A common thread in recent results concerning the testing of dense graphs is the use of Szemerédi’s regularity lemma. In this paper we show that in some sense this is not a coincidence. Our first result is that the property defined by having any given Szemerédi-partition is testable with a constant number of queries. Our second and main result is a purely combinatorial characterization of the graph properties that are testable with a constant number of queries. This characterization (roughly) says that a graph property P can be tested with a constant number of queries if and only if testing P can be reduced to testing the property of satisfying one of finitely many Szemerédi-partitions. This means that in some sense, testing for Szemerédi-partitions is as hard as testing any testable graph property. We thus resolve one of the main open problems in the area of property-testing, which was raised in the 1996 paper of Goldreich, Goldwasser and Ron  that initiated the study of graph propertytesting. This characterization also gives an intuitive explanation as to what makes a graph property testable
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