On orbital partitions and exceptionality of primitive permutation groups

RM Guralnick, Cai-Heng Li, Cheryl Praeger, J Saxl

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Let G and X be transitive permutation groups on a set Omega such that G is a normal subgroup of X. The overgroup X induces a natural action on the set Orbl(G, Omega) of non-trivial orbitals of G on Omega. In the study of Galois groups of exceptional covers of curves, one is led to characterizing the triples (G, X, Omega) where X fixes no elements of Orbl(G, Omega); such triples are called exceptional. In the study of homogeneous factorizations of complete graphs, one is led to characterizing quadruples (G, X, Omega, P) where P is a partition of Orbl(G, Omega) such that X is transitive on P; such a quadruple is called a TOD (transitive orbital decomposition). It follows easily that the triple (G, X, Omega) in a TOD (G, X, Omega, P) is exceptional; conversely if an exceptional triple (G, X, Omega) is such that X/G is cyclic of prime-power order, then there exists a partition P of Orbl(G, Omega) such that (G, X, Omega, P) is a TOD. This paper characterizes TODs (G, X, Omega, P) such that X-Omega is primitive and X/G is cyclic of prime-power order. An application is given to the classification of self-complementary vertex-transitive graphs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4857-4872
    JournalTransactions of the American Mathematical Society
    Volume356
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

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