Recently, Naiman and Wynn introduced the concept of an abstract tube in order to obtain improved inclusion-exclusion identities and inequalities that involve much fewer terms than their classical counterparts. In this paper, we introduce a particular class of abstract tubes which plays an important role with respect to chromatic polynomials and network reliability. The inclusion-exclusion identities and inequalities associated with this class simultaneously generalize several well-known results such as Whitney's broken circuit theorem, Shier's expression for the reliability of a network as an alternating sum over chains in a semilattice and Narushima's inclusion-exclusion identity for posets. Moreover, we show that under some restrictive assumptions a polynomial time inclusion-exclusion algorithm can be devised, which generalizes an important result of Provan and Ball on network reliability.
Klaus Dohmen. "Improved Inclusion-Exclusion Identities and Inequalities Based on a Particular Class of Abstract Tubes." Electron. J. Probab. 4 1 - 12, 1999. https://doi.org/10.1214/EJP.v4-42