## Graph theory terminology

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## The one true graph jargon?

Lines & vertices
0
No votes
Lines & points
1
5%
Edges & nodes
6
29%
Arcs & nodes
0
No votes
Edges & vertices
11
52%
Arcs & points
0
No votes
Edges & points
0
No votes
Arcs & vertices
0
No votes
Lines & nodes
3
14%
Other
0
No votes

Total votes: 21

Bloopy
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### Graph theory terminology

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graph_theory
A graph in this context is made up of vertices, nodes, or points which are connected by edges, arcs, or lines.

Could also throw links & ... in the mix, or:

Drags & traps?
Spaghetti & meatballs?
2x4s & sycamores?

Nyktos
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:02 pm UTC

### Re: Graph theory terminology

Does anyone really say "line"? I've heard "link", but not that. And "arc" is usually only used in the directed case, in which case you could also throw in "arrow" as an option.

The different terms for vertices are a legitimate source of disagreement. In my experience mathematicians tend to prefer "vertices" and computer scientists "nodes", but that's far from 100% in either case. Some people also say "node" only in the case that the graph is a tree.

In any case, this is only scratching the surface of graph theory terminology disagreements. The real religious wars are about whether a "path" is allowed to repeat vertices and whether the unmodified term "graph" allows for loops and/or parallel edges.

Soupspoon
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### Re: Graph theory terminology

For a tree, leaf (end-points), branchings (non-ending-points1, and branches themselves (lines) all 'stem' from a root (base node, even though often depicted at the top!) might be used. But at what point do we go from descriptive to (vaguely?) thematically analogous, in the naming convention?

1 Except those only doubly linked as a choiceless transit node. Depends how strict/optimal the tree is.

Derek
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### Re: Graph theory terminology

Edges and vertices doing math. Nodes is acceptable when programming.

Derek
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### Re: Graph theory terminology

Edges and vertices doing math. Nodes is acceptable when programming.

Flumble
Yes Man
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### Re: Graph theory terminology

Vertices are the 0-dimensional attributes of 3D models and 3D models only, so the endpoints of edges in graphs are nodes. Also node is easier to type a thousand times when programming something that uses graphs (or their sub-types).

Towns and roads. Because those words definitely make sense for directed graphs, non-planar graphs and multigraphs. On the other hand, like spaghetti and meatballs, those words aren't used in mathematics for anything else, so it's not even that bad of an idea.

EvanED
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### Re: Graph theory terminology

No one going to try to start a holy war over "vertices" vs "vertexes"?

Vertexes all the way.

Xenomortis
Not actually a special flower.
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### Re: Graph theory terminology

EvanED wrote:No one going to try to start a holy war over "vertices" vs "vertexes"?
Vertexes all the way.

No, because we all know the correct answer there.
Vertices, you heathen!

I tend to say "node", but that's because I usually deal with graphs in a programming context.
I was definitely taught "vertex", but very rarely dealt with graphs in a maths context.

I hardly ever explicitly refer to the edges, but I suspect I would use the term "line" (probably because I'd be drawing them), maybe "edge" if I remembered to use the "correct" name.

Soupspoon
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### Re: Graph theory terminology

EvanED wrote:No one going to try to start a holy war over "vertices" vs "vertexes"?

Vertexes all the way.

Noden! (And linii, obviously.)

Bloopy
Posts: 208
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Location: New Zealand

### Re: Graph theory terminology

Flumble wrote:those words aren't used in mathematics for anything else

It's definitely satisfying to pick words that don't conjure up distracting thoughts from within your domain. I tried "link" but went off it quickly as it's become a buzzword. If you combine it with anything it looks like a top-level name, ie. names of organisations, software applications, web portals and so on. JobLink, LearningLink, StudyLink, WineLink...

So it's nodes & edges for me. I dug up my project report on topological sorting from my final year of university which I hadn't looked at in a decade, and I was indeed using nodes & edges back then too. My current application is music-related, so I'm enjoying that edge makes a bit of an eigenpun on the straight edge subculture.

moiraemachy
Posts: 190
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:47 pm UTC

### Re: Graph theory terminology

Nyktos wrote:Does anyone really say "line"? I've heard "link", but not that. And "arc" is usually only used in the directed case, in which case you could also throw in "arrow" as an option.

I was never taught graph theory formally and neither were my peers, soo... anything besides "lines" is confusing. If I said "edges", people would consider the drawn figure, not the graph itself. "Arc" is confusing because 90% of the arcs are drawn as straight lines. "Link" is okay.

Nyktos
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:02 pm UTC

### Re: Graph theory terminology

moiraemachy wrote:
Nyktos wrote:Does anyone really say "line"? I've heard "link", but not that. And "arc" is usually only used in the directed case, in which case you could also throw in "arrow" as an option.

I was never taught graph theory formally and neither were my peers, soo... anything besides "lines" is confusing. If I said "edges", people would consider the drawn figure, not the graph itself. "Arc" is confusing because 90% of the arcs are drawn as straight lines. "Link" is okay.
It's not clear to me why "edge" suggests a drawn figure but "line" doesn't.

EvanED
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### Re: Graph theory terminology

"Line" would confuse me; I think this thread is the only time I've heard that term used for what I've almost always heard called edges.

chridd
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### Re: Graph theory terminology

EvanED wrote:No one going to try to start a holy war over "vertices" vs "vertexes"?

Vertexes all the way.
I prefer Latin suffices over English ones. (I also prefer pseudo-Latin.)
~ chri d. d. /tʃɹɪ.di.di/ (Phonotactics, schmphonotactics) · she(?)(?(?)(?))(?(?(?))(?))(?) · Forum game scores
mittfh wrote:I wish this post was very quotable...
flicky1991 wrote:In both cases the quote is "I'm being quoted too much!"

phlip
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### Re: Graph theory terminology

Vertopodes.

Code: Select all

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[he/him/his]

EvanED
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### Re: Graph theory terminology

chridd wrote:I prefer Latin suffices over English ones
I believe you mean English "onei".

moiraemachy
Posts: 190
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### Re: Graph theory terminology

Nyktos wrote:
moiraemachy wrote:
Nyktos wrote:Does anyone really say "line"? I've heard "link", but not that. And "arc" is usually only used in the directed case, in which case you could also throw in "arrow" as an option.

I was never taught graph theory formally and neither were my peers, soo... anything besides "lines" is confusing. If I said "edges", people would consider the drawn figure, not the graph itself. "Arc" is confusing because 90% of the arcs are drawn as straight lines. "Link" is okay.
It's not clear to me why "edge" suggests a drawn figure but "line" doesn't.
It's not that it doesn't suggest the drawn figure, it's that the suggestion works: when drawn lines intersect, edges stop being edges but lines don't stop being lines. Also, if you graph looks like a convex thing, edges can mean "sides". You only get this sort of problem (drawn stuff != graph stuff) with "lines" when nodes line up.

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