Early in the Seventies I sought the number of rooted λ-coloured triangulations of the sphere with 2p faces. In these triangulations double joins, but not loops, were permitted. The investigation soon took the form of a discussion of a certain formal power series l(y, z, λ) in two independent variables y and z.
The basic theory of l is set out in . There l is defined as the coefficient of x
2 in a more complicated power series g(x, y, z, λ). But the definition is equivalent to the following formula.
Here T denotes a general rooted triangulation. n(T) is the valency of its root-vertex, and 2p(T) is the number of its faces. P(T, λ) is the chromatic polynomial of the graph of T.