Claude Berge

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Claude Berge ( June 5, 1926 , † June 30, 2002 ) was a French mathematician who dealt with combinatorics . He was also a writer and sculptor .

Berge was at the Center d'Analyse et de Mathématique Sociales (CAMS) of the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris . In 1957 he was visiting professor at Princeton University and 1985 at New York University, and he was frequently at the Indian Statistical Institute .

Berge is known for his conjectures about perfect graphs (Strong Conjecture about Perfect Graphs, 1960). One of the conjectures was solved in 1971 by László Lovász (and, as it later turned out, by Delbert Ray Fulkerson , who only completed his proof after the news of Lovász's proof, before that he had looked for counterexamples), the other in 2002 by Maria Chudnovsky , Robin Thomas , Neil Robertson and Paul Seymour .

The concept of the hypergraph (graph with more than two nodes per edge) comes from Berge . The set of mountains means that a matching (pairing) M in a graph G is at a maximum when there is no augmenting (augmenting path) with respect to M.

He is also known for his books on graph theory and combinatorics.

In 1989 he received the EURO Gold Medal from the European Association for Operations Research Societies and in 1993 the Euler Medal from the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications . In his book on topological spaces, he proved the Berge maximum theorem , which has applications in mathematical economics. His mountain equilibrium in the theory of games is an alternative to the Nash equilibrium.

In 1960 he was one of the co-founders of the literary group Oulipo . He wrote u. a. a mathematical detective novel "Who Killed the Duke of Densmore?"


  • Hypergraphs: Combinatorics of finite sets, North Holland 1989 (French Dunod 1970)
  • Graphs, 2nd edition, North-Holland 1985
  • Graphes et hypergraphes, Dunod 1970 (English North Holland 1973, 1976)
  • with Chvátal (editor): Topics of perfect graphs, North Holland 1984
  • Principles of Combinatorics, Academic Press 1971 (French Dunod 1968)
  • The theory of graphs and its applications, Methuen 1962 (French Dunod 1958)
  • Espaces topologiques: fonctions multivoques, Dunod 1959
  • Théorie générale des jeux à n persons, Gauthier-Villars 1957
  • with Ghouila-Houri: programs, games, transport networks, Teubner, 1967, 1969 (French 1962)
  • La théorie des graphes, in Jean-Paul Pier (Ed.) Development of Mathematics 1950-2000 , Birkhäuser 2000

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Berge "Coloring of graphs whose all or their odd circles are rigid", Wiss. Z. Martin Luther Univ. Halle-Wittenberg Math.-Nature. Series, 1961, Vol. 10, p. 114, "Perfect graphs" in Six Papers on Graph Theory , Calcutta: Indian Statistical Institute, 1963, pp. 1-21
  2. EURO Gold Medal Laureates. European Association for Operations Research Societies, accessed June 17, 2018 .
  3. ^ The ICA Medals. Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications, accessed June 17, 2018 .