在数学中，超图是图的一般化。对于超图来说，它的一条边可以连接任意数量的顶点。正式的说，超图H可以表示为H=(X,E)，X为元素的集合，成为节点或顶点，E是X的一组非空子集，成为超边。（In mathematics, a hypergraph is a generalization of a graph, where an edge can connect any number of vertices. Formally, a hypergraph H is a pair H = (X,E) where X is a set of elements, called nodes or vertices, and E is a set of non-empty subsets of X called hyperedges or links.）
超图划分的目的在于，将超图的节点划分为 k 个大致相等的部分，且出现同一个超图连接多个部分的节点的情况被最小化。
While graph edges are pairs of nodes, hyperedges are arbitrary sets of nodes, and can therefore contain an arbitrary number of nodes. However, it is often useful to study hypergraphs where all hyperedges have the same cardinality: a k-uniform hypergraph is a hypergraph such that all its hyperedges have size k. (In other words, it is a collection of sets of size k.) So a 2-uniform hypergraph is a graph, a 3-uniform hypergraph is a collection of triples, and so on.