Hamiltonian Circuits

In the mathematical field of graph theory, a Hamiltonian path (or traceable path) is a path in an undirected graph that visits each vertex exactly once. A Hamiltonian cycle (or Hamiltonian circuit) is a Hamiltonian path that is a cycle. Determining whether such paths and cycles exist in graphs is the Hamiltonian path problem, which is NP-complete.

Hamiltonian paths and cycles are named after William Rowan Hamilton who invented the Icosian game, now also known as Hamilton's puzzle, which involves finding a Hamiltonian cycle in the edge graph of the dodecahedron. Hamilton solved this problem using the Icosian Calculus, an algebraic structure based on roots of unity with many similarities to the quaternions (also invented by Hamilton). This solution does not generalize to arbitrary graphs. However, despite being named after Hamilton, Hamiltonian cycles in polyhedra had also been studied a year earlier by Thomas Kirkman.

A Hamiltonian cycle, Hamiltonian circuit, vertex tour or graph cycle is a cycle that visits each vertex exactly once (except the vertex that is both the start and end, and so is visited twice). A graph that contains a Hamiltonian cycle is called a Hamiltonian graph.

A Hamiltonian cycle in a dodecahedron. Like all platonic solids, the dodecahedron is Hamiltonian.Watch the video below for further information on Hamiltonian circuit.

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