# What Is a Complete Graph in Data Structure?

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Heather Bennett

A Complete Graph in data structure is a type of graph where each pair of distinct vertices is connected by a unique edge. In simple terms, it is a graph in which every vertex is directly connected to every other vertex.

Let’s understand this concept further with an example. Consider a complete graph with n vertices. The number of edges in this graph can be calculated using the formula:

E = n * (n-1) / 2

Here, E represents the number of edges and n represents the number of vertices. This formula ensures that there are no self-loops or multiple edges between any two vertices.

To better visualize a complete graph, let’s consider an example with 4 vertices: A, B, C, and D. In this case, we would have:

E = 4 * (4-1) / 2
E = 6

So, a complete graph with 4 vertices would have 6 edges connecting each vertex to all other vertices.

Now let’s dive into some key characteristics of a complete graph:

## 1. Connectivity:

A complete graph is fully connected because it guarantees that all pairs of vertices are directly connected by an edge. This property makes it useful for certain algorithms and applications.

## 2. Maximum Possible Edges:

In a complete graph with n vertices, the maximum number of edges can be achieved when every vertex is connected to all other vertices. As mentioned earlier, the formula to calculate the maximum number of edges is E = n * (n-1) / 2.

## 3. Symmetry:

In a complete graph, every edge has the same weight or cost associated with it since all pairs of distinct vertices are connected by exactly one edge. This symmetry simplifies certain calculations and operations on graphs.

## 4. Representation:

There are several ways to represent a complete graph in data structures.

One common representation is through an adjacency matrix. In an adjacency matrix, each cell represents an edge between two vertices, and the value of the cell indicates whether the edge exists or not.

## 5. Applications:

Complete graphs find applications in various domains such as network topology, social network analysis, transportation planning, and optimization problems. They are often used as a benchmark for testing algorithms due to their well-defined properties.

Now let’s summarize what we have learned about complete graphs:

• A complete graph has every pair of distinct vertices connected by a unique edge.
• The number of edges in a complete graph with n vertices can be calculated using E = n * (n-1) / 2.
• Complete graphs are fully connected and have maximum possible edges.
• In a complete graph, all edges have the same weight or cost.
• They can be represented using an adjacency matrix.
• Complete graphs find applications in various domains and serve as benchmarks for algorithms.

In conclusion, a complete graph is a fundamental concept in data structures that ensures every vertex is directly connected to every other vertex. Its properties make it useful for various applications and algorithmic analysis.