Thickly resolvable designs




Malloch, Amanda

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In this dissertation, we consider a generalization of the historically significant problem posed in 1850 by Reverend Thomas Kirkman which asked whether it was possible for 15 schoolgirls to walk in lines of three to school for seven days so that no two of them appear in the same line on multiple days. This puzzle spawned the study of what we now call resolvable pairwise balanced designs, which balance pair coverage of points within blocks while also demanding that the blocks can be grouped in such a way that each group partitions the point-set. Our generalization aims to relax this condition slightly, so that each group of blocks balances point-wise coverage but each point occurs in each group σ times (instead of just once). We call these objects thickly-resolvable designs. Here we show that the necessary divisibility conditions for the existence of thickly-resolvable designs are also sufficient when the size of the point set is large enough. A few variations of this problem are considered as well.



combinatorics, design theory, resolvable, asymptotic