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Introduction to Graph Theory (4th Edition) Paperback – May 2, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0582249936 ISBN-10: 0582249937 Edition: 4th
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Graph Theory has recently emerged as a subject in its own right, as well as being an important mathematical tool in such diverse subjects as operational research, chemistry, sociology and genetics. Robin Wilson's book has been widely used as a text for undergraduate courses in mathematics, computer science and economics, and as a readable introduction to the subject for non-mathematicians.

The opening chapters provide a basic foundation course, containing such topics as trees, algorithms, Eulerian and Hamiltonian graphs, planar graphs and colouring, with special reference to the four-colour theorem. Following these, there are two chapters on directed graphs and transversal theory, relating these areas to such subjects as Markov chains and network flows. Finally, there is a chapter on matroid theory, which is used to consolidate some of the material from earlier chapters.

For this new edition, the text has been completely revised, and there is a full range of exercises of varying difficulty. There is new material on algorithms, tree-searches, and graph-theoretical puzzles. Full solutions are provided for many of the exercises.

Robin Wilson is Dean and Director of Studies in the Faculty of Mathematics and Computing at the Open University.

About the Author

Robin Wilson is Emeritus Professor of Pure Mathematics at the Open University, and Emeritus Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London. He is also a former Fellow in Mathematics at Keble College, Oxford University, and now teaches at Pembroke College. He has written and edited almost 40 books on graph theory, combinatorics, the history of mathematics, and music, and is very involved with the communication and popularisation of mathematics.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 4 edition (May 2, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0582249937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0582249936
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,034,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
A great -and gentle - introduction to Graph Theory... clear definitions and examples, great figures, useful exercises, and even some clever quotes. Everything you could ask for - if only all texts were this clear and well-organized. This was my first foray into the topic, and Wilson's text made it enjoyable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JVB on May 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
This author has a charming writing style, although he suffers from a mathematician's sense of humor. A light introduction to graph theory, suitable for a beginning undergraduate student. Nothing is covered particularly in-depth, and the more difficult proofs are passed over and left to the reader to find and master. The exercises are very important--many of the most important theorems are hidden in there. This text is suitable for independent study, although an advisor would be helpful simply because the theorems hidden in the exercises make you want to have your homework checked.

A further note on proofs: many of those that the author does include are constructionist, and seem to involve a lot of hand-waving. There are very few rigorous proofs, and a teacher using this book should instruct his or her students in the more formal approach to graph theory proofs. This text could benefit from including more.

On the whole: nice diagrams, good notation, good order of material, and very accessible.

I read this text during an undergraduate combinatorics course after having taken a semester of introductory graph theory.
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By EJS on May 8, 2015
Format: Paperback
This book wasn't that great - I couldn't even bring myself to finish it actually. The book introduces terms and concepts in rapid-fire succession, often without detailed explanation, examples, or motivation.

When it does motivate concepts, it often doesn't give nearly enough detail. For example, there's maybe a page or two explanation of the Traveling Salesman Problem that gives a decent overview of the problem and why it's important. Unfortunately, the only example solutions were worked out manually; there's no discussion whatsoever of algorithmic solutions to this (or even a mention of the fact that they exist), even though it's a very important computer science application. It's also a very important business concept because so many business and logistical problems can be represented as a variant of the Traveling Salesman Problem (e.g. "what routes should UPS package deliverers use to minimize total cost and time?"), but this fact didn't get adequate treatment. I understand that there's limited space in the book, but still, I would've liked to see a little more information on this.

Overall, I was disappointed with this book. It did cover basic concepts but it didn't cover enough detail on them to really get a good grasp on the topic unless you've already had background in the field.
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Format: Paperback
Nice introduction, clear with many pictures. The price is outragious, though. I'd never pay more than, say, $40 for this title. Unless you are a very, very weak student, go for other books on graph theory -- I highly recommend the very nice introduction "Graph Theory and Complex Networks: An Introduction," by Maarten van Steen (~$20), and "A First Course in Graph Theory," by G. Chartrand and P. Zhang (Dover, by ~$20). That is, by ~1/4 of the money you get *two* more modern, thorough, and solid books. The book by van Steen is nice in that it is straight to the point and has a modern flavor, treating "networks" as well as some algorithmic aspects of the subject.
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