On Sequences in Cyclic Groups with Distinct Partial Sums

  • Simone Costa
  • Stefano Della Fiore
  • M. A. Ollis
  • Sarah Z. Rovner-Frydman


A subset of an abelian group is sequenceable if there is an ordering $(x_1, \ldots, x_k)$ of its elements such that the partial sums $(y_0, y_1, \ldots, y_k)$, given by $y_0 = 0$ and $y_i = \sum_{j=1}^i x_j$ for $1 \leq i \leq k$, are distinct, with the possible exception that we may have $y_k = y_0 = 0$.   We demonstrate the sequenceability of subsets of size $k$ of $\mathbb{Z}_n \setminus \{ 0 \}$ when $n = mt$ in many cases, including when $m$ is either prime or has all prime factors larger than $k! /2$ for $k \leq 11$ and $t \leq 5$ and for $k=12$ and $t \leq 4$.  We obtain similar, but partial, results for $13 \leq k \leq 15$.   This represents progress on a variety of questions and conjectures in the literature concerning the sequenceability of subsets of abelian groups, which we combine and summarize into the conjecture that if a subset of an abelian group does not  contain $0$ then it is sequenceable.

Article Number