Sparse hypergraphs with applications to coding theory

Chong Shangguan, Itzhak Tamo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For fixed integers r \geq 3, e \geq 3, v \geq r + 1, an r-uniform hypergraph is called Gr(v, e)-free if the union of any e distinct edges contains at least v + 1 vertices. Brown, Erd\H os, and Sos showed that the maximum number of edges of such a hypergraph on n vertices, denoted as fr(n, v, e), satisfies \Omega (n er e - -1 v ) = fr(n, v, e) = O(n\lceil er e - -1 v \rceil ). For sufficiently large n and e - 1 | er - v, the lower bound matches the upper bound up to a constant factor, which depends only on r, v, e; whereas for e - 1 \nmid er - v, in general it is a notoriously hard problem to determine the correct exponent of n. Among other results, we improve the above lower bound by showing that fr(n, v, e) = \Omega (n er e - -1 v (log n) e -1 1 ) for any r, e, v satisfying gcd(e - 1, er - v) = 1. The hypergraph we constructed is in fact Gr(ir - \lceil (i - 1)(er - v) \rceil, i)-free for every 2 \leq i \leq e, and it has several interesting e - 1 applications in coding theory. The proof of the new lower bound is based on a novel application of the lower bound on the hypergraph independence number due to Duke, Lefmann, and Rodl.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1493-1504
Number of pages12
JournalSIAM Journal on Discrete Mathematics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


  • Coding theory
  • Hypergraph independence number
  • Sparse hypergraphs


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