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The magnitude of a graph


The magnitude of a graph is one of a family of cardinality-like invariants extending across mathematics; it is a cousin to Euler characteristic and geometric measure. Among its cardinality-like properties are multiplicativity with respect to cartesian product and an inclusion-exclusion formula for the magnitude of a union. Formally, the magnitude of a graph is both a rational function over ℚ and a power series over ℤ. It shares features with one of the most important of all graph invariants, the Tutte polynomial; for instance, magnitude is invariant under Whitney twists when the points of identification are adjacent. Nevertheless, the magnitude of a graph is not determined by its Tutte polynomial, nor even by its cycle matroid, and it therefore carries information that they do not.

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Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • ISSN: 0305-0041
  • EISSN: 1469-8064
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