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Introductory Graph Theory (Dover Books on Mathematics) Paperback – Unabridged, December 1, 1984


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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Books on Mathematics
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Unabridged edition (December 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486247759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486247755
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Six Degrees of Paul Erdos
Contrary to popular belief, mathematicians do quite often have fun. Take, for example, the phenomenon of the Erdos number. Paul Erdos (1913–1996), a prominent and productive Hungarian mathematician who traveled the world collaborating with other mathematicians on his research papers. Ultimately, Erdos published about 1,400 papers, by far the most published by any individual mathematician.

About 1970, a group of Erdos's friends and collaborators created the concept of the "Erdos number" to define the "collaborative distance" between Erdos and other mathematicians. Erdos himself was assigned an Erdos number of 0. A mathematician who collaborated directly with Erdos himself on a paper (there are 511 such individuals) has an Erdos number of 1. A mathematician who collaborated with one of those 511 mathematicians would have an Erdos number of 2, and so on — there are several thousand mathematicians with a 2.

From this humble beginning, the mathematical elaboration of the Erdos number quickly became more and more elaborate, involving mean Erdos numbers, finite Erdos numbers, and others. In all, it is believed that about 200,000 mathematicians have an assigned Erdos number now, and 90 percent of the world's active mathematicians have an Erdos number lower than 8. It's somewhat similar to the well-known Hollywood trivia game, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. In fact there are some crossovers: Actress-mathematician Danica McKellar, who appeared in TV's The Wonder Years, has an Erdos number of 4 and a Bacon number of 2.

This is all leading up to the fact that Gary Chartrand, author of Dover's Introductory Graph Theory, has an Erdos number of 1 — and is one of many Dover authors who share this honor.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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The author's writing style is clear and easy to digest.
Munchy
I would recommend this book for junior and senior undergraduates, and perhaps some graduate students who need graph theory.
Patrick Thompson
It has several examples throughout and the presentation is excellent.
J. P. Baugh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 76 people found the following review helpful By "johnb0123" on July 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent, especially if you already have a pretty good background in math. I don't... high school math through calculus, almost all of which I've forgotten. But the appendix gets you up to speed on the basics of sets, functions, and proofs using mathematical induction. That was enough for me to get a lot out of all but the last chapter, which deals with matrices and groups. Although I have to admit that I occasionally needed to read an example four or five times before I really got it.
I definitely recommend this book for anyone interested in graph theory and to any serious software developer (which I why I picked it up). The ideas presented are directly applicable to that line of work.
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By J. P. Baugh on August 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is, for all purposes, the Holy Grail of Graph Theory. It is older, but still very much applicable. As a computer scientist (instructor and Masters degree student), I highly recommend this for students studying Discrete Mathematics and Graph Theory.

It has several examples throughout and the presentation is excellent. Many books on mathematics from this 'era' tend to be overly wordy and full of poorly explained examples and topics. This book suffers very little from this problem.

I recommend this to anyone looking for a good introductory book on Graph Theory. It also makes an excellent reference book for even the experienced individual.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Rives on April 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
While working on my math degree I wanted some light reading on Graph Theory for completing some side projects. This book hit the spot, and the examples saved me.
Chartrand uses applications from every field of interest (e.g. finance, Chemistry, Physics, games, social psychology, computers, etc.) Who would have thought that while reading a math book that a friendly discussion of social psychology would pop-up? Well, that's how Chartrand is able to keep us moving through the pages; he uses the common to reveal the mysteries of Graph Theory. Who doesn't know about the Tower of Hanoi or the Knight's Tour or the one-boat-fox-and-chickens problems? All of these classics make for ready connecting points, leading us into profound restatements of well-known problems. Not much space is devoted to creating artificial problems for which we must be convinced need solving, and so the book is rather thin (a real bonus for those of us who don't want to spend a month in a math book).
Picking up the book after having read it so long ago, I was happy to find that the chapters are nearly autonomous and can be profitably read by themselves -- so keep it as a reference and jump in as the need arises, you'll be both entertained and mathematically illumined.
My only complaint is that the writing style is rather thick with mathematical lingo (seemingly) for the sake of being technically pithy. I am not convinced that such is necessary for a good math book.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 5, 1997
Format: Paperback
This is a very well written introduction, suitable for undergraduates or ambitious high school students. As an added bonus, it explains how to read and write proofs, so it develops mathematical sophistication instead of assuming it. The only shortcoming is that it is too brief and only mentions group theory in passing at the end.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By David R. Kent on September 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
Most books assume that the reader has a month to carefully read the book. In reality, the reader often has a day or two and needs a solid understanding of the material but not a really detailed understanding. This book is great because it quickly and clearly covers all of the necessary concepts. What else can you ask for?
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By James Schneberger on March 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was the text used in my undergraduate introduction toGraph Theory. It is quite good, and cheap! It is the perfect text toget the flavor of the subject and spark interest in students to learn more. For a Prof. looking for an idea for a summer course, or an oppertunity to teach to non-math majors who need an upper level course, this is perfect. END
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By LuigiR on August 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is great. I am a law student with dated mathematical background, and needed a primer on graph theory to work for a project. This book is just great, explaining every concept carefully, and even providing a tiny bibliography at the end of each chapter.
Just remember to go through the appendix on sets, functions, theorems and proofs (principle of induction).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marc Mest on February 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, I like this book and gave it 5 stars.. But it is not the best book on graph theory, though it is a great intro.

And really that is all the book claims to be: an intro designed to really excite the student about graph theory.

Where this book shines is the presenation of a wide variety of applications, examples, and exercises. Not only the classic examples that every book uses, but alot of great applied problems, and a ton of them.

I do agree with another review that the book does seem to go off track a bit and enter the land of discrete math. Yes, there are a number of graphy theory books that cover combinatorics/discrete concepts as well, but they mention that in the title. And what it does seem to cover is very topical and really does not seem to fit.

However, this is a great intro to graph theory, and it does have a mix of proof/theorem without losing its approachable appeal to students starting out.

Overall it is a great Dover book.
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