Combinatorial Interpretations of the Jacobi-Stirling Numbers

  • Yoann Gelineau
  • Jiang Zeng


The Jacobi-Stirling numbers of the first and second kinds were introduced in the spectral theory and are polynomial refinements of the Legendre-Stirling numbers. Andrews and Littlejohn have recently given a combinatorial interpretation for the second kind of the latter numbers. Noticing that these numbers are very similar to the classical central factorial numbers, we give combinatorial interpretations for the Jacobi-Stirling numbers of both kinds, which provide a unified treatment of the combinatorial theories for the two previous sequences and also for the Stirling numbers of both kinds.

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