% I. INTRODUCTION
% The MATLAB(R) program contained within this directory counts the total
% number of loops (cycles) in a network (graph) that consists of nodes and edges.
% This file describes the loop counting algorithm and requirements for
% user-defined networks. Refer to the 'README.m' file for setup and installation
% II. USER-DEFINED NETWORK SETUP/REQUIREMENTS
% When running 'loop_gui.m', the user is allowed to choose either a randomly
% generated network or a user specified file.
% If the user selects 'Random Network', they will be prompted for the number
% of nodes and the number of edges. The random network that gets generated is not
% necessarily connected completely. There may be one or more sub-graphs. The
% network is also undirected (both directions along edges specified).
% If the user selects 'Edge List File', they will be prompted to search their
% files for an appropriate network (some standard edge list files are in the
% 'nets/' directory. The format of the file should be as follows...
% EACH ROW OF THE FILE MUST HAVE TWO INTEGERS WHERE EACH INTEGER REPRESENTS A
% NODE-ID AND THE ROW REPRESENTS AN EDGE CONNECTION BETWEEN THOSE TWO NODES.
% The node IDs can be any value so long as it is an integer. Also, the rows do
% not need to be in any specific order, and any repeated edges are ignored.
% EXAMPLE: a valid complete graph of 4 nodes could look like any of these
% 1 2 3 1 7 81
% 1 3 4 2 32 104
% 1 4 1 2 81 104
% 2 3 (or) 4 3 (or) 32 7
% 2 4 2 3 104 7
% 3 4 1 4 81 32
% III. ALGORITHM DESCRIPTION
% The Iterative Loop Counting Algorithm (ILCA) searches for loops by moving
% along a dynamic path. The use of this dynamic path essentially turns the network
% into a tree, and the path at any given time is a line from the top of the tree
% to any of the nodes on the branches. Loops occur whenever a node ID exists in 2
% separate places on the path.
% However, before the ILCA can be implemented, the network is first transformed
% into a structure with 2 fields ('node' is the node ID and 'edges' is a list of
% all the nodes connected to this particular node)
% EXAMPLE: a simple undirected graph of 4 nodes and 5 edges can be represented
% by something like the following edge list
% 1 2
% 1 3
% 2 3
% 2 4
% 3 4
% ... and the corresponding structure would be:
% net(1).node = 1;
% net(1).edges = [2 3];
% net(2).node = 2;
% net(2).edges = [1 3 4];
% net(3).node = 3;
% net(3).edges = [1 2 4];
% net(4).node = 4;
% net(4).edges = [2 3];
% The tree is then generated using the following rules:
% 1. Initialize the tree with the first node.
% 2. For the current node, look at the next edge in the 'edges' list.
% 3. If the edge is the same as the node 2 stems up the tree, move on the the
% next edge in the list (Ignored because the search must not be allowed to
% go back along the same edge it was just on)
% 4. If the edge is the same as another node in the path, a loop has been found.
% Compare and save it, and move on to the next edge in the list.
% 5. If a loop is not found, continue down the tree and update the path. (This
% current edge gets added to the path, and becomes the current node)
% 6. If the 'edges' list for the current node has been exhausted, go up to the
% previous node and update the path.
% 7. Continue steps 2-6 until step 8 is true.
% 8. If the current node is the first node, and all of its edges have been
% completely exhausted, the algorithm is finished.
% The tree for the example net (although it never really exists except virtually)
% would look like:
% / \
% / \
% / \
% / \
% / \
% 2 3
% / \ / \
% / \ / \
% 3 4 2 4
% / \ | / \ |
% 1** 4 3 1** 4 2
% | / \ | / \
% 2** 1** 2** 3** 1** 3**
% ** Indicates that a loop was found. (Since the dynamic path starts at the top of
% the tree and goes down into the different branches, a loop is found whenever a
% node has been repeated in the branch.)
% The ILCA starts down the left side of the tree and keeps descending until it
% finds a loop. If a loop is found, it is put in *Standard Form* so it can be
% compared with previous loops that have been found. In this way, no loops are
% repeated. (This comparison part of the algorithm is the limiting function as the
% number of loops gets large. Each new loop must be compared with all the loops
% that have been found.)
% Standard Form - a loop is in standard form if the smallest node ID is declared
% first, and the smaller ID of that node's neighbors is declared second.
% For this example, the loops are found in the following order:
% 1 2 3 (1) -> 1 2 3
% 2 3 4 (2) -> 2 3 4
% 1 2 4 3 (1) -> 1 2 4 3
% 2 4 3 (2) -> 2 3 4 **Not added. Already found!
% 1 3 2 (1) -> 1 2 3 **Not added. Already found!
% 3 2 4 (3) -> 2 3 4 **Not added. Already found!
% 1 3 4 2 (1) -> 1 2 4 3 **Not added. Already found!
% 3 4 2 (3) -> 2 3 4 **Not added. Already found!
% The ILCA would report 3 loops found for this example:
% 1 2 3
% 2 3 4
% 1 2 4 3
% (This example is contained in 'nets/example04.txt' for reference).
% Please direct questions/comments to:
% Joe Kirk