Interlacing families I: Bipartite Ramanujan graphs of all degrees


We prove that there exist infinite families of regular bipartite Ramanujan graphs of every degree bigger than $2$. We do this by proving a variant of a conjecture of Bilu and Linial about the existence of good 2-lifts of every graph. We also establish the existence of infinite families of “irregular Ramanujan” graphs, whose eigenvalues are bounded by the spectral radius of their universal cover. Such families were conjectured to exist by Linial and others. In particular, we prove the existence of infinite families of $(c,d)$-biregular bipartite graphs with all nontrivial eigenvalues bounded by $\sqrt{c-1}+\sqrt{d-1}$ for all $c, d \geq 3$. Our proof exploits a new technique for controlling the eigenvalues of certain random matrices, which we call the “method of interlacing polynomials.”


Adam W. Marcus

Department of Mathematics, Yale University, PO Box 208283, New Haven, CT 06520-8283

Daniel A. Spielman

Yale Institute for Network Science, PO Box 208263, 17 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven, CT 06520-8263

Nikhil Srivastava

Microsoft Research, "Vigyan", #9, Lavelle Road, Bangalore 560 001, India

Current address:

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA