## Abstract

The directions of an infinite graph G are a tangle-like description of its ends: they are choice functions that choose a component of G − X for all finite vertex sets X ⊆ V (G) in a compatible manner.

Although every direction is induced by a ray, there exist directions of graphs that are not uniquely determined by any countable subset of their choices. We characterise these directions and their countably determined counterparts in terms of star-like substructures or rays of the graph.

Curiously, there exist graphs whose directions are all countably determined but which cannot be distinguished all at once by countably many choices.

We structurally characterise the graphs whose directions can be distinguished all at once by countably many choices, and we structurally characterise the graphs whose directions cannot be distinguished in this manner. Our characterisations are phrased in terms of normal trees and tree-decompositions.

Our four (sub)structural characterisations imply combinatorial characterisations of the four classes of infinite graphs that are defined by the first and second axiom of countability applied to their end spaces: the two classes of graphs whose end spaces are first countable or second countable, respectively, and the complements of these two classes.

Although every direction is induced by a ray, there exist directions of graphs that are not uniquely determined by any countable subset of their choices. We characterise these directions and their countably determined counterparts in terms of star-like substructures or rays of the graph.

Curiously, there exist graphs whose directions are all countably determined but which cannot be distinguished all at once by countably many choices.

We structurally characterise the graphs whose directions can be distinguished all at once by countably many choices, and we structurally characterise the graphs whose directions cannot be distinguished in this manner. Our characterisations are phrased in terms of normal trees and tree-decompositions.

Our four (sub)structural characterisations imply combinatorial characterisations of the four classes of infinite graphs that are defined by the first and second axiom of countability applied to their end spaces: the two classes of graphs whose end spaces are first countable or second countable, respectively, and the complements of these two classes.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 31-56 |

Number of pages | 26 |

Journal | Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series B |

Volume | 156 |

Early online date | 3 May 2022 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - Sept 2022 |

## Keywords

- Infinite graph
- Countably determined
- End
- Direction
- End space
- Axioms of countability
- First countable
- Second countable
- Normal tree
- Tree-decomposition