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Partitions of Sets DELF/FAEA / VOL. III, 2006, Article 06, pp. 31-41 Partitions of Sets Dilip Kumar Sen Department of Mathematics he more to do or to prove, the easier the doing or the proof’:~ J.J. SYLVESTER ”-E. ARTIN ‘Our difficulty is notin she proofs, but in learning what to prov. Abstract : This article is a short survey on partitions of finite sets.* Introduction = ‘The term “partition” (a division of some object into subdivisions) has numerous meanings in mathematics, Here we study the partitions of finite sets ‘The concept of partition of a set. is one of the fundamental concepts of set theory. This concept has wide applications in different branches of mathematics and applied sciences. mainly in probability, statistics, graph theory. combinatorial mathematics, management science, electrical engineering, particle physics, computer science, biomathematics, biotechnology ete. A great many problems of enumeration can be interpreted as counting the number of partitions ofa finite set For example, the number of rhyme schemes for n verses, the number of ways of distributing n distinct things into n boxes, the number of equivalence relations among n elements, the number of decompositions of an integer into coprime (or relatively prime) factors when distinct primes are concemed, the number of permutations of n elements with ordered cycles, the number of Borel fields over a set of n elements, the inctusion-exclusion principle of the cardinality of finite sets (The sieve theory) ete For more informations, one may consult Adhikary [1], Apostol {3], Artin (4), Bell (5), (6), Birkboft (17), {40)), Dieudonne (41), Feferman 14], Gallian (16], Gerstein (17}, Halmos (118}, [19), Hardy [20]. Jacobson {22}, Kohavi [27], Lipschutz (28].Liu ({29}, (30), Lovasz. (31), Maclane [32], Malik. [33], Rota (34), Sen {G5}, Shashkin (36] and Suppes (38} Here we discuss some interesting and widely used results on partitions of finite seis for wide variety of interested readers in a lucid and simple way. PARTITIONS OF SETS Set : Definition-2.1 ( Canto: (or intuition} oF of our thought (or intellect) to be conceived as a single entity or as a whole. Set is a well-defined collection of distinguished objects our perception For literature, see Kamke (24) and stoll (371 is ance is printed notin the usual format, as adopted forthe other atcles. Ths is done to avail eerars in eathematica eapeession (Eelton 31 Asutosh College Par tion : Definition. 2.2 : A partition (or decomposition) P of « non-empty set A is a family of non-empty sub: ts {A)},,., OFA such that vA, = 4 and A, Ay = (null set) fora# B er Sym wlically we call = {A,},_, a partition of A Note - 2.3: The pairwise disjoint subsets of A are called the cells of A ot the blocks of A or the parts of A Note - 2.4: If & be the empty set 9 then the partition P of A is {d} . By convention we say that P= {o} is 2 partition of A containing zero cell, Here the total aumber of partition of A is one Example - 2.5 : If A= AUA,UA, where A,A,,A, ace the pairwise disjoint subsets of A’ Then 2={4,.4yA,} isa partion of A containing 3 cells and P= {4} isa pation of A containing one cell Example -2.6 : Let Z = The set of all integers then Z = ZUZ, Where Z, = the set of all odd integers and Z, = The set of all even integers. Here P= {Z,.Z,} isa partition of Z containing 2 cells Example -2.7 : Let N+ The set of all natural numbers then N= S\US, where S, = The set of all primes > land S,=N—S, Here P={S,,S,} is 9 partition of N of 2 cells Example ~ 2.8 : Let R = The set of all reals . Then R = QUI where Q = The set of al rationals, which is @ Countable set and I = The set of all irationals which is an uncountable set, Here F.={Q,1} is a partition of R containing 2 cells ‘Again, R= AUB where A = The set of all algebraic numbers, which is a countable dense set and B = The set of all transcendental numbers which is an uncountable set A,B) is a panttion of R of wo cells —©°,0)U [0,1] U 4,2] U @, 3) UL, 2) U7. 29) ) [0.1] 4, 2.