A New Matroid Lift Construction and an Application to Group-Labeled Graphs

  • Zach Walsh


A well-known result of Brylawski constructs an elementary lift of a matroid $M$ from a linear class of circuits of $M$. We generalize this result by constructing a rank-$k$ lift of $M$ from a rank-$k$ matroid on the set of circuits of $M$. We conjecture that every lift of $M$ arises via this construction.

We then apply this result to group-labeled graphs, generalizing a construction of Zaslavsky. Given a graph $G$ with edges labeled by a group, Zaslavsky's lift matroid $K$ is an elementary lift of the graphic matroid $M(G)$ that respects the group-labeling; specifically, the cycles of $G$ that are circuits of $K$ coincide with the cycles that are balanced with respect to the group-labeling. For $k \geqslant 2$, when does there exist a rank-$k$ lift of $M(G)$ that respects the group-labeling in this same sense? For abelian groups, we show that such a matroid exists if and only if the group is isomorphic to the additive group of a non-prime finite field.

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