Sarvate-beam group divisible designs and related multigraph decomposition problems




Niezen, Joanna

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



A design is a set of points, V, together with a set of subsets of V called blocks. A classic type of design is a balanced incomplete block design, where every pair of points occurs together in a block the same number of times. This ‘balanced’ condition can be replaced with other properties. An adesign is a design where instead every pair of points occurs a different number of times together in a block. The number of times a specified pair of points occurs together is called the pair frequency. Here, a special type of adesign is explored, called a Sarvate-Beam design, named after its founders D.G. Sarvate and W. Beam. In such an adesign, the pair frequencies cover an interval of consecutive integers. Specifically the existence of Sarvate-Beam group divisible designs are investigated. A group divisible design, in the usual sense, is a set of points and blocks where the points are partitioned into subsets called groups. Any pair of points contained in a group have pair frequency zero and pairs of points from different groups have pair frequency one. A Sarvate-Beam group divisible design, or SBGDD, is a group divisible design where instead the frequencies of pairs from different groups form a set of distinct nonnegative consecutive integers. The SBGDD is said to be uniform when the groups are of equal size. The main result of this dissertation is to completely settle the existence question for uniform SBGDDs with blocks of size three where the smallest pair frequency, called the starting frequency, is zero. Higher starting frequencies are also considered and settled for all positive integers except when the SBGDD is partitioned into eight groups where a few possible exceptions remain. A relationship between these designs and graph decompositions is developed and leads to some generalizations. The use of matrices and linear programming is also explored and give rise to related results.



discrete math, mathematics, design theory, graph decompositions, group divisible designs, combinatorics, Latin squares, matrices