The Topology of the External Activity Complex of a Matroid

Federico Ardila, Federico Castillo, José Alejandro Samper

Abstract


We prove that the external activity complex $\textrm{Act}_<(M)$ of a matroid is shellable. In fact, we show that every linear extension of LasVergnas's external/internal order $<_{ext/int}$ on $M$ provides a shelling of $\textrm{Act}_<(M)$. We also show that every linear extension of LasVergnas's internal order $<_{int}$ on $M$ provides a shelling of the independence complex $IN(M)$. As a corollary, $\textrm{Act}_<(M)$ and $M$ have the same $h$-vector. We prove that, after removing its cone points, the external activity complex is contractible if $M$ contains $U_{1,3}$ as a minor, and a sphere otherwise.


Keywords


Matroid theory, Shellability, Linear extensions

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