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In computer science and graph theory, the Edmonds-Karp algorithm is an implementation of the Ford-Fulkerson method for computing the maximum flow in a flow network. The distinguishing feature is that the shortest augmenting path is used at each step, which guarantees that the computation will terminate. In most implementations, the shortest augmenting path is found using a breadth-first search.
The Edmonds-Karp algorithm runs in O(VE2) time, where V is the number of vertices and E is the number of edges in the network.
The Edmonds-Karp algorithm was elucidated in the 1972 paper "Theoretical Improvements in Algorithmic Efficiency for Network Flow Problems," by Jack Edmonds and Richard Karp, in the Journal of the ACM.
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