In this chapter we will show some computations with groups. The examples deal mostly with permutation groups, because they are the easiest to input. The functions mentioned here, like `Group`

(Reference: Group), `Size`

(Reference: Size) or `SylowSubgroup`

(Reference: SylowSubgroup), however, are the same for all kinds of groups, although the algorithms which compute the information of course will be different in most cases.

Permutation groups are so easy to input because their elements, i.e., permutations, are so easy to type: they are entered and displayed in disjoint cycle notation. So let's construct a permutation group:

gap> s8 := Group( (1,2), (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8) ); Group([ (1,2), (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8) ])

We formed the group generated by the permutations `(1,2)`

and `(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)`

, which is well known to be the symmetric group \(S_8\) on eight points, and assigned it to the identifier `s8`

. Now \(S_8\) contains the alternating group on eight points which can be described in several ways, e.g., as the group of all even permutations in `s8`

, or as its derived subgroup. Once we ask **GAP** to verify that the group is an alternating group acting in its natural permutation representation, the system will display the group accordingly.

gap> a8 := DerivedSubgroup( s8 ); Group([ (1,2,3), (2,4,3), (2,4,5), (2,5,6,3,4), (3,7,4), (2,6) (4,7,8,5) ]) gap> Size( a8 ); IsAbelian( a8 ); IsPerfect( a8 ); 20160 false true gap> IsNaturalAlternatingGroup(a8); true gap> a8; Alt( [ 1 .. 8 ] )

Once information about a group like `s8`

or `a8`

has been computed, it is stored in the group so that it can simply be looked up when it is required again. This holds for all pieces of information in the previous example. Namely, `a8`

stores its order and that it is nonabelian and perfect, and `s8`

stores its derived subgroup `a8`

. Had we computed `a8`

as `CommutatorSubgroup( s8, s8 )`

, however, it would not have been stored, because it would then have been computed as a function of *two* arguments, and hence one could not attribute it to just one of them. (Of course the function `CommutatorSubgroup`

(Reference: CommutatorSubgroup) can compute the commutator subgroup of *two* arbitrary subgroups.) The situation is a bit different for Sylow \(p\)-subgroups: The function `SylowSubgroup`

(Reference: SylowSubgroup) also requires two arguments, namely a group and a prime \(p\), but the result is stored in the group –namely together with the prime \(p\) in a list that can be accessed with `ComputedSylowSubgroups`

, but we won't dwell on the details here.

gap> syl2 := SylowSubgroup( a8, 2 );; Size( syl2 ); 64 gap> Normalizer( a8, syl2 ) = syl2; true gap> cent := Centralizer( a8, Centre( syl2 ) );; Size( cent ); 192 gap> DerivedSeries( cent );; List( last, Size ); [ 192, 96, 32, 2, 1 ]

We have typed double semicolons after some commands to avoid the output of the groups (which would be printed by their generator lists). Nevertheless, the beginner is encouraged to type a single semicolon instead and study the full output. This remark also applies for the rest of this tutorial.

With the next examples, we want to calculate a subgroup of `a8`

, then its normalizer and finally determine the structure of the extension. We begin by forming a subgroup generated by three commuting involutions, i.e., a subgroup isomorphic to the additive group of the vector space \(2^3\).

gap> elab := Group( (1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8), (1,3)(2,4)(5,7)(6,8), > (1,5)(2,6)(3,7)(4,8) );; gap> Size( elab ); 8 gap> IsElementaryAbelian( elab ); true

As usual, **GAP** prints the group by giving all its generators. This can be annoying, especially if there are many of them or if they are of huge degree. It also makes it difficult to recognize a particular group when there are already several around. Note that although it is no problem for *us* to specify a particular group to **GAP**, by using well-chosen identifiers such as `a8`

and `elab`

, it is impossible for **GAP** to use these identifiers when printing a group for us, because the group does not know which identifier(s) point to it, in fact there can be several. In order to give a name to the group itself (rather than to the identifier), you can use the function `SetName`

(Reference: Name). We do this with the name `2^3`

here which reflects the mathematical properties of the group. From now on, **GAP** will use this name when printing the group for us, but we still cannot use this name to specify the group to **GAP**, because the name does not know to which group it was assigned (after all, you could assign the same name to several groups). When talking to the computer, you must always use identifiers.

gap> SetName( elab, "<group of type 2^3>" ); elab; <group of type 2^3> gap> norm := Normalizer( a8, elab );; Size( norm ); 1344

Now that we have the subgroup `norm`

of order 1344 and its subgroup `elab`

, we want to look at its factor group. But since we also want to find preimages of factor group elements in `norm`

, we really want to look at the *natural homomorphism* defined on `norm`

with kernel `elab`

and whose image is the factor group.

gap> hom := NaturalHomomorphismByNormalSubgroup( norm, elab ); [ (2,3)(6,7), (3,4)(7,8), (3,5)(4,6), (5,7)(6,8), (5,6)(7,8), (1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8), (1,3)(2,4)(5,7)(6,8), (1,5)(2,6)(3,7)(4,8) ] -> [ (1,2)(5,6), (2,3)(6,7), (2,4)(3,5), (4,6)(5,7), (4,5)(6,7), (), (), () ] gap> f := Image( hom ); Group([ (1,2)(5,6), (2,3)(6,7), (2,4)(3,5), (4,6)(5,7), (4,5)(6,7), (), (), () ]) gap> Size( f ); 168

The factor group is again represented as a permutation group (its last three generators are trivial, meaning that the last three generators of the preimage are in the kernel of `hom`

). However, the action domain of this factor group has nothing to do with the action domain of `norm`

