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Algorithms For Dummies by Luca Massaron, John Paul Mueller

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Chapter 8

Understanding Graph Basics

IN THIS CHAPTER

check Defining why networks are important

check Demonstrating graph drawing techniques

check Considering graph functionality

check Using numeric formats to represent graphs

Graphs are structures that present a number of nodes (or vertexes) connected by a number of edges or arcs (depending on the representation). When you think about a graph, think about a structure like a map, where each location on the map is a node and the streets are the edges. This presentation differs from a tree where each path ends up in a leaf node. Remember from Chapter 7 that a tree could look like an organizational chart or a family hierarchy. Most important, tree structures actually do look like trees and have a definite start and a definite end. This chapter begins by helping you understand the importance of networks, which are a kind of graph commonly used for all sorts of purposes.

remember You can represent graphs in all sorts of ways, most of them abstract. Unless you’re really ...

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