We investigate a hierarchy of semidefinite bounds $\vartheta^{(r)}(G)$ for the stability number $\alpha (G)$ of a graph $G$, based on its copositive programming formulation and introduced by de Klerk and Pasechnik [SIAM J. Optim., 12 (2002), pp. 875--892], who conjectured convergence to $\alpha (G)$ in $r = \alpha(G)-1$ steps. Even the weaker conjecture claiming finite convergence is still open. We establish links between this hierarchy and sum-of-squares hierarchies based on the Motzkin--Straus formulation of $\alpha(G)$, which we use to show finite convergence when $G$ is acritical, i.e., when $\alpha(G\setminus e)=\alpha(G)$ for all edges $e$ of $G$. This relies, in particular, on understanding the structure of the minimizers of the Motzkin--Straus formulation and showing that their number is finite precisely when $G$ is acritical. Moreover we show that these results hold in the general setting of the weighted stable set problem for graphs equipped with positive node weights. In addition, as a byproduct we show that deciding whether a standard quadratic program has finitely many minimizers does not admit a polynomial-time algorithm unless P=NP.

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SIAM Journal on Optimization
Networks and Optimization

Laurent, M, & Vargas, L.F. (2022). Finite convergence of sum-of-squares hierarchies for the stability number of a graph. SIAM Journal on Optimization, 32(2), 491–518. doi:10.1137/21M140345X