We can reduce the cost of the minimum spanning tree if we choose an edge other than e from C for removal which implies that e must not be in minimum spanning tree and we get a contradiction.

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