Discrete Applied Mathematics, Volume 195, 20 November 2015, Pages 59–73

**Abstract**

We define a new graph operator, called the weak-factor graph, which comes from the context of complex network modelling. The weak-factor operator is close to the well-known clique-graph operator but it rather operates in terms of bicliques in a multipartite graph. We address the problem of the termination of the series of graphs obtained by iteratively applying the weak-factor operator starting from a given input graph. As for the clique-graph operator, it turns out that some graphs give rise to series that do not terminate. Therefore, we design a slight variation of the weak-factor operator, called clean-factor, and prove that its associated series terminates for all input graphs. In addition, we show that the multipartite graph on which the series terminates has a very

nice combinatorial structure: we exhibit a bijection between its vertices and the chains of the inclusion order on the intersections of the maximal cliques of the input graph.