In this paper, we approach the quality of a greedy algorithm for the maximum weighted clique problem from the viewpoint of matroid theory. More precisely, we consider the clique complex of a graph (the collection of all cliques of the graph) which is also called a flag complex, and investigate the minimum number k such that the clique complex of a given graph can be represented as the intersection of k matroids. This number k can be regarded as a measure of "how complex a graph is with respect to the maximum weighted clique problem" since a greedy algorithm is a k-approximation algorithm for this problem. For any k > 0, we characterize graphs whose clique complexes can be represented as the intersection of k matroids. As a consequence, we can see that the class of clique complexes is the same as the class of the intersections of partition matroids. Moreover, we determine how many matroids are necessary and sufficient for the representation of all graphs with n vertices. This number turns out to be n - 1. Other related investigations are also given. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kashiwabara, K., Okamoto, Y., & Uno, T. (2007). Matroid representation of clique complexes. Discrete Applied Mathematics, 155(15), 1910–1929. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dam.2007.05.004