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# GENERIC COMBINATORIAL IDENTITIES

E. F. Cornelius, Jr.
Published in JP J Algebra, Number Theory and Applications
Vol. 31, No. 1 (2013), Pages 1-4
Abstract: Some well known combinatorial identities appear to be special
cases of more general identities in integral domains.
Let D be an integral domain (i.e., a commutative ring with 1 but without
zero divisors) embedded in its quotient eld, so that division makes sense. If
d1 ; d2 ; : : : ; dn are nonzero elements of D, n 1, and d0 = 0, then the following
relations hold:

(A)

n
P

( 1)i (dn

i=1

d0 ) (dn di
d1 di

1)

n
X

(B)

( 1)i

i=1

n
i

## to which (A) reduces when di = i; i = 1; 2; : : : ; n. The generalization was

proved in [1], in the context of matrix inversion in integral domains.
If dn in (A) is replaced by

(C)

n
P

i=1

dn , then

d1 di

1)

= 2 (dn +d0 )

d1 dn 1 dn

1)

(D)

n
P

i=1

n+i 1
i

2n
n

2 n(n+1)n! (2n
2n
n

1)

= 2 (n

1)!n(n+1) (2n 1)
(2n 1)!
= 2 (n
(n 1)!n!
1)!n!
(2n)!
2n(2n 1)!
(2n 1)!
= 2 (n 1)!n! .
n!n! =
n!n!

and

## See [2], p. 54. More generally, when di = id; d 2 D; d 6= 0; i = 1; 2; : : : n, the

same result is obtained.
When di = d; d 2 D; d 6= 0; i = 1; 2; : : : ; n, then (C) becomes a geometric
i 1
n 1
Pn
Pn
n n
series, i=1 d(2d)
= i=1 2i 1 = 2n 1 = 2 d(2d)
1 = 2 dnd
1.
(d)i
dn

## Of particular interest is the case when the di form a geometric progression.

When di = ri ; r 2 D; r 6= 0; i = 1; 2; : : : ; n, then the terms in (C) become
r n (r n +r)
r

Sn =

(r n +r i 1 )
= rn r(rn 1
ri
n i n 1

r
n i n
r
(r
i=1

Pn

i(i+1)

## + 1) ri 1 (rn i+1 + 1)=r 2 =

(r
+ 1) (rn i+1 + 1), so that
1
+ 1) (rn i+1 + 1) = 2(rn 1 + 1) (r + 1) 1 =
Qn 1
2 i=1 (ri + 1) 1.

## Although the initial assumption was r 6= 0, if r = x, a complex number

satisfying jxj < 1, then the sequence of functions Sn = Sn (x) converges to some
S(x). Recall that if q(j) represents the number of partitions of the integer j
into
the generating function for the q(j) is given by
P1 distinctj parts,
Q1 j 2 N, then
k
q(j)x
=
(1
+
x
).
See
[3], Part 3.1, Generating function & Note 10.
j=0
k=1
Both thePinnite product and the innite series converge for jxj < 1, to some
1
Q(x) = j=0 q(j)xj . Thus,
S(x) = 2Q(x)

Although Sn =

n
P

i=1

(dn d0 ) (dn di
d1 di

1)

does reduce to

n
P

2n

1 when di =

i=1

## i; i = 1; 2; : : : ; n, in general Sn does not appear to have a particularly compact

expression. To compute Sn , note that
n
P

i=1
(dn d0 )
d1

(dn d0 ) (dn di
d1 di

(dn d0 )(dn d1 )
+ :::
d1 d2
dn
d1 dn 1 dn ([d2

+ [dn (dn

+ [di
d1 )

(dn d0 )
d1

1)

(dn dn
dn 1

2)

(dn d0 ) (dn dn
d1 dn

dn ] + [d3
dn (dn d1 )] + : : :
dn (dn d1 ) (dn di 2 )] + : : :
(dn dn 2 )] + [(dn d1 ) (dn dn

1)

1 )]).

## With the conventions that d0 = dn 1 (so that dn d0 = 1) and dn+1 = 1,

Pn+1
then Sn = d1 1dn 1 j=2 dj
dn (dn d1 ) (dn dj 2 ); i.e., when, j = 2,
the product dj
dn (dn d1 ) (dn dj 2 ) = d2
dn , and when j = n + 1,
2

n+1
P
Q
1
d1

dn

d1 )

(dn

dk (dn

dn

1 ).

## Sn also can be expressed as

dl ).

j=2 j k n; 1 l j 2

The principal hurdle in attempting analogize these generic formulas to classical combinatorics is the obvious lack of symmetry analogous to ni = nn i . In
general, it is not reasonable to expect that
i = 1; : : : ; n 1.

