# Combinatorial topology

In

mathematics,

**combinatorial topology** was an older name for

algebraic topology, dating from the time when topological invariants of spaces (for example the

Betti numbers) were regarded as derived from combinatorial decompositions such as simplicial complexes.

The change of name reflected the move to organise topological classes such as cycles modulo boundaries explicitly into abelian groups. This point of view is often attributed to Emmy Noether, and so the change of title may reflect her influence.