Simple groups, product actions, and generalised quadrangles

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The classification of flag-transitive generalized quadrangles is a long-standing open problem at the interface of finite geometry and permutation group theory. Given that all known flag-transitive generalized quadrangles are also point-primitive (up to point–line duality), it is likewise natural to seek a classification of the point-primitive examples. Working toward this aim, we are led to investigate generalized quadrangles that admit a collineation group preserving a Cartesian product decomposition of the set of points. It is shown that, under a generic assumption on , the number of factors of such a Cartesian product can be at most four. This result is then used to treat various types of primitive and quasiprimitive point actions. In particular, it is shown that cannot have holomorph compound O’Nan–Scott type. Our arguments also pose purely group-theoretic questions about conjugacy classes in nonabelian finite simple groups and fixities of primitive permutation groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-126
Number of pages40
JournalNagoya Mathematical Journal
Early online date14 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


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