(dn d0 ) (dn di
d1 di

1)

(dn d0 ) (dn dn
d1 dn i

REFERENCES
[1] Cornelius, E. F., Jr. and Schultz, P., "Root bases of polynomials over
integral domains", in Models, Modules and Abelian Groups (de Gruyter 2008),
238-248. The article is posted with permission at http://www.scribd.com/doc/
109726168/Root-Bases-of-Polynomials-Over-Integral-Domains.
[2] Knuth, D., Fundamental Algorithms, Vol. 1, The Art of Computer
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_(number_theory)

1)

## POSTSCRIPT TO PUBLISHED VERSION

that have been deleted in the published version. As noted
P1 in the article, the
generating function for distinct partitions is Q(x) = j=0 q(j)xj , which can
Q1
be expressed as the innite product PQ (x) = k=1 (1 + xk ). One relationship
that the author
to establish is that Q
between the polynomials
Pn was attempting
n
j
k
Qn (x) =
q(j)x
,
of
degree
n,
and
P
(x)
=
Q
n
j=0
k=1 (1 + x ), of degree
n(n+1)
.
2

It turns out that Qn (x) equals the rst n + 1 terms of PQn (x). To see this,
express
[a] PQn = (1 + x)(1 + x2 ) (1 + xn ) as
[b] PQn (x) = 1 + c1 x + : : : + ck xk + : : : + cn xn + : : : + c n(n

1)

n(n 1)
2

The coe cient ck of xk in [b] is the number of ways to get exponents of the
x0 s in [a] to add up to k. Since those exponents are distinct and consist of
1; 2; : : : ; k; : : : ; n, it follows that ck = q(k) for 1 k n.
An analogous
result obtains for the generating function for all partitions,
P1
P (x) = j=0 p(j)xj , where p(j) represents the number of partitions of j. Let
Pn
Pn (x) = j=0 p(j)xj . According to [3], Part 3.1, Generating function & Note
Q1
7, P (x) can be expressed as PP (x) = k=1 1 1xk . In turn,
=
PP (x) = ( 1 1 x )( 1 1x2 ) ( 1 1xk )
2
2
4
k
(1 + x + x + : : :)(1 + x + x + : : :) (1 + x + x2k + : : :) . Let
[c] PPn (x) = (1 + x + x2 + : : : + xn )(1 + x2 + x4 + : : : + x2n )
2
(1 + xn + x2n + : : : + xn ) =
[d] (1 + x1 + x1+1 + : : : + x1+:::+1 )(1 + x2 + x2+2 + : : : + x2+:::+2 )
(1 + xn + xn+n + : : : + xn+:::+n ).

## As before, PPn (x) can be written as

[e] PPn (x) = 1 + c1 x + : : : + ck xk + : : : + cn xn + : : : + c n2 (n

1)

n2 (n
2

1)

The coe cient ck of xk in [e] is the number of ways in which exponents of the
x0 s taken from one or more of the polynomials in [d] add up to k. See [4], p. 3,
Equation (2.3), and [3], Part 3.1, Generating function. The number of ways is
just p(k) for 1 k n, so that the rst n + 1 terms of PPn (x) are the same as
the terms of Pn (x).
Suppose
P k0 + k1 + : : : is a partition of n, k0 + k1 + : : : = n. Then it seems
that
(k0 + k1 + : : : ) is the sum of all partitions of n; i.e., that
k0 k1 :::
k0 +k1 +:::=n

## (k0 + k1 + : : : ) = np(n), or p(n) =

k0 k1 :::
k0 +k1 +:::=n

1
n

(k0 + k1 + : : : ). The

k0 k1 :::
k0 +k1 +:::=n

P1
generating function P (x) = j=0 p(j)xj then could be written as
1
P
P
n
P (x) =
[
(k0 + k1 + : : : )] xn with the usual combinatorial conn=0

k0 k1 :::
k0 +k1 +:::=n

## vention about 0; in this case, 0 x0 = 1.

Similarly,
P
(k0 + k1 + : : : ) = nq(n), or q(n) =
k0 >k1 >:::
k0 +k1 +:::=n

Q(x) =

1
P

n=0

k0 >k1 >:::
k0 +k1 +:::=n

1
n

(k0 + k1 + : : : ) and

k0 >k1 >:::
k0 +k1 +:::=n
n

(k0 + k1 + : : :)] xn .

## However, the utility of these latter expressions is unclear to the author.

REFERENCES
[1], [2] and [3] denote the references in the article. Readers skeptical of using
Wikipedia as a reference may be relieved to know that Princeton University
does. http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Partition_%
28number_theory%29.html.
[4] denotes http://www.math.psu.edu/vstein/alg/antheory/preprint/andrews/
chapter.pdf.
ANOTHER GENERIC IDENTITY
In an integral domain embedded in its quotient eld, if ai 6= 1, then
an
1
2
1 + 1 a1a1 + (1 a1a)(1
a2 ) + : : : + (1 a1 ) (1 an ) = (1 a1 ) (1 an ) . In the domain of integers, if an = n + 1, n = 0; 1; : : : ; n, then 1 + 2=1! + 3=2! + 4=3! + ::: +
(n + 1)=n! = 1=n!. See http://www.linkedin.com/groups/algebraic-identity-innumber-theory-4510047.S.5816553869760548865?qid=167e8f1c-8c7c-444a-b15bd3f740944753&trk=groups_items_see_more-0-b-ttl.
GENERIC IDENTITIES
FOR COMPLETE HOMOGENEOUS SYMMETRIC POLYNOMIALS

## Some classical identities for complete homogeneous symmetric polynomials

are generic and may even hold for commutative rings with identity. See "Identities for complete homogeneous symmetric polynomials", JP J Algebra, Number
Theory and Applications, Vol. 21, No. 1 (2011), 109-116; http://www.scribd.com
/doc/16010484/Identities-for-Complete-Homogeneous-Symmetric-Polynomials.
BOUTINS IDENTITIES ARE GENERIC
Boutins identities are generic. For characteristic 6= 0, terms may equal 0.