Growth Rates of Groups associated with Face 2-Coloured Triangulations and Directed Eulerian Digraphs on the Sphere

  • Thomas A. McCourt
Keywords: Face 2-coloured spherical triangulation, Directed Eulerian spherical embedding, Canonical group, Abelian sand-pile group, Latin bitrade


Let $\mathcal{G}$ be a properly face $2$-coloured (say black and white) piecewise-linear triangulation of the sphere with vertex set $V$. Consider the abelian group $\mathcal{A}_W$ generated by the set $V$, with relations $r+c+s=0$ for all white triangles with vertices $r$, $c$ and $s$. The group $\mathcal{A}_B$ can be defined similarly, using black triangles. These groups are related in the following manner $\mathcal{A}_W\cong\mathcal{A}_B\cong\mathbb{Z}\oplus\mathbb{Z}\oplus\mathcal{C}$ where $\mathcal{C}$ is a finite abelian group.

The finite torsion subgroup $\mathcal{C}$ is referred to as the canonical group of the triangulation. Let $m_t$ be the maximal order of $\mathcal{C}$ over all properly face 2-coloured spherical triangulations with $t$ triangles of each colour. By relating such a triangulation to certain directed Eulerian spherical embeddings of digraphs whose abelian sand-pile groups are isomorphic to the triangulation's canonical group we provide improved upper and lower bounds for $\lim \sup_{t\rightarrow\infty}(m_t)^{1/t}$.

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