The class of 3-connected (i.e., 3-vertex-connected) graphs has been studied intensively for many reasons in the past 50 years. One algorithmic reason is that graph problems can often be reduced to handle only 3-connected graphs; applications include problems in graph drawing, problems related to planarity and online problems on planar graphs.
It is possible to test a graph on being 3-connected in linear time. However, the linear-time algorithms known are complicated and difficult to implement. For that reason, it is essential to check implementations of these algorithms to be correct. A way to check the correctness of an algorithm for every instance is to make it certifying, i. e., to enhance its output by an easy-to-verify certificate of correctness for that output. However, surprisingly few work has been devoted to find certifying algorithms that test 3-connectivity; in fact, the currently fastest algorithms need quadratic time.
Two classic results in graph theory due to Barnette, Grünbaum and Tutte show that 3-connected graphs can be characterized by the existence of certain inductively defined constructions. We give new variants of these constructions, relate these to already existing ones and show how they can be exploited algorithmically. Our main result is a linear-time certifying algorithm for testing 3-connectivity, which is based on these constructions. This yields also simple certifying algorithms in linear time for 2-connectivity, 2-edge-connectivity and 3-edge-connectivity. We conclude this thesis by a structural result that shows that one of the constructions is preserved when being applied to depth-first trees of the graph only.