. (It only happens that both are subsets of the natural numbers.) We can now form images and preimages under the natural homomorphism. The set of preimages of an element under `hom`

is a coset modulo `elab`

. We use the function `PreImages`

(Reference: PreImages) here because `hom`

is not a bijection, so an element of the range can have several preimages or none at all.

gap> ker:= Kernel( hom ); Group([ (1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8), (1,3)(2,4)(5,7)(6,8), (1,5)(2,6)(3,7) (4,8) ]) gap> x := (1,8,3,5,7,6,2);; Image( hom, x ); (1,7,5,6,2,3,4) gap> coset := PreImages( hom, last ); RightCoset(Group([ (1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8), (1,3)(2,4)(5,7)(6,8), (1,5) (2,6)(3,7)(4,8) ]),(2,8,6,7,3,4,5))

Note that **GAP** is free to choose any representative for the coset of preimages. Of course the quotient of two representatives lies in the kernel of the homomorphism.

gap> rep:= Representative( coset ); (2,8,6,7,3,4,5) gap> x * rep^-1 in ker; true

The factor group `f`

is a simple group, i.e., it is a non-trivial group whose only normal subgroups are its trivial subgroup and itself. **GAP** can detect this fact, and it can then also find the name by which this simple group is known among group theorists. (Such names are of course not available for non-simple groups.)

gap> IsSimple( f ); IsomorphismTypeInfoFiniteSimpleGroup( f ); true rec( name := "A(1,7) = L(2,7) ~ B(1,7) = O(3,7) ~ C(1,7) = S(2,7) ~ 2A(1,\ 7) = U(2,7) ~ A(2,2) = L(3,2)", parameter := [ 2, 7 ], series := "L", shortname := "L3(2)" ) gap> SetName( f, "L_3(2)" );

We give `f`

the name `L_3(2)`

because the last part of the name string reveals that it is isomorphic to the simple linear group \(L_3(2)\). This group, however, also has a lot of other names. Names that are connected with a `=`

sign are different names for the same matrix group, e.g., `A(2,2)`

is the Lie type notation for the classical notation `L(3,2)`

. Other pairs of names are connected via `~`

, these then specify other classical groups that are isomorphic to that linear group (e.g., the symplectic group `S(2,7)`

, whose Lie type notation would be `C(1,7)`

).

The group `norm`

acts on the eight elements of its normal subgroup `elab`

by conjugation, yielding a representation of \(L_3(2)\) in `s8`

which leaves one point fixed (namely point `1`

). The image of this representation can be computed with the function `Action`

(Reference: Action homomorphisms); it is even contained in the group `norm`

and we can show that `norm`

is indeed a split extension of the elementary abelian group \(2^3\) with this image of \(L_3(2)\).

gap> op := Action( norm, elab ); Group([ (), (), (), (5,6)(7,8), (5,7)(6,8), (3,4)(7,8), (3,5)(4,6), (2,3)(6,7) ]) gap> IsSubgroup( a8, op ); IsSubgroup( norm, op ); true true gap> IsTrivial( Intersection( elab, op ) ); true gap> SetName( norm, "2^3:L_3(2)" );

By the way, you should not try the operator `<`

instead of the function `IsSubgroup`

(Reference: IsSubgroup). Something like

gap> elab < a8; false

will not cause an error, but the result does not signify anything about the inclusion of one group in another; `<`

tests which of the two groups is less in some total order. On the other hand, the equality operator `=`

in fact does test the equality of its arguments.

*Summary.* In this section we have used the elementary group functions to determine the structure of a normalizer. We have assigned names to the involved groups which reflect their mathematical structure and **GAP** uses these names when printing the groups.

In order to get another representation of `a8`

, we consider another action, namely that on the elements of a certain conjugacy class by conjugation.

gap> ccl := ConjugacyClasses( a8 );; Length( ccl ); 14 gap> List( ccl, c -> Order( Representative( c ) ) ); [ 1, 2, 2, 3, 6, 3, 4, 4, 5, 15, 15, 6, 7, 7 ] gap> List( ccl, Size ); [ 1, 210, 105, 112, 1680, 1120, 2520, 1260, 1344, 1344, 1344, 3360, 2880, 2880 ]

Note the difference between `Order`

(Reference: Order) (which means the element order), `Size`

(Reference: Size) (which means the size of the conjugacy class) and `Length`

(Reference: Length) (which means the length of a list). We choose to let `a8`

operate on the class of length 112.

gap> class := First( ccl, c -> Size(c) = 112 );; gap> op := Action( a8, AsList( class ),OnPoints );;

We use `AsList`

(Reference: AsList) here to convert the conjugacy class into a list of its elements whereas we wrote `Action( norm, elab )`

directly in the previous section. The reason is that the elementary abelian group `elab`

can be quickly enumerated by **GAP** whereas the standard enumeration method for conjugacy classes is slower than just explicit calculation of the elements. However, **GAP** is reluctant to construct explicit element lists, because for really large groups this direct method is infeasible.

Note also the function `First`

(Reference: First), used to find the first element in a list which passes some test.

In this example, we have specified the action function `OnPoints`

(Reference: OnPoints) in this example, which is defined as `OnPoints( `

\(d\)`, `

\(g\)` ) = `

\(d\)` ^ `

\(g\). This "caret" operator denotes conjugation in a group if both arguments \(d\) and \(g\) are group elements (contained in a common group), but it also denotes the natural action of permutations on positive integers (and exponentiation of integers as well, of course). It is in fact the default action and will be supplied by the system if not given. Another common action is for example `OnRight`

(Reference: OnRight), which means right multiplication, defined as \(d\)` * `

\(g\). (Group actions in **GAP** are always from the right.)

