We show that a small tree-decomposition of a knot diagram induces a small sphere-decomposition of the corresponding knot. This, in turn, implies that the knot admits a small essential planar meridional surface or a small bridge sphere. We use this to give the first examples of knots where any diagram has high tree-width. This answers a question of Burton and of Makowsky and Mariño.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Computational Geometry
|Published - 1 Jan 2019