Distinguishing Number of Universal Homogeneous Urysohn Metric Spaces

  • A. Bonato
  • C. Laflamme
  • M. Pawliuk
  • N. Sauer


The distinguishing number of a structure is the smallest size of a partition of its elements so that only the trivial automorphism of the structure preserves the partition. We show that for any countable subset of the positive real numbers, the corresponding countable Urysohn metric space, when it exists, has distinguishing number two or is infinite.

While it is known that a sufficiently large finite primitive structure has distinguishing number two, unless its automorphism group is not the full symmetric group or alternating group, the infinite case is open and these countable Urysohn metric spaces provide further confirmation toward the conjecture that all primitive homogeneous countably infinite structures have distinguishing number two or else is infinite.

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