We now have a permutation representation `op`

on 112 points, which we test for primitivity. If it is not primitive, we can obtain a minimal block system (i.e., one where the blocks have minimal length) by the function `Blocks`

(Reference: Blocks).

gap> IsPrimitive( op, [ 1 .. 112 ] ); false gap> blocks := Blocks( op, [ 1 .. 112 ] );;

Note that we must specify the domain of the action. You might think that the functions `IsPrimitive`

(Reference: IsPrimitive) and `Blocks`

(Reference: Blocks) could use `[ 1 .. 112 ]`

as default domain if no domain was given. But this is not so easy, for example would the default domain of `Group( (2,3,4) )`

be `[ 1 .. 4 ]`

or `[ 2 .. 4 ]`

? To avoid confusion, all action functions require that you specify the domain of action. If we had specified `[ 1 .. 113 ]`

in the primitivity test above, point 113 would have been a fixed point (and the action would not even have been transitive).

Now `blocks`

is a list of blocks (i.e., a list of lists), which we do not print here for the sake of saving paper (try it for yourself). In fact all we want to know is the size of the blocks, or rather how many there are (the product of these two numbers must of course be 112). Then we can obtain a new permutation group of the corresponding degree by letting `op`

act on these blocks setwise.

gap> Length( blocks[1] ); Length( blocks ); 2 56 gap> op2 := Action( op, blocks, OnSets );; gap> IsPrimitive( op2, [ 1 .. 56 ] ); true

Note that we give a third argument (the action function `OnSets`

(Reference: OnSets)) to indicate that the action is not the default action on points but an action on sets of elements given as strictly sorted lists. (Section Reference: Basic Actions lists all actions that are pre-defined by **GAP**.)

The action of `op`

on the given block system gave us a new representation on 56 points which is primitive, i.e., the point stabilizer is a maximal subgroup. We compute its preimage in the representation on eight points using the associated action homomorphisms (which of course in this case are monomorphisms). We construct the composition of two homomorphisms with the `*`

operator, reading left-to-right.

gap> ophom := ActionHomomorphism( a8, op );; gap> ophom2 := ActionHomomorphism( op, op2 );; gap> composition := ophom * ophom2;; gap> stab := Stabilizer( op2, 2 );; gap> preim := PreImages( composition, stab ); Group([ (1,2,4), (6,7,8), (3,6,8), (5,8,6), (1,2)(3,8) ])

Alternatively, it is possible to create action homomorphisms immediately (without creating the action first) by giving the same set of arguments to `ActionHomomorphism`

(Reference: ActionHomomorphism).

gap> nophom := ActionHomomorphism( a8, AsList(class) ); <action homomorphism> gap> IsSurjective(nophom); false gap> Image(nophom,(1,2,3)); (2,43,14)(3,44,20)(4,45,26)(5,46,32)(6,47,38)(8,13,48)(9,19,53)(10,25, 58)(11,31,63)(12,37,68)(15,49,73)(16,50,74)(17,51,75)(18,52,76)(21,54, 77)(22,55,78)(23,56,79)(24,57,80)(27,59,81)(28,60,82)(29,61,83)(30,62, 84)(33,64,85)(34,65,86)(35,66,87)(36,67,88)(39,69,89)(40,70,90)(41,71, 91)(42,72,92)

In this situation, however (for performance reasons, avoiding computation an image that might never be needed) the homomorphism is defined to be not into the *Image* of the action, but into the *full symmetric group*, i.e. it is not automatically surjective. Surjectivity can be enforced by giving the string `"surjective"`

as an extra last argument. The `Image`

of the action homomorphism of course is the same group in either case.

gap> Size(Range(nophom)); 1974506857221074023536820372759924883412778680349753377966562950949028\ 5896977181144089422435502777936659795733823785363827233491968638562181\ 1850780464277094400000000000000000000000000 gap> Size(Range(ophom)); 20160 gap> nophom := ActionHomomorphism( a8, AsList(class),"surjective" ); <action epimorphism> gap> Size(Range(nophom)); 20160

Continuing the example, the normalizer of an element in the conjugacy class `class`

is a group of order 360, too. In fact, it is a conjugate of the maximal subgroup we had found before, and a conjugating element in `a8`

is found by the function `RepresentativeAction`

(Reference: RepresentativeAction).

gap> sgp := Normalizer( a8, Subgroup(a8,[Representative(class)]) );; gap> Size( sgp ); 360 gap> RepresentativeAction( a8, sgp, preim ); (2,4,3)

One of the most prominent actions of a group is on the cosets of a subgroup. Naïvely this can be done by constructing the cosets and acting on them by right multiplication.

gap> cosets:=RightCosets(a8,norm);; gap> op:=Action(a8,cosets,OnRight); Group([ (1,2,3)(4,6,5)(7,8,9)(10,12,11)(13,14,15), (1,2,3)(4,13,9) (5,7,11)(6,10,15)(8,14,12), (1,11,6)(2,15,4)(3,9,5)(7,13,10) (8,12,14), (1,10,12,3,13)(2,7,15,14,5)(4,6,8,9,11), (1,12,15)(2,10,5) (3,11,8)(4,9,13)(6,14,7), (1,4,13,10)(2,15,14,3)(5,12,11,6)(7,9) ]) gap> NrMovedPoints(op); 15

A problem with this approach is that creating (and storing) all cosets can be very memory intensive if the subgroup index gets large. Because of this, **GAP** provides special objects which act like a list of elements, but do not actually store elements but compute them on the go. Such a simulated list is called an *enumerator*. The easiest example of this concept is the `Enumerator`

