(definition)

**Definition:**
A *matching*, or subset of *edges* without common *vertices*, of a *connected graph* that touches all vertices exactly once. A graph with an odd number of vertices is allowed one unmatched vertex.

**Specialization** (... is a kind of me.)

*bipartite matching*.

**Aggregate parent** (I am a part of or used in ...)

*Christofides algorithm*.

*Note:
The term comes from matching each vertex with exactly one other vertex. *

Any perfect matching of a graph with n vertices has n/2 edges.

* If a graph has a Hamiltonian cycle, it has two different perfect matchings, since the edges in the cycle could be alternately colored. After Douglas Bass (dbass@stthomas.edu) 5 Sep 1999.*

Author: PEB

Go to the Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures home page.

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Entry modified 17 December 2004.

HTML page formatted Fri Feb 23 10:06:08 2018.

Cite this as:

Paul E. Black, "perfect matching", in
*Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures* [online], Vreda Pieterse and Paul E. Black, eds. 17 December 2004. (accessed TODAY)
Available from: https://www.nist.gov/dads/HTML/perfectmatch.html