We define what appears to be a new construction. Given a graph G and a positive integer k, the reduced kth power of G, denoted G(k), is the configuration space in which k indistinguishable tokens are placed on the vertices of G, so that any vertex can hold up to k tokens. Two configurations are adjacent if one can be transformed to the other by moving a single token along an edge to an adjacent vertex. We present propositions related to the structural properties of reduced graph powers and, most significantly, provide a construction of minimum cycle bases of G(k).
The minimum cycle basis construction is an interesting combinatorial problem that is also useful in applications involving configuration spaces. For example, if G is the state-transition graph of a Markov chain model of a stochastic automaton, the reduced power G(k) is the state-transition graph for k identical (but not necessarily independent) automata. We show how the minimum cycle basis construction of G(k) may be used to confirm that state-dependent coupling of automata does not violate the principle of microscopic reversibility, as required in physical and chemical applications.
Ars Mathematica Contemporanea
Hammack, Richard H. and Smith, Gregory D., "Cycle bases of reduced powers of graphs" (2016). Ars Mathematica Contemporanea. 2.