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We investigate some graph parameters dealing with biindependent pairs $(A,B)$ in a bipartite graph $G=(V_1\cup V_2,E)$, i.e., pairs $(A,B)$ where $A\subseteq V_1$, $B\subseteq V_2$ and $A\cup B$ is independent. These parameters also allow to study bicliques in general graphs. When maximizing the cardinality $|A\cup B|$ one finds the stability number $\alpha(G)$, well-known to be polynomial-time computable. When maximizing the product $|A|\cdot |B|$ one finds the parameter $g(G)$, shown to be NP-hard by Peeters (2003), and when maximizing the ratio $|A|\cdot |B|/|A\cup B|$ one finds $h(G)$, introduced by Vallentin (2020) for bounding product-free sets in finite groups. We show that $h(G)$ is an NP-hard parameter and, as a crucial ingredient, that it is NP-complete to decide whether a bipartite graph $G$ has a balanced maximum independent set. These hardness results motivate introducing semidefinite programming bounds for $g(G)$, $h(G)$, and $\alpha_{\text{bal}}(G)$ (the maximum cardinality of a balanced independent set). We show that these bounds can be seen as natural variations of the Lov\'{a}sz $\vartheta$-number, a well-known semidefinite bound on $\alpha(G)$. In addition we formulate closed-form eigenvalue bounds and we show relationships among them as well as with earlier spectral parameters by Hoffman, Haemers (2001) and Vallentin (2020).

## Citation

Accepted for publication in Mathematics of Operations Research (in January 2024).