Examples and counterexamples for the Perles conjecture
Christian Haase and Günter M. Ziegler – 2002
The combinatorial structure of a d-dimensional simple convex polytope can be reconstructed from its abstract graph [Blind & Mani 1987, Kalai 1988]. However, no polynomial/efficient algorithm is known for this task, although a polynomially checkable certificate for the correct reconstruction was found by [Joswig, Kaibel & Koerner 2000]. A much stronger certificate would be given by the following characterization of the facet subgraphs, conjectured by M. Perles: ``The facet subgraphs of the graph of a simple d-polytope are exactly all the (d-1)-regular, connected, induced, non-separating subgraphs'' [Perles 1970]. We give examples for the validity of Perles conjecture: In particular, it holds for the duals of cyclic polytopes, and for the duals of stacked polytopes. On the other hand, we identify a topological obstruction that must be present in any counterexample to Perles' conjecture; thus, starting with a modification of ``Bing's house'', we construct explicit 4-dimensional counterexamples.