A Bound on Permutation Codes

  • Jürgen Bierbrauer
  • Klaus Metsch
Keywords: Permutation Code, Projective Plane, Latin Square, Embeddability


Consider the symmetric group $S_n$ with the Hamming metric. A  permutation code on $n$ symbols is a subset $C\subseteq S_n.$ If $C$ has minimum distance $\geq n-1,$ then $\vert C\vert\leq n^2-n.$ Equality can be reached if and only if a projective plane of order $n$ exists. Call $C$ embeddable if it is contained in a permutation code of minimum distance $n-1$ and cardinality $n^2-n.$ Let $\delta =\delta (C)=n^2-n-\vert C\vert$ be the deficiency of the permutation code $C\subseteq S_n$ of minimum distance $\geq n-1.$

We prove that $C$ is embeddable if either $\delta\leq 2$ or if $(\delta^2-1)(\delta +1)^2<27(n+2)/16.$ The main part of the proof is an adaptation of the method used to obtain the famous Bruck completion theorem for mutually orthogonal latin squares.

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