Forbidden Subposet Problems for Traces of Set Families

  • Dániel Gerbner
  • Balázs Patkós
  • Máté Vizer
Keywords: Forbidden subposet problem, Trace of a set family, Butterfly poset


In this paper we introduce a problem that bridges forbidden subposet and forbidden subconfiguration problems. The sets $F_1,F_2, \dots,F_{|P|}$ form a copy of a poset $P$, if there exists a bijection $i:P\rightarrow \{F_1,F_2, \dots,F_{|P|}\}$ such that for any $p,p'\in P$ the relation $p<_P p'$ implies $i(p)\subsetneq i(p')$. A family $\mathcal{F}$ of sets is $P$-free if it does not contain any copy of $P$. The trace of a family $\mathcal{F}$ on a set $X$ is $\mathcal{F}|_X:=\{F\cap X: F\in \mathcal{F}\}$.

We introduce the following notions: $\mathcal{F}\subseteq 2^{[n]}$ is $l$-trace $P$-free if for any $l$-subset $L\subseteq [n]$, the family $\mathcal{F}|_L$ is $P$-free and $\mathcal{F}$ is trace $P$-free if it is $l$-trace $P$-free for all $l\le n$. As the first instances of these problems we determine the maximum size of trace $B$-free families, where $B$ is the butterfly poset on four elements $a,b,c,d$ with $a,b<c,d$ and determine the asymptotics of  the maximum size of $(n-i)$-trace $K_{r,s}$-free families for $i=1,2$. We also propose a generalization of the main conjecture of the area of forbidden subposet problems.

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