Past Combinatorial Theory Seminar

17 January 2017
14:30
Michał Przykucki
Abstract

Consider the following particle system. We are given a uniform random rooted tree on vertices labelled by $[n] = \{1,2,\ldots,n\}$, with edges directed towards the root. Each node of the tree has space for a single particle (we think of them as cars). A number $m \le n$ of cars arrive one by one, and car $i$ wishes to park at node $S_i$, $1 \le i \le m$, where $S_1, S_2, \ldots, S_m$ are i.i.d. uniform random variables on $[n]$. If a car wishes to park at a space which is already occupied, it follows the unique path oriented towards the root until it encounters an empty space, in which case it parks there; if there is no empty space, it leaves the tree. Let $A_{n,m}$ denote the event that all $m$ cars find spaces in the tree. Lackner and Panholzer proved (via analytic combinatorics methods) that there is a phase transition in this model. Set $m = \lfloor \alpha n \rfloor$. Then if $\alpha \le 1/2$, $\mathbb{P}(A_{n,\lfloor \alpha n \rfloor}) \to \frac{\sqrt{1-2\alpha}}{1-\alpha}$, whereas if $\alpha > 1/2$ we have $\mathbb{P}(A_{n,\lfloor \alpha n \rfloor}) \to 0$. In this talk, we will give a probabilistic explanation for this phenomenon, and an alternative proof via the objective method.

Joint work with Christina Goldschmidt.

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
29 November 2016
14:30
Abstract

The Graham-Pollak theorem states that to decompose the complete graph $K_n$ into complete bipartite subgraphs we need at least $n-1$ of them. What
happens for hypergraphs? In other words, suppose that we wish to decompose the complete $r$-graph on $n$ vertices into complete $r$-partite $r$-graphs; how many do we need?

In this talk we will report on recent progress on this problem. This is joint work with Luka Milicevic and Ta Sheng Tan.

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
22 November 2016
14:30
Paul Seymour
Abstract

It follows from the ellipsoid method and results of Grotschel, Lovasz and Schrijver that one can find an optimal colouring of a perfect graph in polynomial time. But no ''combinatorial'' algorithm to do this is known.

Here we give a combinatorial algorithm to do this in an n-vertex perfect graph in time O(n^{k+1}^2) where k is the clique number; so polynomial-time for fixed k. The algorithm depends on another result, a polynomial-time algorithm to find a ''balanced skew partition'' in a perfect graph if there is one.

Joint work with Maria Chudnovsky, Aurelie Lagoutte, and Sophie Spirkl.

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
15 November 2016
14:30
Eoin Long
Abstract

Given vectors $V = (v_i: i \in [n]) \in R^D$, we define the $V$-intersection of $A,B \subset [n]$ to be the vector $\sum_{i \in A \cap B} v_i$. In this talk, I will discuss a new, essentially optimal, supersaturation theorem for $V$-intersections, which can be roughly stated as saying that any large family of sets contains many pairs $(A,B)$ with $V$-intersection $w$, for a wide range of $V$ and $w$. A famous theorem of Frankl and Rödl corresponds to the case $D=1$ and all $v_i=1$ of our theorem. The case $D=2$ and $v_i=(1,i)$ solves a conjecture of Kalai.

Joint work with Peter Keevash.

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
8 November 2016
14:30
Liana Yepremyan
Abstract

The Turán number of an $r$-graph $G$, denoted by $ex(n,G)$, is the maximum number of edges in an $G$-free $r$-graph on $n$ vertices. The Turán density  of an $r$-graph $G$, denoted by $\pi(G)$, is the limit as $n$ tends to infinity of the maximum edge density of an $G$-free $r$-graph on $n$ vertices.

During this talk I will discuss a method, which we call  local stability method, that allows one to obtain exact Turán numbers from Turán density results. This method can be thought of as an extension of the classical stability method by  generically utilising the Lagrangian function. Using it, we obtained new hypergraph Turán numbers. In particular, we did so for a hypergraph called generalized triangle, for uniformities 5 and 6, which solved a conjecture of Frankl and Füredi from 1980's.

