Normally Regular Digraphs

  • Leif K Jørgensen
Keywords: Directed graphs, Design theory, Association schemes


A normally regular digraph with parameters $(v,k,\lambda,\mu)$ is a directed graph on $v$ vertices whose adjacency matrix $A$ satisfies the equation $AA^t=k I+\lambda (A+A^t)+\mu(J-I-A-A^t)$. This means that every vertex has out-degree $k$, a pair of non-adjacent vertices have $\mu$ common out-neighbours, a pair of vertices connected by an edge in one direction have $\lambda$ common out-neighbours and a pair of vertices connected by edges in both directions have $2\lambda-\mu$ common out-neighbours. We often assume that two vertices can not be connected in both directions.

We prove that the adjacency matrix of a normally regular digraph is normal. A connected $k$-regular digraph with normal adjacency matrix is a normally regular digraph if and only if all eigenvalues other than $k$ are on one circle in the complex plane. We prove several non-existence results, structural characterizations, and constructions of normally regular digraphs. In many cases these graphs are Cayley graphs of abelian groups and the construction is then based on a generalization of difference sets.

We also show connections to other combinatorial objects: strongly regular graphs, symmetric 2-designs and association schemes.

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