Date of Award:

5-2011

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Mathematics and Statistics

Advisor/Chair:

David E. Brown

Abstract

Graph Theory is the mathematical study of the structure of abstract relationships between objects. Although these constructions (graphs) are themselves purely theoretical, their ability to model pair-wise relationships in systems of arbitrary complexity yields abundant direct correspondence with numerous important physical and societal systems in the real world. Additionally, the simple discrete nature of fundamental graph structures allows for easy pseudo-geometric visualization of graphs in a wide variety of ways. Taken together, these two properties suggest that graph theory teaching, research, and applications would benefit greatly from the use of a unified software environment for graph construction, interaction, and visualization.

Based on this need, a comprehensive survey was undertaken of existing graph theory software packages, programs, and libraries to determine the suitability of each for use as a graph theory teaching and research tool. Some of the desired components (especially in the realm of graph visualization) were found to be implemented in several current tools and systems, but no single system was located with the ability to perform all such functions together in a coordinated way.

Graph Shop (the Graph Theory Workshop) is a new software package for graph theory research and applications. It was designed to be usable by students and graph theory beginners yet powerful enough to assist with advanced graph theory research. It runs on a variety of platforms and is available for free under the GNU GPL open source license.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on May 11, 2011.

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Mathematics Commons

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