Sufficient conditions to imply the existence of certain substructures in a graph are of considerable interest in extremal graph theory, and conditions that guarantee a large set of cycles or chorded cycles are a recurring theme. This dissertation explores different degree sum conditions that are sufficient for finding a large set of vertex-disjoint cycles or a large set of vertex-disjoint chorded cycles in a graph.
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For an integer $t\ge 1$, let $\sigma_t (G)$ be the smallest sum of degrees of
$t$ independent vertices of $G$. We first prove that if a graph $G$ has order at least $7k+1$ and
degree sum condition $\sigma_4(G)\ge 8k-3$, with $k\ge 2$,
then $G$ contains $k$ vertex-disjoint cycles. Then, we consider an equivalent condition for chorded cycles, proving that if $G$ has order at least $11k+7$ and $\sigma_4(G)\ge 12k-3$, with $k\ge 2$,
then $G$ contains $k$ vertex-disjoint chorded cycles. We prove that the degree sum condition in each result is sharp. Finally, we conjecture generalized degree sum conditions on $\sigma_t(G)$ for $t\ge 2$ sufficient to imply that $G$ contains $k$ vertex-disjoint cycles for $k \ge 2$ and $k$ vertex-disjoint chorded cycles for $k \ge 2$. This is joint work with Ronald J. Gould and Kazuhide Hirohata.