(Reference: Enumerator) of a group. While it behaves like a list of elements, it requires far less storage, and is applicable to potentially huge groups for which it would be completely infeasible to write down all elements:

gap> enum:=Enumerator(SymmetricGroup(20)); <enumerator of perm group> gap> Length(enum); 2432902008176640000 gap> enum[123456789012345]; (1,4,15,3,14,11,8,17,6,18,5,7,20,13,10,9,2,12) gap> Position(enum,(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)); 71948729603

For the action on cosets the object of interest is the `RightTransversal`

(Reference: RightTransversal) of a subgroup. Again, it does not write out actual elements and thus can be created even for subgroups of large index.

gap> t:=RightTransversal(a8,norm); RightTransversal(Alt( [ 1 .. 8 ] ),2^3:L_3(2)) gap> t[7]; (4,6,5) gap> Position(t,(4,6,7,8,5)); 8 gap> Position(t,(1,2,3)); fail

For the action on cosets there is the added complication that not every group element is in the transversal (as the last example shows) but the action on cosets of a subgroup usually will not preserve a chosen set of coset representatives. Because of this issue, all action functionality actually uses `PositionCanonical`

(Reference: PositionCanonical) instead of `Position`

(Reference: Position). In general, for elements contained in a list, `PositionCanonical`

(Reference: PositionCanonical) returns the same as `Position`

. If the element is not contained in the list (and for special lists, such as transversals), `PositionCanonical`

returns the list element representing the same objects, e.g. the transversal element representing the same coset.

gap> PositionCanonical(t,(1,2,3)); 2 gap> t[2]; (6,7,8) gap> t[2]/(1,2,3); (1,3,2)(6,7,8) gap> last in norm; true

Thus, acting on a `RightTransversal`

with the `OnRight`

action will in fact (in a slight abuse of definitions) produce the action of a group on cosets of a subgroup and is in general the most efficient way of creating this action.

gap> Action(a8,RightTransversal(a8,norm),OnRight); Group([ (1,2,3)(4,6,5)(7,8,9)(10,12,11)(13,14,15), (1,2,3)(4,13,9) (5,7,11)(6,10,15)(8,14,12), (1,11,6)(2,15,4)(3,9,5)(7,13,10) (8,12,14), (1,10,12,3,13)(2,7,15,14,5)(4,6,8,9,11), (1,12,15)(2,10,5) (3,11,8)(4,9,13)(6,14,7), (1,4,13,10)(2,15,14,3)(5,12,11,6)(7,9) ])

*Summary.* In this section we have learned how groups can operate on **GAP** objects such as integers and group elements. We have used `ActionHomomorphism`

(Reference: ActionHomomorphism), among others, to construct the corresponding actions and homomorphisms and have seen how transversals can be used to create the action on cosets of a subgroup.

Action functions can also be used to construct subgroups. We will try to find several subgroups in `a8`

as stabilizers of such actions. One subgroup is immediately available, namely the stabilizer of one point. The index of the stabilizer must of course be equal to the length of the orbit, i.e., 8.

gap> u8 := Stabilizer( a8, 1 ); Group([ (2,3,4,5,6,7,8), (2,4,5,6,7,8,3) ]) gap> Index( a8, u8 ); 8 gap> Orbit( a8, 1 ); Length( last ); [ 1, 3, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ] 8

This gives us a hint how to find further subgroups. Each subgroup is the stabilizer of a point of an appropriate transitive action (namely the action on the cosets of that subgroup or another action that is equivalent to this action). So the question is how to find other actions. The obvious thing is to operate on pairs of points. So using the function `Tuples`

(Reference: Tuples) we first generate a list of all pairs.

gap> pairs := Tuples( [1..8], 2 );;

Now we would like to have `a8`

operate on this domain. But we cannot use the default action `OnPoints`

(Reference: OnPoints) because powering a list by a permutation via the caret operator `^`

is not defined. So we must tell the functions from the actions package how the group elements operate on the elements of the domain (here and below, the word "package" refers to the **GAP** functionality for group actions, not to a **GAP** package). In our example we can do this by simply passing `OnPairs`

(Reference: OnPairs) as an optional last argument. All functions from the actions package accept such an optional argument that describes the action. One example is `IsTransitive`

(Reference: IsTransitive).

gap> IsTransitive( a8, pairs, OnPairs ); false

The action is of course not transitive, since the pairs `[ 1, 1 ]`

and `[ 1, 2 ]`

cannot lie in the same orbit. So we want to find out what the orbits are. The function `Orbits`

(Reference: Orbits) does that for us. It returns a list of all the orbits. We look at the orbit lengths and representatives for the orbits.

gap> orbs := Orbits( a8, pairs, OnPairs );; Length( orbs ); 2 gap> List( orbs, Length ); [ 8, 56 ] gap> List( orbs, o -> o[1] ); [ [ 1, 1 ], [ 1, 2 ] ]

The action of `a8`

on the first orbit (this is the one containing `[1,1]`

, try `[1,1] in orbs[1]`

) is of course equivalent to the original action, so we ignore it and work with the second orbit.

gap> u56 := Stabilizer( a8, orbs[2][1], OnPairs );; Index( a8, u56 ); 56

So now we have found a second subgroup. To make the following computations a little bit easier and more efficient we would now like to work on the points `[ 1 .. 56 ]`

instead of the list of pairs. The function `ActionHomomorphism`

(Reference: ActionHomomorphism) does what we need. It creates a homomorphism defined on `a8`

whose image is a new group that acts on `[ 1 .. 56 ]`

in the same way that `a8`

acts on the second orbit.

gap> h56 := ActionHomomorphism( a8, orbs[2], OnPairs );; gap> a8_56 := Image( h56 );;

We would now like to know if the subgroup `u56`

of index 56 that we found is maximal or not. As we have used already in Section 5.2, a subgroup is maximal if and only if the action on the cosets of this subgroup is primitive.

gap> IsPrimitive( a8_56, [1..56] ); false

Remember that we can leave out the function if we mean `OnPoints`

(Reference: OnPoints) but that we have to specify the action domain for all action functions.

