The Foundations of Topological Graph Theory (Readings in Mathematics)

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9780387945576: The Foundations of Topological Graph Theory (Readings in Mathematics)

This is not a traditional work on topological graph theory. No current graph or voltage graph adorns its pages. Its readers will not compute the genus (orientable or non-orientable) of a single non-planar graph. Their muscles will not flex under the strain of lifting walks from base graphs to derived graphs. What is it, then? It is an attempt to place topological graph theory on a purely combinatorial yet rigorous footing. The vehicle chosen for this purpose is the con­ cept of a 3-graph, which is a combinatorial generalisation of an imbedding. These properly edge-coloured cubic graphs are used to classify surfaces, to generalise the Jordan curve theorem, and to prove Mac Lane's characterisation of planar graphs. Thus they playa central role in this book, but it is not being suggested that they are necessarily the most effective tool in areas of topological graph theory not dealt with in this volume. Fruitful though 3-graphs have been for our investigations, other jewels must be examined with a different lens. The sole requirement for understanding the logical development in this book is some elementary knowledge of vector spaces over the field Z2 of residue classes modulo 2. Groups are occasionally mentioned, but no expertise in group theory is required. The treatment will be appreciated best, however, by readers acquainted with topology. A modicum of topology is required in order to comprehend much of the motivation we supply for some of the concepts introduced.

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This book on topological graph theory is written from a purely combinatorial viewpoint. Its aim is to develop a rigorous approach to the foundations of the subject. The book should therefore appeal to graduate students and researchers in topological graph theory. The basic tool used is the idea of a 3-graph, which is a cubic graph endowed with a proper edge coloring in three colors. A special case of a 3-graph, called a gem, provides a model for a cellular embedding of a graph in a surface. Thus, theorems about embeddings of graphs become theorems about gems. The authors show that many of these theorems generalize to theorems about 3-graphs. Thus, results such as the classification of surfaces, and the theorem that the first Betti number of a surface is the largest number of closed curves that can be drawn on the surface without dividing it into two or more regions, find a general setting in the theory of 3-graphs. The book therefore uses 3-graphs to develop the foundations of topological graph theory and differs in this way from other books on this subject. Readers should find in its pages a fresh approach to a subject with which they may already have some familiarity.

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Bonnington, C.Paul, Little
Published by Springer (1995)
ISBN 10: 0387945571 ISBN 13: 9780387945576
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Book Description Springer, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110387945571

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