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Regular graphs constructed from the classical generalized quadrangle Q(4, q)



Let ck be the smallest number of vertices in a regular graph with valency k and girth 8. It is known that ck + 12(1 + k + k2 + k3) with equality if and only if there exists a finite generalized quadrangle of order k. No such quadrangle is known when k is not a prime power. In this case, small regular graphs of valency k + 1 and girth 8 can be constructed from known generalized quadrangles of order q>k by removing a part of its structure. We investigate the case when q = k + 1 is a prime power, and try to determine the smallest graph under consideration that can be constructed from a generalized quadrangle of order q. This problem appears to be much more difficult than expected. We have general bounds and improve these for the classical generalized quadrangle Q(4, q), q even. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Combin Designs 19:70-83, 2010