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In order to form a more perfect union [minimum spanning tree algorithm]

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2 Author(s)
Belchl, I. ; Inf. Lab., Nat. Inst. of Stand. & Technol., Gaithersburg, MD, USA ; Sullivan, F.

The authors present an algorithm for finding a minimum spanning tree. They show a typical application of this MST algorithm. Suppose we have 11 data points in a plane and would like to find some structure among them. Suppose we draw dotted lines between each pair of points. If we consider the points vertices and the dotted lines edges, we have a complete graph on 11 points. If we then choose just enough of the edges to keep the graph connected, this is a spanning tree of the graph. A graph can have many spanning trees. The one presented is an MST, that is, a spanning tree that minimizes the total length of edges. As is explained, the most difficult part of this algorithm is implementing set UNIONs

Published in:

Computing in Science & Engineering  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 2 )