- First Step: Integers instead of group elements
- Signatures: An important tool
- Change of coset vs. brute force

This chapter shows a basic example of how to use RDS. Some of the functions used here make choices which might not be optimal but should suffice for most ``everyday'' situations. If you plan to do more involved computations, you should also see the other chapters to learn about the concepts behind these high-level functions.

Here we will construct relative difference sets of Dembowski-Piper
type ``b'' and order 9 as an example. We will take the elementary
abelian group as an example. The general idea is as follows: Find a
``nice'' normal subgroup *U* and generate relative difference sets
coset by coset. The normal subgroup has to be chosen such that we know
how many elements to choose from each coset modulo *U*.

The calculations here are very easy, a more demanding example can be found in chapter RDS:An Example Program.

Difference sets are represented by lists of integers. Every difference
set is assumed to contain 1. This is assumed implicitly. So the
lists representing difference sets **must not** contain 1 (a partial
difference set of length *n* is hence represented by a list of length
*n*−1). If a partial difference set contains 1, many functions will
produce errors.

To find Difference sets in a group, say *G*, begin with generating the
group (and forbidden subgroup) and defining the parameters. Like this:

gap> LoadPackage("rds"); ---------------------------------------------------------------- Loading RDS 1.2 by Marc Roeder (marc_roeder@web.de) ---------------------------------------------------------------- true gap> k:=9;;lambda:=1;;groupOrder:=81;; gap> forbiddenGroupOrder:=9;; gap> G:=ElementaryAbelianGroup(groupOrder); <pc group of size 81 with 4 generators> gap> Gdata:=PermutationRepForDiffsetCalculations(G);; gap> N:=Subgroup(G,GeneratorsOfGroup(G){[1,2]}); Group([ f1, f2 ]) gap> Size(N)=forbiddenGroupOrder; #just a test... true

Once we have calculated `Gdata`, this will be used very often to
represent the group `G` as it contains much more information.

The ``signature'' of a subset *S* ⊆ *G* of a group relative to a
normal subgroup *U* is the multiset of numbers of elements *S*
contains from each coset modulo *U*. Possible values of these numbers
can be calculated a priori for relative difference sets.

gap> sigdat:=SignatureData(Gdata,N,k,lambda,10^5);;

The argument 10^{5} depends on your degree of impatience. Larger
numbers take more time in this step, but give better results for later
reduction steps.

Now we will look for a ``nice'' normal subgroup. A normal subgroup is ``nice'', if it has only few signatures and the number of different entries in each signature is low. If you have different choices here do some experiments, to see what works. Let's see what we have:

gap> NormalSgsHavingAtMostNSigs(sigdat,1,[1..7]); [ rec( sigs := [ [ 3, 3, 3 ] ], subgroup := Group([ f1, f2, f3 ]) ), rec( sigs := [ [ 3, 3, 3 ] ], subgroup := Group([ f1, f2, f4 ]) ), rec( sigs := [ [ 3, 3, 3 ] ], subgroup := Group([ f1, f2, f3*f4 ]) ), rec( sigs := [ [ 3, 3, 3 ] ], subgroup := Group([ f1, f2, f3*f4^2 ]) ) ]

The second parameter of NormalSgsHavingAtMostNSigs is the maximal number of signatures the subgroup may have. The third parameter gives the desired lengths of the signatures (the index of the normal subgroup).

So in this example we have no real choice. Let's take the first group
for *U*. The signature means that we have to get 3 elements from
each coset modulo *U*. So we generate startsets of length 2 in the
trivial coset *U* (representing partial relative difference sets of
length 3).
This could be done using AllDiffsets, of course. But here we will
use another method. The function StartsetsInCoset generates
startsets in *U* by generating an initial set of startsets and then
raising the length of each startset by 1. Then a reduction using
signatures and automorphism is performed. This is done until all
startsets have the desired length or no startset remains (in which
case there is no relative difference set). For the reduction, a
suitable set of automorphisms must be chosen. This is done by the
function SuitableAutomorphismsForReduction:

gap> U:=last[1].subgroup; Group([ f1, f2, f3 ]) gap> auts:=SuitableAutomorphismsForReduction(Gdata,U); [ <permutation group of size 303264 with 8 generators> ] gap> startsets:=StartsetsInCoset([],U,N,2,auts,sigdat,Gdata,lambda); #I Size 18 #I 1/ 0 @ 0:00:00.071 #I Size 8 #I 1/ 0 @ 0:00:00.038 #I -->1 @ 0:00:00.042 [ [ 4, 22 ] ]

