Existence of $q$-Analogs of Steiner Systems
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Existence of $q$-Analogs of Steiner Systems

  • Author(s): Braun, M
  • Etzion, T
  • Ostergard, P
  • Vardy, A
  • Wassermann, A
  • et al.

Let $\F_q^n$ be a vector space of dimension $n$ over the finite field $\F_q$. A $q$-analog of a Steiner system (briefly, a $q$-Steiner system), denoted $S_q[t,k,n]$, is a set $S$ of $k$-dimensional subspaces of $\F_q^n$ such that each $t$-dimensional subspace of $\F_q^n$ is contained in exactly one element of $S$. Presently, $q$-Steiner systems are known only for $t=1$, and in the trivial cases $t = k$ and $k = n$. Invthis paper, the first nontrivial $q$-Steiner systems with $t >= 2$ are constructed. Specifically, several nonisomorphic $q$-Steiner systems $S_2[2,3,13]$ are found by requiring that their automorphism groups contain the normalizer of a Singer subgroup of $\GL(13,2)$. This approach leads to an instance of the exact cover problem, which turns out to have many solutions.

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