# 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.

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### Coloring in Combinatorial Design Generalizing Latin Square

I have a question about a combinatorial design very similar to a Latin Square, which is arising out of an open problem in graph theory. The design is an $n \times n$ matrix whose entries we want to ...
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### Graeco-Latin squares and outer-automorphisms

It is well known that $n=6$ is the only number greater than two in which there is no Graeco-Latin square of order $n$. It is also well known that $n=6$ is the only number greater than two in which ...
2answers
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### Lower bound for a combinatorial problem ($N$ students taking $n$ exams)

We have $N$ students and $n$ exams. We need to select $n$ out of the students using the grade of those exams. The procedure is as follows: 1- We set some ordering on the exams. 2- Going through this ...
1answer
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### Constructing Group Divisible Designs - Algorithms?

I am starting my research on group divisible designs this year and I wonder if there are any algorithms/software that help with constructions. Thank you
1answer
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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 ...
1answer
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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 $V$...
1answer
117 views

### 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 ...
1answer
312 views

### 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 ...
2answers
133 views

### 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 ...
2answers
160 views

### 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 $4$-...
1answer
77 views

### 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 ...
0answers
63 views

### 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 ...
2answers
166 views

1answer
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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. ...
2answers
292 views

### 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 ...
1answer
313 views

### 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 ...
1answer
263 views

### 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 ...
1answer
39 views

### 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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117 views

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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 ...
2answers
435 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 ...
2answers
411 views

### 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 ...
2answers
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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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165 views

### 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 ...
1answer
685 views

### 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 ...
1answer
108 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 ...
1answer
126 views

### 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 ...
1answer
299 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 ...
1answer
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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 ...
1answer
389 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.
2answers
401 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 ...
1answer
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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 ...
0answers
64 views