Design theory is the subfield of combinatorics concerning the existence and construction of highly symmetric arrangements. Finite projective planes, latin squares, and Steiner triple systems are examples of designs.

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Seeking very regular $\mathbb Q$-acyclic complexes

This question was raised from a project with Nati Linial and Yuval Peled We are seeking a $3$-dimensional simplicial complex $K$ on $12$ vertices with the following properties a) $K$ has a complete $...
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More about self-complementary block designs

For what odd integers $n \geq 3$ does there exist a self-complementary $(2n,8n−4,4n−2,n,2n−2)$ balanced incomplete block design? By "self-complementary" I mean that the complement of each block is a ...
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Minimal number of blocks in a $(n,n/2,\lambda)$ block design

A $(n,n/2,\lambda)$ block-design is a family $A_1,...,A_K$ of subsets of $[n]$ such that $|A_i|=n/2$ and for every $1 \leq i < j \leq n$ it holds that $\#\{1 \leq k \leq K : i,j \in A_k \} = \...
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Self-complementary block designs

For what $n$ does there exist a self-complementary $(2n,4n-2,2n-1,n,n-1)$ balanced incomplete block design? (All I know is that a self-complementary design with these parameters does exist for all $...
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Covering designs where $v$ is linear in $k$

A $(v,k,t)$ covering design is a collection of $k$-subsets of $V=\{1,\ldots,v\}$ chosen so that any $t$-subset of $V$ is contained in (or "covered by") at least one $k$-set in the collection. ...
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When do such regular set systems exist?

Let '$n$-set' mean 'a set with $n$ elements'. May we choose $77=\frac16\binom{11}5$ 5-subsets of 11-set $M$ such that any 6-subset $A\subset M$ contains unique chosen subset? Positive answer to ...
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reverse definition for magic square

Recently, I saw a question in see here which is so interesting for me. This question is as follows: Is it possible to fill the $121$ entries in an $11×11$ square with the values $0,+1,−1$, so that ...
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Are there infinite constructions for partial circulant hadamard matrices?

I believe that the circulant Hadamard conjecture (that there are no circulant Hadamard matrices of size greater than $4\times4$) is still open. I also know that examples of $(n/2) \times n$ matrices ...
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Vector version of balanced incomplete block designs

I am interested in finding out what is known about the following generalization of balanced incomplete block designs (BIBDs): "What is the maximum size of a collection $B$ of $v$-dimensional unit ...
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Existence of a block design

Let $\ell$ be an integer parameter. I want to ask the existence of the following design: There is a universal constant $\beta < 1$ such that for all sufficiently large $\ell$, the following holds: ...
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A question on the behavior of intersections of certain block design

Let $[d]$ be a universe and $S_1, \dots, S_m$ be an $(\ell, a)$-design over $[d]$ which means that: $\forall i \in [m], S_i \subseteq [d], |S_i|=\ell$. $\forall i \neq j \in [m]$, $|S_i \cap S_j| \...
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What is the correct term for “co-covering” designs

An (n, k, l) covering design is a family of k-subsets of an n-element set such that every l-subset is contained in at least one of them. Now, what is the correct term for a family of k-subsets such ...
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186 views

Existence of Steiner system designs given $n,k,t$

I am familiar with the recent Keevash paper here which proves that given some $t,n,k,\lambda$ then provided standard divisibility conditions hold, and $n$ is suitably large, there exists a $t-(n,k,\...
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Combinatorial designs textbook recommendation

Good evening, I am currently taking a class which has combinatorial designs as the first topic, we are using Peter Cameron's book Designs, Graphs, Codes and their Links which I am finding extremely ...
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Minimally intersecting subsets of fixed size

The question I have, is how to generate the following collection of subsets: Given a set $S$ of size $n$. I want to find a sequence of $k$ subsets of fixed size $m$, $0<m<n$, such that at each ...
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covering designs of the form $(v,k,2)$

A covering design $(v,k,t)$ is a family of subsets of $[v]$ each having $k$ elements such that given any subset of $[v]$ of $t$ elements it is a subset of one of the sets of the family. A problem is ...
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How close can one get to the missing finite projective planes?

This question can be interpreted as an instance of the Zarankiewicz problem. Suppose we have an $n\times n$ matrix with entries in $\{0,1\}$ with no $\begin{pmatrix}1 & 1\\ 1& 1\end{pmatrix} $ ...
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Reduction argument from a general vertex set V(G) to a prime power in Prof. Keevash's proof on the Existence of Designs

The proof flow of the paper "On the Existence of Designs" by Prof. Keevash as I understand it is the following: -- Reduction from the general case to $V = \mathbb{F}_{p^a}$ (Lemma 6.3) -- Covering ...
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What measurable quantity can constrain the number of odors human can discriminate?

This is not a very typical MO question, but I hope you bear with me. It concerns a recent disagreement in the biology literature about how many different odors humans can discriminate. The authors of ...
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All $2$-designs arising from the action of the affine linear group on the field of prime order

Let $p$ be a prime and $\mathbb{Z}_p$ denote as usual the field of order $p$. Let $AL(p)$ be the affine linear group $\{x\mapsto ax+b \;|\; a\in \mathbb{Z}_p\setminus \{0\}, b\in\mathbb{Z}_p\}$. For a ...
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Number of cyclic difference sets

A subset $D=\{a_1,\ldots,a_k\}$ of $\mathbb{Z}/v\mathbb{Z}$ is said to be a $(v,k,\lambda)$-cycic difference set if for each nonzero $b\in\mathbb{Z}/v\mathbb{Z}$, there are exactly $\lambda$ ordered ...
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Number of points in an intersecting linear hypergraph

I first asked the question below at math.stackexchange.com ( http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/920442/number-of-points-in-an-intersecting-linear-hypergraph ) but somebody suggested I ask it in ...
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Is there a simple proof that there is no five mutually orthogonal Latin squares of order 6?

