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Signed digraphs and the growing demand for energy

By F S Roberts

Abstract

Many problems of society, including those relating to energy use, air pollution and solid-waste disposal, seem amenable to formulation using the techniques of the rapidly growing field of graph theory, in particular, the notion of a signed digraph (directed graph). This paper outlines a methodology which exploits the signed digraph for handling problems of forecasting energy demand and the effect of new technologies and institutions on that demand, and for generating and analyzing policy alternatives for meeting environmental constraints on energy use. The forecasting and policy problems are translated into signed digraph problems, and in particular to problems of so-called pulse processes on signed digraphs. Research problems related to the development of the methodology are described.

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