In 1978 the situation was reversed — methods from algebraic topology were used to solve a problem in combinatorics – when László Lovász proved the Kneser conjecture, thus beginning the new study of topological combinatorics. Lovász's proof used the Borsuk–Ulam theorem and this theorem retains a prominent role in this new field. This theorem has many equivalent versions and analogs and has been used in the study of fair division problems.
In another application of homological methods to graph theory Lovász proved both the undirected and directed versions of a conjecture of András Frank: Given a k-connected graph G, k points , and k positive integers that sum up to , there exists a partition of such that , , and spans a connected subgraph.
In 1987 the necklace splitting problem was solved by Noga Alon using the Borsuk–Ulam theorem. It has also been used to study complexity problems in linear decision tree algorithms and the Aanderaa–Karp–Rosenberg conjecture. Other areas include topology of partially ordered sets and bruhat orders.
- de Longueville, Mark (2004), "25 years proof of the Kneser conjecture - The advent of topological combinatorics" (PDF), EMS Newsletter (PDF)
|url=(help), Southampton, Hampshire: European Mathematical Society, pp. 16–19, retrieved 2008-07-29.
- Björner, Anders (1995), "Topological Methods", in Graham, Ronald L.; Grötschel, Martin; Lovász, László (eds.), Handbook of Combinatorics (PDF), 2, The MIT press, ISBN 978-0-262-07171-0.
- Kozlov, Dmitry (2005), Trends in topological combinatorics, arXiv:math.AT/0507390.
- Kozlov, Dmitry (2007), Combinatorial Algebraic Topology, Springer, ISBN 978-3-540-71961-8.
- Lange, Carsten (2005), Combinatorial Curvatures, Group Actions, and Colourings: Aspects of Topological Combinatorics (PDF), Ph.D. thesis, Berlin Institute of Technology.
- Matoušek, Jiří (2003), Using the Borsuk-Ulam Theorem: Lectures on Topological Methods in Combinatorics and Geometry, Springer, ISBN 978-3-540-00362-5.
- Barmak, Jonathan (2011), Algebraic Topology of Finite Topological Spaces and Applications, Springer, ISBN 978-3-642-22002-9.
- de Longueville, Mark (2011), A Course in Topological Combinatorics, Springer, ISBN 978-1-4419-7909-4.