The Inverse Problem Associated to the Davenport Constant for $C_2\oplus C_2 \oplus C_{2n}$, and Applications to the Arithmetical Characterization of Class Groups

Wolfgang A. Schmid


The inverse problem associated to the Davenport constant for some finite abelian group is the problem of determining the structure of all minimal zero-sum sequences of maximal length over this group, and more generally of long minimal zero-sum sequences. Results on the maximal multiplicity of an element in a long minimal zero-sum sequence for groups with large exponent are obtained. For groups of the form $C_2^{r-1}\oplus C_{2n}$ the results are optimal up to an absolute constant. And, the inverse problem, for sequences of maximal length, is solved completely for groups of the form $C_2^2 \oplus C_{2n}$.

Some applications of this latter result are presented. In particular, a characterization, via the system of sets of lengths, of the class group of rings of algebraic integers is obtained for certain types of groups, including $C_2^2 \oplus C_{2n}$ and $C_3 \oplus C_{3n}$; and the Davenport constants of groups of the form $C_4^2 \oplus C_{4n}$ and $C_6^2 \oplus C_{6n}$ are determined.

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