Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In spite of having done some exercises, I still find it harder to understand exponential generating function deeply than ordinary generating function. Could someone explain it "deeply"? Or are there any articles on that?

share|improve this question
I suggest that you either read the book by Bergeron, Labelle and Leroux or that you ask a more precise question. The book might help to convince you that egfs are simpler than ogfs. books.google.com/… –  Phira Nov 6 '11 at 0:02
I like "Generatingfunctionology" by Wilf. The 2nd edition can be downloaded from math.upenn.edu/~wilf/DownldGF.html. The 3rd edition is available from the publisher. –  marty cohen Nov 6 '11 at 0:17
Chapter $3$ of Miklós Bóna’s Introduction to Enumerative Combinatorics gives a nice introductory sense of the respective contexts in which egf’s and ogf’s are useful. –  Brian M. Scott Nov 6 '11 at 0:23
Think of it this way: there are situations where the EGF is simple/easy to manipulate when the OGF is unwieldy or has no closed form, and vice-versa... –  Guess who it is. Nov 6 '11 at 1:08
anon guessed correctly, here's an old blog post by Qiaochu somewhat related to this. –  Ragib Zaman Nov 6 '11 at 2:19

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.