Centered tree

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On the left a centered tree, on the right a bicentered one. The numbers show each node's eccentricity.

In discrete mathematics, a centered tree is a tree with only one center, and a bicentered tree is a tree with two centers.

Given a graph, the eccentricity of a vertex v is defined as the greatest distance from v to any other vertex. A center (also: centroid) of a graph is a vertex with minimal eccentricity. A graph can have an arbitrary number of centers. However, Jordan (1869) has proved that for trees, there are only two possibilities:

  1. The tree has precisely one center (centered trees).
  2. The tree has precisely two centers (bicentered trees). In this case, the two centers are adjacent.

A proof of this fact is given, for example, by Knuth.[1]


  1. ^ (Knuth 1997), p. 387 and p. 589


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