Face Rings of Cycles, Associahedra, and Standard Young Tableaux

  • Anton Dochtermann
Keywords: Stanley-Reisner ideals, Edge ideals, Free resolutions, Betti numbers, Standard Young tableaux, Associahedra, Discrete Morse theory


We show that $J_n$, the Stanley-Reisner ideal of the $n$-cycle, has a free resolution supported on the $(n-3)$-dimensional simplicial associahedron $A_n$. This resolution is not minimal for $n \geq 6$; in this case the Betti numbers of $J_n$ are strictly smaller than the $f$-vector of $A_n$. We show that in fact the Betti numbers $\beta_{d}$ of $J_n$ are in bijection with the number of standard Young tableaux of shape $(d+1, 2, 1^{n-d-3})$. This complements the fact that the number of $(d-1)$-dimensional faces of $A_n$ are given by the number of standard Young tableaux of (super)shape $(d+1, d+1, 1^{n-d-3})$; a bijective proof of this result was first provided by Stanley. An application of discrete Morse theory yields a cellular resolution of $J_n$ that we show is minimal at the first syzygy. We furthermore exhibit a simple involution on the set of associahedron tableaux with fixed points given by the Betti tableaux, suggesting a Morse matching and in particular a poset structure on these objects.

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