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Opposite elements in clutters

Abdi, Ahmad ORCID: 0000-0002-3008-4167, Fukasawa, Ricardo and Sanitàa, Laura (2018) Opposite elements in clutters. Mathematics of Operations Research, 43 (2). pp. 428-459. ISSN 0364-765X

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Identification Number: 10.1287/moor.2017.0864


Let E be a finite set of elements, and let L be a clutter over ground set E. We say distinct elements e, f are opposite if every member and every minimal cover of L contains at most one of e, f. In this paper, we investigate opposite elements and reveal a rich theory underlying such a seemingly simple restriction. The clutter C obtained from L after identifying some opposite elements is called an identification of L; inversely, L is called a split of C. We will show that splitting preserves three clutter properties, i.e., idealness, the max-flow min-cut property, and the packing property. We will also display several natural examples in which a clutter does not have these properties but a split of them does. We will develop tools for recognizing when splitting is not a useful operation, and as well, we will characterize when identification preserves the three mentioned properties. We will also make connections to spanning arborescences, Steiner trees, comparability graphs, degenerate projective planes, binary clutters, matroids, as well as the results of Menger, Ford and Fulkerson, the Replication Conjecture, and a conjecture on ideal, minimally nonpacking clutters.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 INFORMS
Divisions: Mathematics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2019 14:21
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2024 03:12

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