We see that `a8_56`

is not primitive. This means of course that the action of `a8`

on `orb[2]`

is not primitive, because those two actions are equivalent. So the stabilizer `u56`

is not maximal. Let us try to find its supergroups. We use the function `Blocks`

(Reference: Blocks) to find a block system. The (optional) third argument in the following example tells `Blocks`

(Reference: Blocks) that we want a block system where 1 and 3 lie in one block.

gap> blocks := Blocks( a8_56, [1..56], [1,3] );;

The result is a list of sets, such that `a8_56`

acts on those sets. Now we would like the stabilizer of this action on the sets. Because we want to operate on the sets we have to pass `OnSets`

(Reference: OnSets) as third argument.

gap> u8_56 := Stabilizer( a8_56, blocks[1], OnSets );; gap> Index( a8_56, u8_56 ); 8 gap> u8b := PreImages( h56, u8_56 );; Index( a8, u8b ); 8 gap> IsConjugate( a8, u8, u8b ); true

So we have found a supergroup of `u56`

that is conjugate in `a8`

to `u8`

. This is not surprising, since `u8`

is a point stabilizer, and `u56`

is a two point stabilizer in the natural action of `a8`

on eight points.

Here is a *warning*: If you specify `OnSets`

(Reference: OnSets) as third argument to a function like `Stabilizer`

(Reference: Stabilizer), you have to make sure that the point (i.e. the second argument) is indeed a set. Otherwise you will get a puzzling error message or even wrong results! In the above example, the second argument `blocks[1]`

came from the function `Blocks`

(Reference: Blocks), which returns a list of sets, so everything was OK.

Actually there is a third block system of `a8_56`

that gives rise to a third subgroup.

gap> seed:=First(AllBlocks(a8_56),x->Length(x)=2);; gap> blocks := Blocks( a8_56, [1..56], seed);; gap> u28_56 := Stabilizer( a8_56, seed, OnSets );; gap> u28 := PreImages( h56, u28_56 );; gap> Index( a8, u28 ); 28

We know that the subgroup `u28`

of index 28 is maximal, because we know that `a8`

has no subgroups of index 2, 4, or 7. However we can also quickly verify this by checking that `a8_56`

acts primitively on the 28 blocks.

gap> IsPrimitive( a8_56, blocks, OnSets ); true

`Stabilizer`

(Reference: Stabilizer) is not only applicable to groups like `a8`

but also to their subgroups like `u56`

. So another method to find a new subgroup is to compute the stabilizer of another point in `u56`

. Note that `u56`

already leaves 1 and 2 fixed.

gap> u336 := Stabilizer( u56, 3 );; gap> Index( a8, u336 ); 336

Other functions are also applicable to subgroups. In the following we show that `u336`

acts regularly on the 60 triples of `[ 4 .. 8 ]`

which contain no element twice. We construct the list of these 60 triples with the function `Orbit`

(Reference: Orbit) (using `OnTuples`

(Reference: OnTuples) as the natural generalization of `OnPairs`

(Reference: OnPairs)) and then pass it as action domain to the function `IsRegular`

(Reference: IsRegular). The positive result of the regularity test means that this action is equivalent to the actions of `u336`

on its 60 elements from the right.

gap> IsRegular( u336, Orbit( u336, [4,5,6], OnTuples ), OnTuples ); true

Just as we did in the case of the action on the pairs above, we now construct a new permutation group that acts on `[ 1 .. 336 ]`

in the same way that `a8`

acts on the cosets of `u336`

. But this time we let `a8`

operate on a right transversal, just like `norm`

did in the natural homomorphism above.

gap> t := RightTransversal( a8, u336 );; gap> a8_336 := Action( a8, t, OnRight );;

To find subgroups above `u336`

we again look for nontrivial block systems.

gap> blocks := Blocks( a8_336, [1..336] );; blocks[1]; [ 1, 43, 85 ]

We see that the union of `u336`

with its 43rd and its 85th coset is a subgroup in `a8_336`

, its index is 112. We can obtain it as the closure of `u336`

with a representative of the 43rd coset, which can be found as the 43rd element of the transversal `t`

. Note that in the representation `a8_336`

on 336 points, this subgroup corresponds to the stabilizer of the block `[ 1, 43, 85 ]`

.

gap> u112 := ClosureGroup( u336, t[43] );; gap> Index( a8, u112 ); 112

Above this subgroup of index 112 lies a subgroup of index 56, which is not conjugate to `u56`

. In fact, unlike `u56`

it is maximal. We obtain this subgroup in the same way that we obtained `u112`

, this time forcing two points, namely 7 and 43 into the first block.

gap> blocks := Blocks( a8_336, [1..336], [1,7,43] );; gap> Length( blocks ); 56 gap> u56b := ClosureGroup( u112, t[7] );; Index( a8, u56b ); 56 gap> IsPrimitive( a8_336, blocks, OnSets ); true