(2,3),(3,7) {7,)} is a panition of R containing 6 cells Example ~ 2.9: Let C = The set of all complex numbers. Then the collection P = {Ca},_, where the index: set Lis the set of all non-negative reals, of all concentric circles centered at zero in the complex plane, isa patttion of C, containing infinite number of ces. Here every member of P is calied a fibre of C. Example - 2.10 : 4 subset B of a topological space E is a border set iff every open st of E, containing @ Point of B and a point of the complement of B relative to E. In a normal topological ‘space U, every separable connected set S, consisting of more than one element, can be partitioned into two border “ets, Dutta (13) For epplications of partitions to study topological problems, see Dugungli {12}. For latice — properties of partitions one may consult Birkhoff ((8},[9)), lu (20) and Knuth (26) Note~ 2.11: 1° A be an infinite set then we can partition A into different cells in an infinite number of ways. 2 Partitions of Sets Partitions of Finite Sets ‘We now study, in how many different ways a finite set of n elements can be partitioned. Let A be a finite set of n elements, Case-1 0 Here P= (A) is the only partition of A of one cell. Case~1 n=2 Suppose A={a,,a,} Here P= {A} is a partition of A of one cell. {4,}.{a5}} iss partion of A of containing two cells Hence the total number of partitions of A is bwo. Case n=3 Suppose A={a,,,4,} Here P= {A} isa partition of A of one cell. P,={{a,}.{a4.4}} isa partition of A of two cells R={a}.{a.a}} isan P, ition of A of two cells 2, ,{c,,,)} is panition of A two cells. a} lai F, = {{a,} ey}. a]) is a patton of A of three cells Here the total number of partitions of A, contaii 2 ceils, is 3, the total number of partitions of A containing one cell is one, the total number of partitions of A containing 3 cells, is one. Hence the total number of partitions of A is 5 Case— IV nisarbitrry. 7 Let S, be the set ofall partitions of A. Suppose NV, be the total number of partitions of A. ‘Then N,, = The cardinality of S, s,| N,, is also called the nth Bell number or the exponential number and is denoted by B, or P,, see Bell (5), Lovase ( (31), Problem 1.9 (a) ) and Joshi [23] Let f(a, k) = the total number of partitions of A containing k cells (k= 1.2, ....n) then N= DF(mk) We now form a recursion formula or recurrence relation for f (n, k) Ik = 1, mthen f(n.1) =F (n,n) = 1 and f (1,1) =1 =f, 1)=£(2,2) So we may assum: that 2 Sk S mand a>2 Let b € A. Then in any partition of A, b is either contained in the singleton set (b) or contained in a cell with more than one element but not in both simultaneously 3 Asutosh College Case- 1 Let b be contained in the singleton set (b). Then A — {&* can be partitioned into (K-10) colls in €(n-1. Ke1) ways, kot Suppose P = { Di} : bbe a partition of A - (bj containing (k-1) cells, is ! ee Let M = {{b}, Di} ' Then Mis a partition of A containing k cells, i Therefore for each patition P of A ~ {b} containing (k-1) cell, ws get a unique partition M of A containing K cells. It is obvious that for different partitions Rand P, of A — (b) containing (k-1) cells, the corresponding partitions M, and M, of A, containing k cells, must be different. ‘As the total number of such partitions P of A ~ (b) containing (k-1) cells, is f (n-. k-1). so we get f (als ke 2) number of partitions of A containing k cells, where in each partion of A containing k cells, b is contained in the singleton set (b} Case- I Let be contained in a cell with more than one element ‘The set A - b) can be partitioned into k cells in f (4-1, k) ways k Now suppose P={Di} be apartition of A ~ (b) containing k cells Ifwe admit bin any one cell of P then we get a partition of A conta ing k eels. This b can be admitted in any one cell of P in k ways, ‘Therefore Fer cach partition P of A ~ (b) containing kcells, we get k numberof pattions of A containing k cells. ‘As the total number of such partitions P of A - (b} containing k cells is f(n-1, K), 80 we get kf(n ~ 1. k) number of partitions of A containing k cells. where in each partition of A containing k cells, bis contained in 4 cell with more than ope element ‘Therefore from cases I Il we get fa, k),= (al, KL) +k. f (nel, RY coe LD which is our required recursion formula for f(a .k),2< k S n,n>2. Note - 3.1 £(9, k)=0 for k> n and £(0, 0)= 1, by convention, So the recursion formola (1) above becomes. (0, k) = f (1, k-1) + k f(m 1.) forall non-negative integral values of nand k. Again, (041, &)=£(0, 1) +k FCO, k) oF F(a+1 K) 2 EO, K) forall non-negative integral values of wand k as £(n, Kl) > 0 forall non-negative integral values of n and k Note ~ 5.2 : The number f(n,k) is called a stirling number of the second kind or a second order sting number, Note- 33: N,=)" f (nk) is also called a stirling formula of the second kind and also = ¥ flak), sce 00,49 =Orork 34 Partitions of Sets Using the result, N, =)” f (n,4) where £ (0, k) =F (n-1, k-1) +k. £ (0-1, k), the following results can be deduced Theorem. 