An important step in the structural synthesis of mechanisms requires the identification of isomorphism between the graphs which represents the mechanism topology. Previously used methods for identifying graph isomorphism either yield incorrect results for some cases or their algorithms are computationally inefficient for this application. This paper describes a new isomorphism identification method which is well suited for the automated structural synthesis of mechanisms. This method uses a new and compact mathematical representation for a graph, called the Degree Code, to identify graph isomorphism. Isomorphic graphs have identical Degree Codes; nonisomorphic graphs have distinct Degree Codes. Therefore, by examining the Degree Codes of the graphs, graph isomorphism is easily and correctly identified. This Degree Code algorithm is simpler and more efficient than other methods for identifying isomorphism correctly. In addition, the Degree Code can serve as an effective nomenclature and storage system for graphs or mechanisms. Although this identification scheme was developed specifically for the structural synthesis of mechanisms, it can be applied to any area where graph isomorphism is a critical issue.

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