We already mentioned in Section 5.2 that there is another standard action of permutations, namely the conjugation. E.g., since no other action is specified in the following example, `OrbitLength`

(Reference: OrbitLength) simply acts via `OnPoints`

(Reference: OnPoints), and because `perm_1`` ^ `

`perm_2` is defined as the conjugation of `perm_2` on `perm_1`, in fact we compute the length of the conjugacy class of `(1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8)`

.

gap> OrbitLength( a8, (1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8) ); 105 gap> orb := Orbit( a8, (1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8) );; gap> u105 := Stabilizer( a8, (1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8) );; Index( a8, u105 ); 105

Note that although the length of a conjugacy class of any element \(g\) in any finite group \(G\) can be computed as `OrbitLength( `

\(G\)`, `

\(g\)` )`

, the command `Size( ConjugacyClass( `

\(G\)`, `

\(g\)` ) )`

is probably more efficient.

gap> Size( ConjugacyClass( a8, (1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8) ) ); 105

Of course the stabilizer `u105`

is in fact the centralizer of the element `(1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8)`

. `Stabilizer`

(Reference: Stabilizer) notices that and computes the stabilizer using the centralizer algorithm for permutation groups. In the usual way we now look for the subgroups above `u105`

.

gap> orb:=Set(orb);; gap> blocks := Blocks( a8, orb );; Length( blocks ); 15 gap> Set(blocks[1]); [ (1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8), (1,3)(2,4)(5,7)(6,8), (1,4)(2,3)(5,8)(6,7), (1,5)(2,6)(3,7)(4,8), (1,6)(2,5)(3,8)(4,7), (1,7)(2,8)(3,5)(4,6), (1,8)(2,7)(3,6)(4,5) ]

To find the subgroup of index 15 we again use closure. Now we must be a little bit careful to avoid confusion. `u105`

is the stabilizer of `(1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8)`

. We know that there is a correspondence between the points of the orbit and the cosets of `u105`

. The point `(1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8)`

corresponds to `u105`

. To get the subgroup above `u105`

that has index 15 in `a8`

, we must form the closure of `u105`

with an element of the coset that corresponds to any other point in the first block. If we choose the point `(1,3)(2,4)(5,7)(6,8)`

, we must use an element of `a8`

that maps `(1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8)`

to `(1,3)(2,4)(5,7)(6,8)`

. The function `RepresentativeAction`

(Reference: RepresentativeAction) does what we need. It takes a group and two points and returns an element of the group that maps the first point to the second. In fact it also allows you to specify the action as an optional fourth argument as usual, but we do not need this here. If no such element exists in the group, i.e., if the two points do not lie in one orbit under the group, `RepresentativeAction`

(Reference: RepresentativeAction) returns `fail`

.

gap> rep := RepresentativeAction( a8, (1,2)(3,4)(5,6)(7,8), > (1,3)(2,4)(5,7)(6,8) ); (2,3)(6,7) gap> u15 := ClosureGroup( u105, rep );; Index( a8, u15 ); 15

`u15`

is of course a maximal subgroup, because `a8`

has no subgroups of index 3 or 5. There is in fact another class of subgroups of index 15 above `u105`

that we get by adding `(2,3)(6,8)`

to `u105`

.

gap> u15b := ClosureGroup( u105, (2,3)(6,8) );; Index( a8, u15b ); 15 gap> RepresentativeAction( a8, u15, u15b ); fail

`RepresentativeAction`

(Reference: RepresentativeAction) tells us that there is no element \(g\) in `a8`

such that `u15 ^ `

\(g\)` = u15b`

. Because `^`

also denotes the conjugation of subgroups this tells us that `u15`

and `u15b`

are not conjugate.

*Summary.* In this section we have demonstrated some functions from the actions package. There is a whole class of functions that we did not mention, namely those that take a single element instead of a whole group as first argument, e.g., `Cycle`

(Reference: Cycle) and `Permutation`

(Reference: Permutation). These are fully described in Chapter Reference: Group Actions.

We have already seen examples of group homomorphisms in the last sections, namely natural homomorphisms and action homomorphisms. In this section we will show how to construct a group homomorphism \(G \rightarrow H\) by specifying a generating set for \(G\) and the images of these generators in \(H\). We use the function `GroupHomomorphismByImages( `

where `G`, `H`, `gens`, `imgs` )`gens` is a generating set for `G` and `imgs` is a list whose \(i\)th entry is the image of \(\textit{gens}[i]\) under the homomorphism.

gap> s4 := Group((1,2,3,4),(1,2));; s3 := Group((1,2,3),(1,2));; gap> hom := GroupHomomorphismByImages( s4, s3, > GeneratorsOfGroup(s4), [(1,2),(2,3)] ); [ (1,2,3,4), (1,2) ] -> [ (1,2), (2,3) ] gap> Kernel( hom ); Group([ (1,4)(2,3), (1,3)(2,4) ]) gap> Image( hom, (1,2,3) ); (1,2,3) gap> Size( Image( hom, DerivedSubgroup(s4) ) ); 3

gap> PreImage( hom, (1,2,3) ); Error, <map> must be an inj. and surj. mapping called from <function "PreImage">( <arguments> ) called from read-eval loop at line 4 of *stdin* you can 'quit;' to quit to outer loop, or you can 'return;' to continue brk> quit;

gap> PreImagesRepresentative( hom, (1,2,3) ); (1,4,2) gap> PreImage( hom, TrivialSubgroup(s3) ); # the kernel Group([ (1,4)(2,3), (1,3)(2,4) ])

This homomorphism from \(S_4\) onto \(S_3\) is well known from elementary group theory. Images of elements and subgroups under `hom`

can be calculated with the function `Image`

(Reference: Image). But since the mapping `hom`

is not bijective, we cannot use the function `PreImage`

(Reference: PreImage) for preimages of elements (they can have several preimages). Instead, we have to use `PreImagesRepresentative`

(Reference: PreImagesRepresentative), which returns one preimage if at least one exists (and would return `fail`

if none exists, which cannot occur for our surjective `hom`

). On the other hand, we can use `PreImage`

(Reference: PreImage) for the preimage of a set (which always exists, even if it is empty).