It is well known that there is a projective plane of order $n$ if and only if there exist a set of $n-1$ mutually orthogonal Latin squares. The first nontrivial case is $n=6$, which fails because of ...
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“Codes” in which a group of words are pairwise different at a certain position

I read the following problem, claimed to be in the IMO shortlist in 1988: A test consists of four multiple choice problems, each with three options, and the students should give an unique answer ...
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On the Steiner System S(4,5,11)

Is there a nice way to partition the edges of the complete 5-uniform hypergraph on 11 vertices into 7 copies of the Steiner system S(4,5,11)? If this is obvious or elementary, I apologize in advance.
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Can we sometimes define the parity of a set?

Suppose that ${n\choose k}, {n-1\choose k-1}, \ldots, {n-k+1\choose 1}$ are all even. (This happens for example if $k=2^\alpha-1$ and $n=2k$.) In this case, can we select ${n\choose k}/2$ sets of size ...
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Hitting sets (aka covers aka transversals) of Steiner triple systems

Does there exist a constant $c$ so that the lines of every Steiner triple system on $v$ points can be covered by $cv$ points? That is if $D \in STS(v)$ with point set $T=\{1,2,\ldots,v\}$ then ...
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Point sets with tangents through every point

Let $D=(P,L)$ be either a $(v,k,\lambda)$-design or a near-linear space (or, more generally, any incidence structure with "points" and sets of points which are called "blocks" or "lines") and let $S \...
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Isomorphism testing in STS(13)

What is the simplest isomorphism invariant which can distinguish between the two non-isomorphic Steiner triple systems on $13$ points? Train structure and cycle structure, as described here, do the ...
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Nonextendable partial Hadamard matrices

An $m\times n$ matrix with entries $\pm 1$ is said to be partial Hadamard if any two rows are orthogonal. See Reference for partial Hadamard matrices. Given $n\equiv 0\,(\mathrm{mod}\,4)$, what is the ...
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Balancing out edge multiplicites in a graph

Let $G$ be a multigraph with maximum edge multiplicity $t$ and minimum edge multiplicity $1$ (so that there is at least one 'ordinary' edge). Is there some simple graph $H$ such that the $t$-fold ...
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Is the domination number of a combinatorial design determined by the design parameters?

Let $D$ be a $(v,k,\lambda)$-design. By the domination number of $D$ I mean the domination number $\gamma(L(D))$ of the bipartite incidence graph of $D$. Is $\gamma(L(D))$ determined only by $v,k$,...
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colorings of ${\mathbb Z}^d$ with constraints

For a lattice $\mathbb Z^d$, denote by lattice line any line that contains two (and thus infinitely many) lattice points. For $2\le k<n$, define a $(n,k)$-coloring, or $C_d(n,k)$ for short, ...
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Known results on cyclic difference sets

Is there any infinite family of $v$ for which all the $(v,k,\lambda)$-cyclic difference sets with $k-\lambda$ a prime power coprime to $v$ have been determined? A subset $D=\{a_1,\ldots,a_k\}$ of $\...
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a block design question: Does every special 1-design admit a partition which respects enough of the blocks?

Is it possible to show that every 1-design $D$ with $\lambda=4,k=4$ on $v$ points (for $v$ that is a multiple of $3$) contain some 1-design $Q$ with $\lambda=1,k=3$ on $v$ points such that every block ...
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Ranks of higher incidence matrices of designs

In 1978 Doyen, Hubaut and Vandensavel proved that if $S$ is a Steiner triple system $S(2,3,v)$ then the $GF(2)$ rank of its incidence matrix $N$ is $$ Rk_{2}(N)=v-(d_{p}+1), $$ where $d_{p}$ is the ...
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Constructions of $2-(v,3,3)$-designs

I am looking for ways to construct an infinite family of designs with parameters $2-(v,3,3)$ and apart from some doubling-type recursive constructions (such as in this paper) I haven't found anything ...
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Does $(\mathbb{Z}/n\mathbb{Z})^2$ ever admit a difference set when $n$ is odd?

A difference set of a group $G$ is a subset $D\subseteq G$ with the property that there exists an integer $\lambda>0$ such that for every non-identity member $g$ of $G$, there exist exactly $\...
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What is the largest number of k-element subsets of a given n-element set S such that…

Given a set S of n elements. What is the largest number of k-element subsets of S such that every pair of these subsets has at most one common element?
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Octonions and the Fano plane.

Does the Fano plane mnemonic for octonion multiplication have any deeper meaning? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2d/FanoPlane.svg The symmetry group of the Fano plane is PSL(2,7), ...
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Fano plane drawings: embedding PG(2,2) into the real plane

By a drawing of the Fano plane I mean a system of seven simple curves and seven points in the real plane such that every point lies on exactly three curves, and every curve contains exactly three ...
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Tenacious structure

Let $\def\A{\mathbb A}\def\F{\mathbb F}\F_3$ be the Galois field with three elements and let $\A^d=\A^d(\F_3)$ be the affine space of dimension $d$ over $\mathbb F_3$ —the subject is combinatorics and ...