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Software developer specializing in MongoDB, Python, Tornado, and Javascript, with particular interests in real-time web and new tools that get the job done with grace and alacrity. A. Jesse Jiryu is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 67 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Book Review: 'Introductory Graph Theory' by Gary Chartrand

05.08.2012
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Graph theory

If you are a software developer, then from time to time you will have to solve an Interesting Problem in optimization, such as finding the best matches on a dating site, or the right sharding key for a database cluster. As often as not, such problems can be expressed as a network of interrelated nodes, and if so, the problem probably has a name and a known solution in graph theory. Your problem now is to know that name so you can Google for the solution.

This book is a charming, breezy intro to graph theory, covering basic terminology and some theorems related to planar graphs, topology, map-coloring, matching, and optimization. I was a course shy of minoring in math in college, and I’ve taken a handful of courses over subsequent 10 years, so I’m far from a math whiz. But I found nearly every proof and problem accessible, sometimes requiring some effort, but never insurmountably hard. The book promises to be introductory, and I have now been introduced—the next time I run into a stumper while I’m building software, I feel I have a far better chance of recognizing it as a known problem with a standard solution. Highly recommended.

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