A person's Erdös Number, named after the prolific mathematician Paul Erdos, is the length of the shortest chain of co-authored, referred papers from the person to Erdös. It follows then that Erdös' own Erdös number is 0, anyone that has co-authored with Erdös has an Erdös number of 1, and so on.

There is also an Erdös Number of the second type, in which only papers with exactly two authors count. This is much more restrictive.

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