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6
votes
1answer
148 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
447 views

“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 ...
10
votes
1answer
215 views

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. ...
4
votes
2answers
343 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
129 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
151 views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
346 views

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, ...
1
vote
1answer
252 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
175 views

a block design question

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
199 views

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 ...
7
votes
0answers
346 views

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 ...
14
votes
1answer
576 views

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), ...
7
votes
0answers
162 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
339 views

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 $A(k,n)$ ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
364 views

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 ...
1
vote
5answers
263 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
248 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
221 views

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 ...
11
votes
5answers
461 views

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, ...
2
votes
1answer
378 views

Popular elements in cross-intersecting families

Let $\mathcal{T}$ and $\mathcal{S}$ be two families of subsets of $[n]$ such that for all $T_i\in \mathcal{T}$ and $S_j\in \mathcal{S}$, $|T_i \cap S_j| \neq\emptyset$ $|T_i| , |S_j| \leq t = ...
-1
votes
1answer
298 views

Number of blocks in a t-(v,k,l) design with empty intersection with a given set U [closed]

Question Given a $t-(v,k,\lambda)$ design $(X,\mathcal{B})$ and a set $U\subset X$ with $|U|=u\leq t$, what is the number of blocks $B\in\mathcal{B}$ such that $B\cap U=\emptyset$? The answer is: ...
3
votes
1answer
331 views

Residual design (BIBD) with repeated blocks

Simple BIBD are defined as those designs in which incindence relation is "is element". So effectively blocks are subsets of points. Equivalently there should be no "repeating blocks" ie. blocks that ...
6
votes
3answers
579 views

Meeting management

A friend wants to have ten meetings of six people every day for five days with no pair of people meeting twice. Is this possible? It appears to be a question about maximal decomposition of a complete ...