Importance: Medium ✭✭
Subject: Combinatorics
» Matrices
Recomm. for undergrads: no
Prize: none
Posted by: mdevos
on: March 8th, 2007
Conjecture   If $ B_1,B_2,\ldots B_p $ are invertible $ n \times n $ matrices with entries in $ {\mathbb Z}_p $ for a prime $ p $, then there is a $ n \times (p-1)n $ submatrix $ A $ of $ [B_1 B_2 \ldots B_p] $ so that $ A $ is an AT-base.

Definition: If $ A $ is an $ n \times (p-1)n $ matrix over a field of characteristic $ p $, then we say that $ A $ is an Alon-Tarsi basis (or AT-basis) if the permanent of the $ (p-1)n \times (p-1)n $ matrix obtained by stacking $ p-1 $ copies of $ A $ is nonzero.

It follows from the Alon-Tarsi polynomial technique that if $ A $ is an AT-base then for every $ X_1,X_2,\ldots,X_{(p-1)n} \subseteq {\mathbb Z}_p $ of size 2 and for every $ y \in {\mathbb Z}_p^n $, there exists a vector $ x \in X_1 \times X_2 \ldots \times X_{(p-1)n} $ so that $ Ax=y $ (using the notation from A nowhere-zero point in a linear mapping, $ A $ is (2,1)-choosable). It follows from this that every Alon-Tarsi base over $ {\mathbb Z}_p $ is also an additive basis. Thus, the above conjecture, if true, would imply The additive basis conjecture. The following strengthening of this conjecture was suggested in [D]

Conjecture  (The strong Alon-Tarsi basis conjecture (DeVos))   If $ B_1,B_2,\ldots,B_p $ are invertible $ n \times n $ matrices with entries in a field of characteristic $ p $, then we may partition the columns of $ [B_1 B_2 \ldots B_p] $ into an $ n \times (p-1)n $ matrix $ A $ and an $ n \times n $ matrix $ C $ so that $ A $ is an AT-base and $ C $ is invertible.

In addition to implying the conjecture, above, if true, this conjecture would imply both The permanent conjecture and The choosability in $ {\mathbb Z}_p $ conjecture.


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