Home | Math | Circular Permutation in Math

# Circular Permutation in Math

March 29, 2023 written by Azhar Ejaz

A circular permutation is an essential concept in mathematics, particularly in the field of combinatorics. It deals with the arrangement of objects in a circle, where the order and orientation of the objects matter. In this article, we will delve deeper into circular permutation, its basic principles, formulas, and real-world applications.

Key points

• A circular permutation is a concept in mathematics used in combinatorics.
• It involves arranging objects in a circle, where the order and orientation matter.
• This is different from linear permutations where objects are arranged in a line.
• A formula to find the total number of permutations possible with n objects arranged in a circle is P(n) = (n-1)!.
• Circular permutation has real-world applications in scheduling, seating arrangements, and network topology.
• Overcounting is a challenge in circular permutation, which can be avoided by applying the correct formulas and careful reasoning.

## What is Circular Permutation?

Circular permutation, also known as cyclic permutation, refers to the arrangement of objects or elements in a circle. It differs from linear permutations, where objects are arranged in a line. The order and orientation of objects in a circle matter, and each arrangement counts as a separate permutation.

## Understanding Circular Permutation

To better understand circular permutation, let’s consider an example. Suppose we have three objects, A, B, and C, and we want to arrange them in a circle. We can start by placing A at any point on the circle.

Next, we can place B in one of the two available positions adjacent to A. Finally, we can place C in one of the two remaining positions, adjacent to either A or B.

Using this method, we can create six different permutations, as shown below:

ABC

BCA

CAB

ACB

CBA

BAC

## Formulas for Circular Permutation

To find the total number of permutations possible with n objects arranged in a circle, we can use the following formula:

P(n) = (n-1)!

For example:

if we have six objects arranged in a circle, the total number of permutations would be

P(6) = (6-1)! = 5! = 120

## Applications of Circular Permutation

Circular permutation has numerous real-world applications, such as in scheduling, seating arrangements, and network topology. For instance, in scheduling, circular permutation can be used to create a rotation schedule for employees in a company.

In seating arrangements, circular permutation can help find the number of ways people can sit around a circular table. In network topology, circular permutation can be used to design and analyze circular networks, such as ring topologies.

## Challenges in Circular Permutation

One of the biggest challenges in a circular permutation is dealing with overcounting. Overcounting occurs when we count the same permutation multiple times. To avoid overcounting, we need to use careful reasoning and apply the correct formulas.

### What is the difference between circular permutation and linear permutation?

Circular permutation involves arranging objects in a circle, while linear permutation involves arranging objects in a line.

### What is the formula for circular permutation?

The formula for circular permutation is P(n) = (n-1)!

### What are some real-world applications of circular permutation?

Circular permutation has applications in scheduling, seating arrangements, and network topology, among others.

### What is overcounting in circular permutation?

Overcounting occurs when we count the same permutation multiple times, leading to an inflated number of permutations.