I am new to this independent set problem in graph theory. As per my understanding so far an independent set is a set of vertices in which no two vertices are adjacent. And the maximal independent set is a set of vertices in which if some vertex is added it will construct an edge.

I understand this now my question is if given all maximal independent set for a graph then the maximum independent set of that graph will be maximal independent set with maximum cardinality right?

Note: As per my understanding there can be more than one maximum independent set but their cardinality will be same.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your understanding is correct. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2018 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


If an independent set is maximal, it means you cannot add any more vertices into the set. As you correctly suggest, this does not mean that the set is necessarily a maximum independent set in the graph.

You are also correct in saying that every maximum independent set is maximal, and that a graph can have several maximum independent sets.


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