Past Combinatorial Theory Seminar

13 March 2014
16:00
Abstract
I will discuss a novel approach to estimating communication costs of an algorithm (also known as its I/O complexity), which is based on small-set expansion for computational graphs. Various applications and implications will be discussed as well, mostly having to do with linear algebra algorithms. This includes, in particular, first known (and tight) bounds on communication complexity of fast matrix multiplication. Joint work with Grey Ballard, James Demmel, Benjamin Lipshitz and Oded Schwartz.
  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
25 February 2014
14:30
Alan Frieze
Abstract

We discuss some questions related to coloring the edge/vertices of randomgraphs. In particular we look at
(i) The game chromatic number;
(ii) Rainbow Matchings and Hamilton cycles;
(iii) Rainbow Connection;
(iv) Zebraic Colorings.

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
18 February 2014
14:30
Abstract

Several objects can be associated to a list of vectors with integer coordinates: among others, a family of tori called toric arrangement, a convex polytope called zonotope, a function called vector partition function; these objects have been described in a recent book by De Concini and Procesi. The linear algebra of the list of vectors is axiomatized by the combinatorial notion of a matroid; but several properties of the objects above depend also on the arithmetics of the list. This can be encoded by the notion of a "matroid over Z". Similarly, applications to tropical geometry suggest the introduction of matroids over a discrete valuation ring.Motivated by the examples above, we introduce the more general notion of a "matroid over a commutative ring R". Such a matroid arises for example from a list of elements in a R-module. When R is a Dedekind domain, we can extend the usual properties and operations holding for matroids (e.g., duality). We can also compute the Tutte-Grothendieck ring of matroids over R; the class of a matroid in such a ring specializes to several invariants, such as the Tutte polynomial and the Tutte quasipolynomial. We will also outline other possible applications and open problems. (Joint work with Alex Fink).

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
11 February 2014
14:30
Abstract

We give a new proof of the Frankl-Rödl theorem on set systems with a forbidden intersection. Our method extends to codes with forbidden distances, where over large alphabets our bound is significantly better than that obtained by Frankl and Rödl. One consequence of our result is a Frankl-Rödl type theorem for permutations with a forbidden distance. Joint work with Peter Keevash.

  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
28 January 2014
14:30
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 1853, Steiner posed the natural generalisation of the question: given integers q and r, for which n is it possible to choose a collection Q of q-element subsets of an n-element set X such that any r elements of X are contained in exactly one of the sets in Q? There are some natural necessary divisibility conditions generalising the necessary conditions for Steiner Triple Systems. The Existence Conjecture states that for all but finitely many n these divisibility conditions are also sufficient for the existence of general Steiner systems (and more generally designs). We prove the Existence Conjecture, and more generally, we show that the natural divisibility conditions are sufficient for clique decompositions of simplicial complexes that satisfy a certain pseudorandomness condition.
  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
21 January 2014
14:30
Yufei Zhao
Abstract
<p>We introduce and develop a theory of limits for sequences of sparse graphs based on $L^p$ graphons, which generalizes both the existing $L^\infty$ theory of dense graph limits and its extension by Bollob\'as and Riordan to sparse graphs without dense spots. In doing so, we replace the no dense spots hypothesis with weaker assumptions, which allow us to analyze graphs with power law degree distributions. This gives the first broadly applicable limit theory for sparse graphs with unbounded average degrees.</p> <p>Joint work with Christian Borgs, Jennifer T. Chayes, and Henry Cohn.</p>
  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
26 November 2013
14:30
Abstract
Nesetril and Ossona de Mendez introduced a new notion of convergence of graphs called FO convergence. This notion can be viewed as a unified notion of convergence of dense and sparse graphs. In particular, every FO convergent sequence of graphs is convergent in the sense of left convergence of dense graphs as studied by Borgs, Chayes, Lovasz, Sos, Szegedy, Vesztergombi and others, and every FO convergent sequence of graphs with bounded maximum degree is convergent in the Benjamini-Schramm sense. FO convergent sequences of graphs can be associated with a limit object called modeling. Nesetril and Ossona de Mendez showed that every FO convergent sequence of trees with bounded depth has a modeling. We extend this result to all FO convergent sequences of trees and discuss possibilities for further extensions. The talk is based on a joint work with Martin Kupec and Vojtech Tuma.
  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar
12 November 2013
14:30
Simon Griffiths
Abstract
The Ramsey number $R(K_s, Q_n)$ is the smallest integer $N$ such that every red-blue colouring of the edges of the complete graph $K_N$ contains either a red $n$-dimensional hypercube, or a blue clique on $s$ vertices. Note that $N=(s-1)(2^n -1)$ is not large enough, since we may colour in red $(s-1)$ disjoint cliques of cardinality $2^N -1$ and colour the remaining edges blue. In 1983, Burr and Erdos conjectured that this example was the best possible, i.e., that $R(K_s, Q_n) = (s-1)(2^n -1) + 1$ for every positive integer $s$ and sufficiently large $n$. In a recent breakthrough, Conlon, Fox, Lee and Sudakov proved the conjecture up to a multiplicative constant for each $s$. In this talk we shall sketch the proof of the conjecture and discuss some related problems. (Based on joint work with Gonzalo Fiz Pontiveros, Robert Morris, David Saxton and Jozef Skokan)
  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar

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