Suppose we mistype the input when trying to construct a homomorphism as below.

gap> GroupHomomorphismByImages( s4, s3, > GeneratorsOfGroup(s4), [(1,2,3),(2,3)] ); fail

There is no such homomorphism, hence `fail`

is returned. But note that because of this, `GroupHomomorphismByImages`

(Reference: GroupHomomorphismByImages) must do some checks, and this was also done for the mapping `hom`

above. One can avoid these checks if one is sure that the desired homomorphism really exists. For that, the function `GroupHomomorphismByImagesNC`

(Reference: GroupHomomorphismByImagesNC) can be used; the `NC`

stands for "no check".

But note that horrible things can happen if `GroupHomomorphismByImagesNC`

(Reference: GroupHomomorphismByImagesNC) is used when the input does not describe a homomorphism.

gap> hom2 := GroupHomomorphismByImagesNC( s4, s3, > GeneratorsOfGroup(s4), [(1,2,3),(2,3)] ); [ (1,2,3,4), (1,2) ] -> [ (1,2,3), (2,3) ] gap> Size( Kernel(hom2) ); 24

In other words, **GAP** claims that the kernel is the full `s4`

, yet `hom2`

obviously has some non-trivial images! Clearly there is no such thing as a homomorphism which maps an element of order 4 (namely, (1,2,3,4)) to an element of order 3 (namely, (1,2,3)). *But if you use the command GroupHomomorphismByImagesNC (Reference: GroupHomomorphismByImagesNC), GAP trusts you.*

gap> IsGroupHomomorphism( hom2 ); true

And then it produces serious nonsense if the thing is not a homomorphism, as seen above!

Besides the safe command `GroupHomomorphismByImages`

(Reference: GroupHomomorphismByImages), which returns `fail`

if the requested homomorphism does not exist, there is the function `GroupGeneralMappingByImages`

(Reference: GroupGeneralMappingByImages), which returns a general mapping (that is, a possibly multi-valued mapping) that can be tested with `IsGroupHomomorphism`

(Reference: IsGroupHomomorphism).

gap> hom2 := GroupGeneralMappingByImages( s4, s3, > GeneratorsOfGroup(s4), [(1,2,3),(2,3)] );; gap> IsGroupHomomorphism( hom2 ); false

But the possibility of testing for being a homomorphism is not the only reason why **GAP** offers *group general mappings*. Another (more important?) reason is that their existence allows "reversal of arrows" in a homomorphism such as our original `hom`

. By this we mean the `GroupHomomorphismByImages`

(Reference: GroupHomomorphismByImages) with left and right sides exchanged, in which case it is of course merely a `GroupGeneralMappingByImages`

(Reference: GroupGeneralMappingByImages).

gap> rev := GroupGeneralMappingByImages( s3, s4, > [(1,2),(2,3)], GeneratorsOfGroup(s4) );;

Now \(hom\) maps \(a\) to \(b\) if and only if \(rev\) maps \(b\) to \(a\), for \(a \in\) `s4`

and \(b \in\) `s3`

. Since every such \(b\) has four preimages under `hom`

, it now has four images under `rev`

. Just as the four preimages form a coset of the kernel \(V_4 \leq \)`s4`

of `hom`

, they also form a coset of the *cokernel* \(V_4 \leq \)`s4`

of `rev`

. The cokernel itself is the set of all images of `One( s3 )`

. (It is a normal subgroup in the group of all images under `rev`

.) The operation `One`

(Reference: One) returns the identity element of a group. And this is why **GAP** wants to perform such a reversal of arrows: it calculates the kernel of a homomorphism like `hom`

as the cokernel of the reversed group general mapping (here `rev`

).

gap> CoKernel( rev ); Group([ (1,4)(2,3), (1,3)(2,4) ])

The reason why `rev`

is not a homomorphism is that it is not single-valued (because `hom`

was not injective). But there is another critical condition: If we reverse the arrows of a non-surjective homomorphism, we obtain a group general mapping which is not defined everywhere, i.e., which is not total (although it will be single-valued if the original homomorphism is injective). **GAP** requires that a group homomorphism be both single-valued and total, so you will get `fail`

if you say `GroupHomomorphismByImages( `

where `G`, `H`, `gens`, `imgs` )`gens` does not generate `G` (even if this would give a decent homomorphism on the subgroup generated by `gens`). For a full description, see Chapter Reference: Group Homomorphisms.

The last example of this section shows that the notion of kernel and cokernel naturally extends even to the case where neither `hom2`

nor its inverse general mapping (with arrows reversed) is a homomorphism.

gap> CoKernel( hom2 ); Kernel( hom2 ); Group([ (2,3), (1,3) ]) Group([ (3,4), (2,3,4), (1,2,4) ]) gap> IsGroupHomomorphism( InverseGeneralMapping( hom2 ) ); false

*Summary.* In this section we have constructed homomorphisms by specifying images for a set of generators. We have seen that by reversing the direction of the mapping, we get group general mappings, which need not be single-valued (unless the mapping was injective) nor total (unless the mapping was surjective).

