Permutations Generated by Token Passing in Graphs

Michael James Livesey, MD Atkinson, D Tulley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


A transportation graph is a directed graph with a designated input node and a designated output node. Initially, the input node contains an ordered set of tokens 1, 2, 3,.... The tokens are removed from the input node in this order and transferred through the graph to the output node in a series of moves; each move transfers a token from a node to an adjacent node. Two or more tokens cannot reside on an internal node simultaneously. When the tokens arrive at the output node they will appear in a permutation of their original order. The main result is a description of the possible arrival permutations in terms of regular sets. This description allows the number of arrival permutations of each length to be computed. The theory is then applied to packet-switching networks and has implications for the resequencing problem. It is also applied to some complex data structures and extends previously known results to the case that the data structures are of bounded capacity. A by-product of this investigation is a new proof that permutations which avoid the pattern 321 are in one to one correspondence with those that avoid 312.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-118
Number of pages16
JournalTheoretical Computer Science
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 1997




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