On the topology of complexes of injective words

  • Chacholski W
  • Levi R
  • Meshulam R
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An injective word over a finite alphabet $V$ is a sequence $w=v_1v_2\cdots v_t$ of distinct elements of $V$. The set $\mathrm{inj}(V)$ of injective words on $V$ is partially ordered by inclusion. A complex of injective words is the order complex $\Delta(W)$ of a subposet $W \subset \mathrm{inj}(V)$. Complexes of injective words arose recently in applications of algebraic topology to neuroscience, and are of independent interest in topology and combinatorics. In this article we mainly study Permutation Complexes, i.e. complexes of injective words $\Delta(W)$, where $W$ is the downward closed subposet of $\mathrm{inj}(V)$ generated by a set of permutations of $V$. In particular, we determine the homotopy type of $\Delta(W)$ when $W$ is generated by two permutations, and prove that any stable homotopy type is realizable by a permutation complex. We describe a homotopy decomposition for the complex of injective words $\Gamma(K)$ associated with a simplicial complex $K$, and point out a connection to a result of Randal-Williams and Wahl. Finally, we discuss some probabilistic aspects of random permutation complexes.




Chacholski, W., Levi, R., & Meshulam, R. (2020). On the topology of complexes of injective words. Journal of Applied and Computational Topology, 4(1), 29–44. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41468-019-00039-6

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