On the existence of tight relative 2-designs on binary Hamming association schemes

Eiichi Bannai, Etsuko Bannai, Hideo Bannai

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9 Citations (Scopus)


It is known that there is a close analogy between "Euclidean t-designs vs. spherical t-designs" and "Relative t-designs in binary Hamming association schemes vs. combinatorial t-designs". In this paper, we want to prove how much we can develop a similar theory in the latter situation, imitating the theory in the former one. We first prove that the weight function is constant on each shell for tight relative t-designs on p shells on a wide class of Q-polynomial association schemes, including Hamming association schemes. In the theory of Euclidean t-designs on 2 concentric spheres (shells), it is known that the structure of coherent configurations is naturally attached. However, it seems difficult to prove this claim in a general context. In the case of tight 2-designs in combinatorial 2-designs, there are great many tight 2-designs, i.e., symmetric 2-designs, while there are very few tight 2e-designs for e≥2. So, as a starting point, we concentrate our study to the existence problem of tight relative 2-designs, in particular on 2 shells, in binary Hamming association schemes H(n,2). We prove that every tight relative 2-design on 2 shells in H(n,2) has the structure of coherent configuration. We determine all the possible parameters of coherent configurations attached to such tight relative 2-designs for n≤30. Moreover for each of them we determine whether there exists such a tight relative 2-design or not, either by constructing them from symmetric 2-designs or Hadamard matrices, or theoretically showing the non-existence. In particular, we show that for n≡6(mod8), there exist such tight relative 2-designs whose weight functions are not constant. These are the first examples of those with non-constant weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-37
Number of pages21
JournalDiscrete Mathematics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics


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