Theory of Finite and Infinite Graphs
Author: Dénes Kőnig, Richard McCoart, W.T. Tutte
Release Date: January 01, 1990
To most graph theorists there are two outstanding landmarks in the history of their subject. One is Euler's solution of the Konigsberg Bridges Problem, dated 1736, and the other is the appearance of Denes Konig's textbook in 1936. "From Konigsberg to Konig's book" sings the poetess, "So runs the graphic tale . . . " . There were earlier books that took note of graph theory. Veb len's Analysis Situs, published in 1931, is about general combinato rial topology. But its first two chapters, on "Linear graphs" and "Two-Dimensional Complexes," are almost exclusively concerned with the territory still explored by graph theorists. Rouse Ball's Mathematical Recreations and Essays told, usually without proofs, of the major graph-theoretical advances ofthe nineteenth century, of the Five Colour Theorem, of Petersen's Theorem on I-factors, and of Cayley's enumerations of trees. It was Rouse Ball's book that kindled my own graph-theoretical enthusiasm. The graph-theoretical papers of Hassler Whitney, published in 1931-1933, would have made an excellent textbook in English had they been collected and published as such. But the honour of presenting Graph Theory to the mathe matical world as a subject in its own right, with its own textbook, belongs to Denes Konig. Low was the prestige of Graph Theory in the Dirty Thirties. It is still remembered, with resentment now shading into amuse ment, how one mathematician scorned it as "The slums of Topol ogy.""