For some types of groups, the best method for calculations in it is to use instead an isomorphic group in a "better" representation (say, a permutation group). We call an injective homomorphism, that will give such an isomorphic image a "nice monomorphism".

For example in the case of a matrix group we can take the action on the underlying vector space (or a suitable subset) to obtain such a monomorphism:

gap> grp:=GL(2,3);; gap> dom:=GF(3)^2;; gap> hom := ActionHomomorphism( grp, dom );; IsInjective( hom ); true gap> p := Image( hom,grp ); Group([ (4,7)(5,8)(6,9), (2,7,6)(3,4,8) ])

To demonstrate the technique of nice monomorphisms, we compute the conjugacy classes of the permutation group and lift them back into the matrix group with the monomorphism `hom`

. Lifting back a conjugacy class means finding the preimage of the representative and of the centralizer; the latter is called `StabilizerOfExternalSet`

(Reference: StabilizerOfExternalSet) in **GAP** (because conjugacy classes are represented as external sets, see Section Reference: Conjugacy Classes).

gap> pcls := ConjugacyClasses( p );; gcls := [ ];; gap> for pc in pcls do > gc:=ConjugacyClass(grp, > PreImagesRepresentative(hom,Representative(pc))); > SetStabilizerOfExternalSet(gc,PreImage(hom, > StabilizerOfExternalSet(pc))); > Add( gcls, gc ); > od; gap> List( gcls, Size ); [ 1, 8, 12, 1, 8, 6, 6, 6 ]

All the steps we have made above are automatically performed by **GAP** if you simply ask for `ConjugacyClasses( grp )`

, provided that **GAP** already knows that `grp`

is finite (e.g., because you asked `IsFinite( grp )`

before). The reason for this is that a finite matrix group like `grp`

is "handled by a nice monomorphism". For such groups, **GAP** uses the command `NiceMonomorphism`

(Reference: NiceMonomorphism) to construct a monomorphism (such as the `hom`

in the previous example) and then proceeds as we have done above.

gap> grp:=GL(2,3);; gap> IsHandledByNiceMonomorphism( grp ); true gap> hom := NiceMonomorphism( grp ); <action isomorphism> gap> p :=Image(hom,grp); Group([ (4,7)(5,8)(6,9), (2,7,6)(3,4,8) ]) gap> cc := ConjugacyClasses( grp );; ForAll(cc, x-> x in gcls); true gap> ForAll(gcls, x->x in cc); # cc and gcls might be ordered differently true

Note that a nice monomorphism might be defined on a larger group than `grp`

–so we have to use `Image( hom, grp )`

and not only `Image( hom )`

.

Nice monomorphisms are not only used for matrix groups, but also for other kinds of groups in which one cannot calculate easily enough. As another example, let us show that the automorphism group of the quaternion group of order 8 is isomorphic to the symmetric group of degree 4 by examining the "nice object" associated with that automorphism group.

gap> p:=Group((1,7,6,8)(2,5,3,4), (1,2,6,3)(4,8,5,7));; gap> aut := AutomorphismGroup( p );; NiceMonomorphism(aut);; gap> niceaut := NiceObject( aut ); Group([ (1,4,2,3), (1,5,4)(2,6,3), (1,2)(3,4), (3,4)(5,6) ]) gap> IsomorphismGroups( niceaut, SymmetricGroup( 4 ) ); [ (1,4,2,3), (1,5,4)(2,6,3), (1,2)(3,4), (3,4)(5,6) ] -> [ (1,4,2,3), (1,4,2), (1,2)(3,4), (1,3)(2,4) ]

The range of a nice monomorphism is in most cases a permutation group, because nice monomorphisms are mostly action homomorphisms. In some cases, like in our last example, the group is solvable and you might prefer a pc group as nice object. You cannot change the nice monomorphism of the automorphism group (because it is the value of the attribute `NiceMonomorphism`

(Reference: NiceMonomorphism)), but you can compose it with an isomorphism from the permutation group to a pc group to obtain your personal nicer monomorphism. If you reconstruct the automorphism group, you can even prescribe it this nicer monomorphism as its `NiceMonomorphism`

(Reference: NiceMonomorphism), because a newly-constructed group will not yet have a `NiceMonomorphism`

(Reference: NiceMonomorphism) set.

gap> nicer := NiceMonomorphism(aut) * IsomorphismPcGroup(niceaut);; gap> aut2 := GroupByGenerators( GeneratorsOfGroup( aut ) );; gap> SetIsHandledByNiceMonomorphism( aut2, true ); gap> SetNiceMonomorphism( aut2, nicer ); gap> NiceObject( aut2 ); # a pc group Group([ f1*f2, f2^2*f3, f4, f3 ])

The star `*`

denotes composition of mappings from the left to the right, as we have seen in Section 5.2 above. Reconstructing the automorphism group may of course result in the loss of other information **GAP** had already gathered, besides the (not-so-)nice monomorphism.

*Summary.* In this section we have seen how calculations in groups can be carried out in isomorphic images in nicer groups. We have seen that **GAP** pursues this technique automatically for certain classes of groups, e.g., for matrix groups that are known to be finite.

Groups and the functions for groups are treated in Chapter Reference: Groups. There are several chapters dealing with groups in specific representations, for example Chapter Reference: Permutation Groups on permutation groups, Reference: Polycyclic Groups on polycyclic (including finite solvable) groups, Reference: Matrix Groups on matrix groups and Reference: Finitely Presented Groups on finitely presented groups. Chapter Reference: Group Actions deals with group actions. Group homomorphisms are the subject of Chapter Reference: Group Homomorphisms.

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