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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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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183 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 ...
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368 views

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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350 views

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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103 views

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 ...
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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 ...
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Lower bounds on cardinality of a union of blocks in a design

Let $D$ be a $(v,k,\lambda)$-design (repeated blocks are allowed). I would like to get a lower bound on the cardinality of the union of $s$ blocks. A naive application of inclusion-exclusion gives ...
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Is Ryser's conjecture on permanent minimizers still open?

Let $A(k,n)$ be the set of $\{0,1\}$ matrices of order $n$ with all their line sums equal to $k$. Conjecture number 5 on the list from Minc's book, attributed to Ryser, says that if $A(k,n)$ ...
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Resolvable designs from projective space

Resolvable designs are block designs with the additional property that the blocks can be partitioned into partitions of the points. It is easy to see that lines in affine space form a resolvable ...
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Orthogonal Latin Square 6*6

I need to make remarks about Tarry's Proof for the nonexistence of 6x6 Latin Squares as part of my final exam for a class I'm in. Problem is, I can't find it ANYWHERE on the internet. I can only find ...
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Pairwise balanced designs with $r=\lambda^{2}$

A while ago I asked how to construct an infinite family of $(v,b,r,k,\lambda)$-designs satisfying $r=\lambda^{2}$ and got very good answers from Yuichiro Fujiwara and Ken W. Smith. Now I'd like to up ...
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What are the major open problems in design theory nowaday?

I gather that the question whether the Bruck-Chowla-Ryser condition was sufficient used to top the list, but now that that's settled - what is considered the most interesting open question?
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Is there an infinite number of combinatorial designs with $r=\lambda^{2}$

A quick look at Ed Spence's page reveals two such examples: (7,3,3) and (16,6,3). If there is a known classification and/or name by which such designs go, I'd love to know about them too. EDIT: I ...
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Block design question

Given fixed values for $d \leq k \leq v$. I would like to find a set $B$ of $d$-sets of $[v]$ with the following properties: Every $k$-set of $[v]$ contains at least one element of $B$ Every ...
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Intersecting 4-sets

Is it possible to have more than $N = \binom{\lfloor n/2\rfloor}{2}$ subsets of an $n$-set, each of size 4, such that each two of them intersect in 0 or 2 elements? To see that $N$ is achievable, ...