An interpretation of the Dittert conjecture in terms of semi-matchings

Let G be Kn,n with non-negative edge weights and let U and V be the two colour classes of vertices in G. We define a k-semimatching in G to be a set of k edges such that the edges either have distinct ends in U or distinct ends in V. Semimatchings are to be counted according to the product of the weights on the edges in the semimatching. The Dittert conjecture is a longstanding open problem involving matrix permanents. Here we show that it is equivalent to the following assertion: For a fixed total weight, the number of n-semimatchings in G is maximised by weighting all edges of G equally. We also introduce sub-Dittert functions which count k-semimatchings and are analogous to the subpermanent functions which count k-matchings. We prove some results about the extremal values of our sub-Dittert functions, and also that the Dittert conjecture cannot be disproved by means of unweighted graphs.

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Last modified: Tue Jan 23 15:29:26 EST 2007