Cubical Convex Ear Decompositions

  • Russ Woodroofe


We consider the problem of constructing a convex ear decomposition for a poset. The usual technique, introduced by Nyman and Swartz, starts with a $CL$-labeling and uses this to shell the 'ears' of the decomposition. We axiomatize the necessary conditions for this technique as a "$CL$-ced" or "$EL$-ced". We find an $EL$-ced of the $d$-divisible partition lattice, and a closely related convex ear decomposition of the coset lattice of a relatively complemented finite group. Along the way, we construct new $EL$-labelings of both lattices. The convex ear decompositions so constructed are formed by face lattices of hypercubes.

We then proceed to show that if two posets $P_{1}$ and $P_{2}$ have convex ear decompositions ($CL$-ceds), then their products $P_{1}\times P_{2}$, $P_{1}\check{\times} P_{2}$, and $P_{1}\hat{\times} P_{2}$ also have convex ear decompositions ($CL$-ceds). An interesting special case is: if $P_{1}$ and $P_{2}$ have polytopal order complexes, then so do their products.