# Questions tagged [combinatorial-designs]

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.

82 questions
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### Bounding the number of orthogonal Latin squares from above

As is usual, let $N(n)$ denote the maximum size of a set of mutually orthogonal Latin squares of order $n$. I am wondering what results hold that bound $N(n)$ from above; the only ones I can think of ...
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### On the existence of a certain graph/hypergraph pair

Let $V$ be a finite set, $G$ a simple graph with vertex set $V$, and $H$ a hypergraph (i.e., set of subsets) with vertex set $V$ satisfying the following three conditions: each pair of elements of $V$...
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### Distinguishing points by sets of given size

The problem is: Given a finite set $X$ with size $x$ and let $B$ denote a family of $k$-element subsets of $X$, called blocks. What is the smallest possible number $n$ of blocks such that every ...
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### Pfaffian representation of the Fermat quintic

It is known (see for instance Beauville - Determinantal hypersurfaces) that a generic homogeneous polynomial in $5$ variables of degree $5$ with complex coefficients can be written as the Pfaffian of ...
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### Known result about existence of $n$-vertex $k$-uniform $r$-hypergraphs?

Are there known results about $n,k,r$ such that $n$-vertex $k$-uniform $r$-regular hypergraphs exist? If this is too large a class of hypergraphs, what if $k=\tilde{\theta}(\sqrt{n})$? What if an ...
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### Minimum covers of complete graphs by $4$-cycles

I am interested in coverings of the (edge set of the) complete graph $K_n$ by cycles of length $4$. It is clear that such coverings exist for each $n \ge 4$. I need to find the minimum number of $4$-...
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### Relative difference sets?

Do you know how to find order of known groups with RDS or without? Or Known groups which have RDS or not? If there is a references to survey all researches?
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### Has this kind of design been studied before?

Consider a design $(X,\mathcal{B})$, satisfying: Each block in $\mathcal{B}$ has the same size The intersection of every two blocks has the same size Of course, it is easy to find many examples of ...
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### A generalization of PBIBDs

A PBIBD is an incidence structure together with an underlying symmetric association scheme. One can relax the symmetry requirement, and ask for incidence structures with an underlying (not necessarily ...
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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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### 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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### 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 ( https://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 to ...
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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 ...
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 \... 3answers 324 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 ... 2answers 233 views ### 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 ... 1answer 65 views ### 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 ... 2answers 200 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$v,k$, ... 3answers 390 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, as ... 1answer 583 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$\...
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 ...