Date: 06 May 2010

Configuration spaces, bistellar moves, and combinatorial formulae for the first Pontryagin class

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The paper is devoted to the problem of finding explicit combinatorial formulae for the Pontryagin classes. We discuss two formulae, the classical Gabrielov-Gelfand-Losik formula based on investigation of configuration spaces and the local combinatorial formula obtained by the author in 2004. The latter formula is based on the notion of a universal local formula introduced by the author and on the usage of bistellar moves. We give a brief sketch for the first formula and a rather detailed exposition for the second one. For the second formula, we also succeed to simplify it by providing a new simpler algorithm for decomposing a cycle in the graph of bistellar moves of two-dimensional combinatorial spheres into a linear combination of elementary cycles.

Published in Russian in Trudy Matematicheskogo Instituta imeni V.A. Steklova, 2010, Vol. 268, pp. 76–93.