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Lecture# Probabilistic Methods in Combinatorics

Description

This lecture introduces the Erdős-Ko-Rado problem, which deals with intersecting families of sets. The instructor explains how to determine the maximum size of such families and presents examples to illustrate the concept. The lecture also covers the scenario of picking fellowships from a pool of applicants, focusing on selecting a group where no individual is better than the entire group. Various claims and probabilities related to pairwise comparisons and 'bad events' are discussed in the context of selecting a valid winner. The instructor emphasizes the importance of avoiding 'impossible scenarios' in the selection process.

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Related concepts (47)

MATH-467: Probabilistic methods in combinatorics

We develop a sophisticated framework for solving problems in discrete mathematics through the use of randomness (i.e., coin flipping). This includes constructing mathematical structures with unexpecte

Matching in hypergraphs

In graph theory, a matching in a hypergraph is a set of hyperedges, in which every two hyperedges are disjoint. It is an extension of the notion of matching in a graph. Recall that a hypergraph H is a pair (V, E), where V is a set of vertices and E is a set of subsets of V called hyperedges. Each hyperedge may contain one or more vertices. A matching in H is a subset M of E, such that every two hyperedges e_1 and e_2 in M have an empty intersection (have no vertex in common).

Family of sets

In set theory and related branches of mathematics, a collection of subsets of a given set is called a family of subsets of , or a family of sets over More generally, a collection of any sets whatsoever is called a family of sets, set family, or a set system. A family of sets may be defined as a function from a set , known as the index set, to , in which case the sets of the family are indexed by members of .

Combinatorics

Combinatorics is an area of mathematics primarily concerned with counting, both as a means and an end in obtaining results, and certain properties of finite structures. It is closely related to many other areas of mathematics and has many applications ranging from logic to statistical physics and from evolutionary biology to computer science. Combinatorics is well known for the breadth of the problems it tackles. Combinatorial problems arise in many areas of pure mathematics, notably in algebra, probability theory, topology, and geometry, as well as in its many application areas.

Hypergraph

In mathematics, a hypergraph is a generalization of a graph in which an edge can join any number of vertices. In contrast, in an ordinary graph, an edge connects exactly two vertices. Formally, a directed hypergraph is a pair , where is a set of elements called nodes, vertices, points, or elements and is a set of pairs of subsets of . Each of these pairs is called an edge or hyperedge; the vertex subset is known as its tail or domain, and as its head or codomain. The order of a hypergraph is the number of vertices in .

Probabilistic method

In mathematics, the probabilistic method is a nonconstructive method, primarily used in combinatorics and pioneered by Paul Erdős, for proving the existence of a prescribed kind of mathematical object. It works by showing that if one randomly chooses objects from a specified class, the probability that the result is of the prescribed kind is strictly greater than zero. Although the proof uses probability, the final conclusion is determined for certain, without any possible error.