How can you use Mathematica to generate all the spanning trees of the complete graph?

One can count the spanning trees of a connected graph ${G}$ using e.g. the Tutte polynomial $T_{G}(1,1)$. For the complete graph $K_{n}$, the count is $T_{K_{n}}=n^{n-2}$. But this does not generate them.

One way is to use e.g. Wilson's algorithm, and reject new picks if the new pick is identical to a previous pick, until you have $n^{n-2}$ different spanning trees. But this requires randomly picking trees. Is there a better way?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ BTW the random sampling technique you mentioned is implemented in IGRandomSpanningTree $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Mar 27 '20 at 11:03

You mean, generate all labelled trees on $n$ vertices.

Generate all Prüfer sequences and convert them to trees with IGraph/M.


n = 4;
IGFromPrufer[#, VertexShapeFunction -> "Name"] & /@ Tuples[Range[n], n - 2]

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Nice one! I didn't know about these Prüfer sequences. I had thought IGraph would be good here. $\endgroup$
    – apkg
    Mar 27 '20 at 9:05

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