Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

D. F. Anderson

Committee Members

S. B. Mulay, David E. Dobbs, Michael W. Berry


Let R be a commutative ring with 1, and let Z(R) denote the set of zero­divisors of R. We define an undirected graph Γ(R) with vertices Z(R)* = Z(R) - {0}, where distinct vertices x and y of R are connected if and only if xy = 0. This graph is called the zero-divisor graph of R. We extend the definition of the zero-divisor graph to a noncommutative ring in several ways. Next, given a commutative ring R and ideal Ι of R, we introduce the notion of an ideal-based graph. This is an undirected graph with vertex set {x ∈ RΙ| xyΙ for some y ∈ R - Ι}, where distinct vertices x and y are adjacent if and only if xyΙ. The properties of such a graph are investigated. We give several results concerning the zero-divisor graph of a commutative ring. Finally, the appendix gives examples illustrating an equivalence relation on the vertices of Γ(R) that can be used to produce a related graph for rings R of specific types.

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