For larger examples, this takes a wile. Taking 10^{6} (or even more)
for the generation of `sigdat` can save some time here. A few remarks
about the parameters of StartsetsInCoset. The first parameter `[]`

is the set of startsets which we start with (as we just started, this
is empty). The second parameter is the coset we use to generate
startsets and third parameter is the forbidden subgroup. The fourth
parameter is the length of the startsets we want to generate (remember
that 1 is assumed to be in every startset without being listed. So
we want startsets of size 3 represented by lists of length 2.
Hence the 2 in this place). Instead of `auts` a suitable list of
groups of automorphisms of *G* in permutation representation may be
inserted. These are used for the reduction of startsets. For large
groups `auts[1]` it is a good idea to add some subgroups of `auts[1]`
to the list (ascending in order) `auts`, as the reduction is done
using the first group in the list and then reducing the already
reduced list again using the next group.

Now we have startsets of length 2 in *U* and there are two
possibilities:

(1) Find 3 more elements from another coset like this:

gap> cosets:=RightCosets(G,U); [ RightCoset(Group( [ f1, f2, f3 ] ),<identity> of ...), RightCoset(Group( [ f1, f2, f3 ] ),f4), RightCoset(Group( [ f1, f2, f3 ] ),f4^2) ] gap> startsets:=StartsetsInCoset(startsets,cosets[2],N,5,auts,sigdat,Gdata,lambda); #I Size 27 #I 1/ 0 @ 0:00:00.127 #I Size 11 #I 1/ 0 @ 0:00:00.058 #I -->1 @ 0:00:03.311 #I Size 2 #I 2/ 2 @ 0:00:00.015 #I -->2 @ 0:00:00.015 [ [ 4, 22, 5, 28, 73 ], [ 4, 22, 5, 28, 77 ] ]And 3 more from the last one (of course, we could also change to force, but it seems to work this way...).

gap> startsets:=StartsetsInCoset(startsets,cosets[3],N,8,auts,sigdat,Gdata,lambda); #I Size 9 #I 1/ 0 @ 0:00:00.056 #I Size 1 #I 1/ 1 @ 0:00:00.006 #I -->1 @ 0:00:00.009 #I Size 1 #I 1/ 1 @ 0:00:00.006 #I -->1 @ 0:00:00.006 [ [ 4, 22, 5, 28, 73, 37, 66, 78 ] ]

So we found one difference set of order 9 in the elementary abelian
group of order 81. To get the difference set containing 1
explicitly and as a subset of *G*, say

gap> PermList2GroupList(Concatenation(startsets[1],[1]),Gdata); [ f3, f1*f3^2, f4, f2*f3*f4, f1*f2^2*f3^2*f4, f1^2*f4^2, f2*f3^2*f4^2, f1^2*f2^2*f3*f4^2, <identity> of ... ]

(2) Do a brute force search. Here we have to convert the forbidden group

gap> Np:=GroupList2PermList(Set(N),Gdata); [ 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 16, 19, 32 ] gap> startsets:=ExtendedStartsetsNoSort(startsets,[1..groupOrder],Np,8,Gdata,lambda);; gap> Size(startsets); 54 gap> foundsets:=[];; gap> for set in startsets > do > Append(foundsets,AllDiffsets(set,[1..groupOrder],k-1,Np,Gdata,lambda)); > od; gap> Size(foundsets); 162

Now `foundsets` contains 162 relative (9,9,9,1)-difference sets
(represented by lists of length 8). These are all equivalent (as seen above). Equivalence can be tested like this:

gap> ReducedStartsets(foundsets,[Gdata.Aac],i->true,Gdata); #I Size 162 #I 1/ 0 @ 0:00:00.001 [ [ 4, 22, 36, 39, 49, 50, 60, 61 ] ]

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rds manual

February 2022