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One of the interesting problems in abstract polytope theory is to determine, for a given finite group, when that group is the automorphism group of a regular abstract polytope. This is equivalent to the following question: Given a finite group G, when is G generated by involutions $\rho_0, \ldots, \rho_n$ such that $(\rho_i \rho_j)^2 = 1$ if $|i - j| \geq 2$ and such that for all $I, J \subset \{0, \ldots, n\}$ we have $\langle \rho_i \mid i \in I \rangle \cap \langle \rho_i \mid i \in J \rangle = \langle \rho_i \mid i \in I \cap J \rangle$?

The last property can be difficult to check, so let's relax that requirement for now. If a finite group G is generated by n involutions such that non-adjacent generators commute, what can we say about the structure or size of G? Of particular interest: what if G is simple?

Here are a few simple observations:

1. For each n, the smallest (abstract) n-polytope has an automorphism group that is isomorphic to the direct product of n copies of $C_2$, corresponding to the trivial Coxeter diagram on n nodes. So a finite group G cannot be the automorphism group of an abstract regular n-polytope for $n > \log_2(|G|)$.
2. A (nontrivial) group generated by involutions has even order.
3. The abelianization of a group generated by involutions such that nonadjacent generators commute is a quotient of the group in (1), the direct product of n copies of $C_2$.
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# Which finite groups are generated by n involutions?

One of the interesting problems in abstract polytope theory is to determine, for a given finite group, when that group is the automorphism group of a regular abstract polytope. This is equivalent to the following question: Given a finite group G, when is G generated by involutions $\rho_0, \ldots, \rho_n$ such that $(\rho_i \rho_j)^2 = 1$ if $|i - j| \geq 2$ and such that for all $I, J \subset \{0, \ldots, n\}$ we have $\langle \rho_i \mid i \in I \rangle \cap \langle \rho_i \mid i \in J \rangle = \langle \rho_i \mid i \in I \cap J \rangle$?

The last property can be difficult to check, so let's relax that requirement for now. If a finite group G is generated by n involutions such that non-adjacent generators commute, what can we say about the structure or size of G? Of particular interest: what if G is simple?

Here are a few simple observations:

1. For each n, the smallest n-polytope has an automorphism group that is isomorphic to the direct product of n copies of $C_2$, corresponding to the trivial Coxeter diagram on n nodes. So a finite group G cannot be the automorphism group of an abstract regular n-polytope for $n > \log_2(|G|)$.
2. A group generated by involutions has even order.
3. The abelianization of a group generated by involutions such that nonadjacent generators commute is a quotient of the group in (1), the direct product of n copies of $C_2$.