Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 9
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Goodarzi, Afshin 2015. Cellular structure for the Herzog–Takayama resolution. Journal of Algebraic Combinatorics, Vol. 41, Issue. 1, p. 21.

    Rhodes, John and Silva, Pedro V. 2015. A new notion of vertex independence and rank for finite graphs. International Journal of Algebra and Computation, Vol. 25, Issue. 01n02, p. 123.

    Saliola, Franco and Thomas, Hugh 2012. Oriented Interval Greedoids. Discrete & Computational Geometry, Vol. 47, Issue. 1, p. 64.

    LEVIT, VADIM E. and MANDRESCU, EUGEN 2011. VERY WELL-COVERED GRAPHS OF GIRTH AT LEAST FOUR AND LOCAL MAXIMUM STABLE SET GREEDOIDS. Discrete Mathematics, Algorithms and Applications, Vol. 03, Issue. 02, p. 245.

    FELSNER, STEFAN and KNAUER, KOLJA B. 2009. ULD-Lattices and Δ-Bonds. Combinatorics, Probability and Computing, Vol. 18, Issue. 05, p. 707.

    Billera, Louis J. Hsiao, Samuel K. and Provan, J. Scott 2008. Enumeration in Convex Geometries and Associated Polytopal Subdivisions of Spheres. Discrete & Computational Geometry, Vol. 39, Issue. 1-3, p. 123.

    Yee, Michael Dahan, Ely Hauser, John R. and Orlin, James 2007. Greedoid-Based Noncompensatory Inference. Marketing Science, Vol. 26, Issue. 4, p. 532.

    SALIOLA, FRANCO V. 2007. THE QUIVER OF THE SEMIGROUP ALGEBRA OF A LEFT REGULAR BAND. International Journal of Algebra and Computation, Vol. 17, Issue. 08, p. 1593.

    McMahon, Elizabeth W. 1993. On the greedoid polynomial for rooted graphs and rooted digraphs. Journal of Graph Theory, Vol. 17, Issue. 3, p. 433.

  • Print publication year: 1992
  • Online publication date: March 2010

8 - Introduction to Greedoids



Greedoids were invented around 1980 by B. Korte and L. Lovász. Originally, the main motivation for proposing this generalization of the matroid concept came from combinatorial optimization. Korte and Lovász had observed that the optimality of a ‘greedy’ algorithm could in several instances be traced back to an underlying combinatorial structure that was not a matroid – but (as they named it) a ‘greedoid’. In subsequent research greedoids have been shown to be interesting also from various non-algorithmic points of view.

The basic distinction between greedoids and matroids is that greedoids are modeled on the algorithmic construction of certain sets, which means that the ordering of elements in a set plays an important role. Viewing such ordered sets as words, and the collection of words as a formal language, we arrive at the general definition of a greedoid as a finite language that is closed under the operation of taking initial substrings and satisfies a matroid-type exchange axiom. It is a pleasant feature that greedoids can also be characterized in terms of set systems (the unordered version), but the language formulation (the ordered version) seems more fundamental.

Consider, for instance, the algorithmic construction of a spanning tree in a connected graph. Two simple strategies are: (1) pick one edge at a time, making sure that the current edge does not form a circuit with those already chosen; (2) pick one edge at a time, starting at some given node, so that the current edge connects a visited node with an unvisited node.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Matroid Applications
  • Online ISBN: 9780511662041
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *