Monomer-Dimer Tatami Tilings of Rectangular Regions

  • Alejandro Erickson
  • Frank Ruskey
  • Jennifer Woodcock
  • Mark Schurch


In this paper we consider tilings of rectangular regions with two types of tiles, $1 \times 2$ tiles (dimers) and $1 \times 1$ tiles (monomers). The tiles must cover the region and satisfy the constraint that no four corners of the tiles meet; such tilings are called tatami tilings. We provide a structural characterization and use it to prove that the tiling is completely determined by the tiles that are on its border. We prove that the number of tatami tilings of an $n \times n$ square with $n$ monomers is $n2^{n-1}$. We also show that, for fixed-height, the generating function for the number of tatami tilings of a rectangle is a rational function, and outline an algorithm that produces the generating function.

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