Some Remarks on the Joint Distribution of Descents and Inverse Descents
Keywords: Permutations, descents, inverse descents, Eulerian polynomials
AbstractWe study the joint distribution of descents and inverse descents over the set of permutations of $n$ letters. Gessel conjectured that the two-variable generating function of this distribution can be expanded in a given basis with nonnegative integer coefficients. We investigate the action of the Eulerian operators that give the recurrence for these generating functions. As a result we devise a recurrence for the coefficients in question but are unable to settle the conjecture.
We examine generalizations of the conjecture and obtain a type $B$ analog of the recurrence satisfied by the two-variable generating function. We also exhibit some connections to cyclic descents and cyclic inverse descents. Finally, we propose a combinatorial model for the joint distribution of descents and inverse descents in terms of statistics on inversion sequences.