Journal of Algebraic Combinatorics

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 193-203

First online:

On the Betti Numbers of Chessboard Complexes

  • Joel FriedmanAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, University of British Columbia
  • , Phil HanlonAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, University of Michigan

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In this paper we study the Betti numbers of a type of simplicial complex known as a chessboard complex. We obtain a formula for their Betti numbers as a sum of terms involving partitions. This formula allows us to determine which is the first nonvanishing Betti number (aside from the 0-th Betti number). We can therefore settle certain cases of a conjecture of Björner, Lovász, Vrećica, and Živaljević in [2]. Our formula also shows that all eigenvalues of the Laplacians of the simplicial complexes are integers, and it gives a formula (involving partitions) for the multiplicities of the eigenvalues.

chessboard complex Laplacian symmetric group representation connectivity Betti number