ISRAEL JOURNAL OF MATHEMATICS
© 2019, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. An r-cut of a k-uniform hypergraph H is a partition of the vertex set of H into r parts and the size of the cut is the number of edges which have a vertex in each part. A classical result of Edwards says that every m-edge graph has a 2-cut of size m/2+Ω(m) and this is best possible. That is, there exist cuts which exceed the expected size of a random cut by some multiple of the standard deviation. We study analogues of this and related results in hypergraphs. First, we observe that similarly to graphs, every m-edge k-uniform hypergraph has an r-cut whose size is Ω(m) larger than the expected size of a random r-cut. Moreover, in the case where k = 3 and r = 2 this bound is best possible and is attained by Steiner triple systems. Surprisingly, for all other cases (that is, if k ≥ 4 or r ≥ 3), we show that every m-edge k-uniform hypergraph has an r-cut whose size is Ω(m5/9) larger than the expected size of a random r-cut. This is a significant difference in behaviour, since the amount by which the size of the largest cut exceeds the expected size of a random cut is now considerably larger than the standard deviation.
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