Orbit equivalence and permutation groups defined by unordered relations

Francesca Dalla Volta, Johannes Siemons

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10 Citations (Scopus)


For a set O an unordered relation on O is a family R of subsets of O. If R is such a relation we let (R) be the group of all permutations on O that preserve R, that is g belongs to (R) if and only if x?R implies x g ?R. We are interested in permutation groups which can be represented as G=(R) for a suitable unordered relation R on O. When this is the case, we say that G is defined by the relation R, or that G is a relation group. We prove that a primitive permutation group ?Alt(O) and of degree =11 is a relation group. The same is true for many classes of finite imprimitive groups, and we give general conditions on the size of blocks of imprimitivity, and the groups induced on such blocks, which guarantee that the group is defined by a relation. This property is closely connected to the orbit closure of permutation groups. Since relation groups are orbit closed the results here imply that many classes of imprimitive permutation groups are orbit closed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-564
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Algebraic Combinatorics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

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