Paolo Aluffi, Matilde Marcolli
Feynman motives and deletion-contraction relations
We prove a deletion-contraction formula for motivic Feynman rules given by the classes of the affine graph hypersurface complement in the Grothendieck ring of varieties. We derive explicit recursions and generating series for these motivic Feynman rules under the operation of multiplying edges in a graph and we compare it with similar formulae for the Tutte polynomial of graphs, both being specializations of the same universal recursive relation. We obtain similar recursions for graphs that are chains of polygons and for graphs obtained by replacing an edge by a chain of triangles. We show that the deletion-contraction relation can be lifted to the level of the category of mixed motives in the form of a distinguished triangle, similarly to what happens in categorifications of graph invariants.