We introduce a new method for computing bounds on the independence number and fractional chromatic number of classes of graphs with local constraints, and apply this method in various scenarios. We establish a formula that generates a general upper bound for the fractional chromatic number of triangle-free graphs of maximum degree~$\Delta \ge 3$... This upper bound matches that deduced from the fractional version of Reed's bound for small values of~$\Delta$, and improves it when~$\Delta\ge 17$, transitioning smoothly to the best possible asymptotic regime, barring a breakthrough in Ramsey theory. Focusing on smaller values of~$\Delta$, we also demonstrate that every graph of girth at least~$7$ and maximum degree~$\Delta$ has fractional chromatic number at most~$1+ \min_{k \in \mathbb{N}} \frac{2\Delta + 2^{k-3}}{k}$. In particular, the fractional chromatic number of a graph of girth~$7$ and maximum degree~$\Delta$ is at most~$\frac{2\Delta+9}{5}$ when~$\Delta \in [3,8]$, at most~$\frac{\Delta+7}{3}$ when~$\Delta \in [8,20]$, at most~$\frac{2\Delta+23}{7}$ when~$\Delta \in [20,48]$, and at most~$\frac{\Delta}{4}+5$ when~$\Delta \in [48,112]$. In addition, we also obtain new lower bounds on the independence ratio of graphs of maximum degree~$\Delta \in \{3,4,5\}$ and girth~$g\in \{6,\dotsc,12\}$, notably~$1/3$ when~$(\Delta,g)=(4,10)$ and~$2/7$ when~$(\Delta,g)=(5,8)$. read more

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Combinatorics