Combinatorial Gray Codes — an Updated Survey

  • Torsten Mütze


A combinatorial Gray code for a class of objects is a listing that contains each object from the class exactly once such that any two consecutive objects in the list differ only by a `small change'. Such listings are known for many different combinatorial objects, including bitstrings, combinations, permutations, partitions, triangulations, but also for objects defined with respect to a fixed graph, such as spanning trees, perfect matchings or vertex colorings. This survey provides a comprehensive picture of the state-of-the-art of the research on combinatorial Gray codes. In particular, it gives an update on Savage's influential survey [C. D. Savage. A survey of combinatorial Gray codes. SIAM Rev., 39(4):605--629, 1997.], incorporating many more recent developments. We also elaborate on the connections to closely related problems in graph theory, algebra, order theory, geometry and algorithms, which embeds this research area into a broader context. Lastly, we collect and propose a number of challenging research problems, thus stimulating new research endeavors.

First Published
This Version
DS26: Jul 14, 2023