This is joint work with Sergey Norin.

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
1 November 2016
14:30
Matthew Jenssen
Abstract

For a graph $G$, the $k$-colour Ramsey number $R_k(G)$ is the least integer $N$ such that every $k$-colouring of the edges of the complete graph $K_N$ contains a monochromatic copy of $G$. Let $C_n$ denote the cycle on $n$ vertices. We show that for fixed $k\geq2$ and $n$ odd and sufficiently large,
$$
R_k(C_n)=2^{k-1}(n-1)+1.
$$
This resolves a conjecture of Bondy and Erdős for large $n$. The proof is analytic in nature, the first step of which is to use the regularity method to relate this problem in Ramsey theory to one in nonlinear optimisation.  This allows us to prove a stability-type generalisation of the above and establish a correspondence between extremal $k$-colourings for this problem and perfect matchings in the $k$-dimensional hypercube $Q_k$.

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
25 October 2016
14:30
Thomas Bloom
Abstract

In joint work with Olof Sisask, we establish new quantitative bounds for Roth's theorem on arithmetic progressions, showing that a set of integers with no three-term arithmetic progressions must have density O(1/(log N)^{1+c}) for some absolute constant c>0. This is the integer analogue of a result of Bateman and Katz for the model setting of vector spaces over a finite field, and the proof follows a similar structure. 

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
18 October 2016
14:30
Svante Janson
Abstract

The threshold for existence of a giant component in a random graph with given vertex degrees was found by Molloy and Reed (1995), and several authors have since studied the size of the largest and other components in various cases. The critical window was found by Hatami and Molloy (2012), and has a width that depends on whether the asymptotic degree distribution has a finite third moment or not. I will describe some new results (joint work with Remco van der Hofstad and Malwina Luczak) on the barely supercritical case, where this difference between finite and infinite third moment also is seen.

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
11 October 2016
14:30
Abstract

'Erdős-Ko-Rado type problems' are well-studied in extremal combinatorics; they concern the sizes of families of objects in which any two (or any $r$) of the objects in the family 'agree', or 'intersect', in some way.

If $X$ is a finite set, the '$p$-biased measure' on the power-set of $X$ is defined as follows: choose a subset $S$ of $X$ at random by including each element of $X$ independently with probability $p$. If $\mathcal{F}$ is a family of subsets of $X$, one can consider the $p$-biased measure of $\mathcal{F}$, denoted by $\mu_p(\mathcal{F})$, as a function of $p$. If $\mathcal{F}$ is closed under taking supersets, then this function is an increasing function of $p$. Seminal results of Friedgut and Friedgut-Kalai give criteria under which this function has a 'sharp threshold'. Perhaps surprisingly, a careful analysis of the behaviour of this function also yields some rather strong results in extremal combinatorics which do not explicitly mention the $p$-biased measure - in particular, in the field of Erdős-Ko-Rado type problems. We will discuss some of these, including a recent proof of an old conjecture of Frankl that a symmetric three-wise intersecting family of subsets of $\{1,2,\ldots,n\}$ has size $o(2^n)$, and some 'stability' results characterizing the structure of 'large' $t$-intersecting families of $k$-element subsets of $\{1,2,\ldots,n\}$. Based on joint work with (subsets of) Nathan Keller, Noam Lifschitz and Bhargav Narayanan.

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
14 June 2016
16:30
Peter Keevash
Abstract

A Steiner Triple System on a set X is a collection T of 3-element subsets of X such that every pair of elements of X is contained in exactly one of the triples in T. An example considered by Plücker in 1835 is the affine plane of order three, which consists of 12 triples on a set of 9 points. Plücker observed that a necessary condition for the existence of a Steiner Triple System on a set with n elements is that n be congruent to 1 or 3 mod 6. In 1846, Kirkman showed that this necessary condition is also sufficient. In 1974, Wilson conjectured an approximate formula for the number of such systems. We will outline a proof of this
conjecture, and a more general estimate for the number of Steiner systems. Our main tool is the technique of Randomised Algebraic Construction, which
we introduced to resolve a question of Steiner from 1853 on the existence of designs.

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar

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