3.4 a(n @ 3 ‘t N= (The recursion formula for N, ) oli (nit) where (") = nent) Gay 29, P— 162), Andrews 2, p- 216}. i i eVox y (i) = =e" (the exponential generating function), Andrews (2, p- 216] ae) Git) —N,/m!30 a5 n> co, Here nt tends to infinity faster than NV, as n> =>. 1 ar Ww) Nyyea[ Peete cee ( v2 —¥ pr Roe 34 eo el Lovasz (31, problem- 1.9 (a). (logn — loglogn + 0 (1)), Klazar [25}. (NY, grows super exponentially) © oe N, (My e In wii) A(n)"2 24" were A(n)log A(n) = 1, Lovasz{31,problem- 1.9(b)]. ftp a0 byDky hyo Lovasz (31,problem- 1.12 (a)] Pity Sf (nk) x(x-1)(x-2). = wm s(nzy=t Sf! Lovasz { 31, problem — 1.81 t () F(a, 8) = 3f where 4 isthe total numberof surjectons from the set of n elements onto te set of k elements ( k Sn) = The number of ways of placing n distinct objects into k non-distinct boxes so that no box is empty, Joshi [23, p- 99}. (xi) (xii) Asi ash College. Note- 5 : Using the functional analysis techni: 1¢s, Rota (344 invented a new formula for N, which is given by, NV Lu!) where Ls tner fs ional on the sctor space ove the reas consisting of all polynomials inthe single variable w “The formula above, relies least upon direct count: g arguments, He deduced main properties of N, by using the above stated formula for N,,. By using the shift operator techniques, Rota (34) used the above siated linear functional L to study Poisson- Charlier polynomials, which are very much used in probability theory Nilustration — 3.6 : Let A bea set of nelements, 2 1 (pet Case Hn =2, N, =1(2,.)+fQ.2)= 141 Case- HI n= 3, £3 £6.2)=f(2.) +2. £22) = 142.1 <3 { Applying the recursion formula for f(a, KN} £3) = | oN, =£G.1)+£.2)+F(3.3)= L434] = Case~IV n= 4,f(4,1)=1 £42)=16, +2.16.2) og =£ (4 14 £(4,2)+£(4,3) + £44) = Lt 74 6 D2 1S .1(4,3)=£G, 243. 1(3,3)=343.1=6,0(4.4)= 1 ‘Mustration — 3.7 : Using the recursion formula for f ( n, k) successively, we get. f(n2)=2-1, nB2 36 Partitions of Sets “The values off (a, k) for different values of n and k can be written in the tabular form as follows EOE PEE eee TTT TT ape aye v 0 o oT 0 0 poy olo TOP PP ee aye TPT Te Pepe | TTT eee | SP ET TTT eee epee Se Ta ae | eT PO TOTO TOO TE | ees | aE To 7 BR | eS | cr 15075 Tae | HTD | Wer TEP ETT POPOL OL we, wates7 srr | sae a ST POST TIS TBST] ETO] Nw wa sso7 La The second order stirling numbers. Patem of MN, : From the above table and the elations (and (vi) ofthe theorem 3.4 we can say that, N, = 1, Ny = 2N,. Ny~2Ny, Ng~3Ny, Ny~3N,. Ng~4Ny, My ~ 4, Ny ~5Ny, Ny ~ SNe. Mg ~5Nqx Nyy ~6Nyps Nyy ~6Nys Ny ~ ON. Mg ONys My ~TNee Mg ~ TNs Ny ~TNyge Niy~ Tye Nig~ 7Nege Nao ~8Niy» Nai ~8Nag Naz ~8Nox. Nay ~ 8N2- Nag ~B¥age Naz ~8Nazs Nag ~9Nas. Nay ~9Nags Nog ~Wiys Nay ~ Nips Noy ~ 9Nags Ny ~ 9M ip Nyx ~ 9M, ~ 10, and so on. Note—3.8 : Here Noy ~9Nyq means that Noy is approximately equal to nine times of Noy From the above pattern of N,, it can be easily shown by induction that, *N,>2" forall n 25, N,, >3* forall n29, N, > 4" forall n217, N, >5" forall n>30. N, > 6" forall 2245 and soan but N, c" forall n> k The proof of the existence of afore said k is assured by the following result: Theorent -3.9 For every © > O there always exists a positive integer k such that N’, > c" forall n> k Proof: If possible, suppose there exists no positive integer k such that Nj > c Then we have N, Sc" forall positive integral values of n Now we have log NV, ¢* Now applying induction we get N,, >” forali 22k ‘This completes the proof. Note ~ 3.10: From the above discussion we can say that the total number of partitions of a set A of n elements, containing different cells, is always greater than the total number of subseis of A when 12 25 Note - 3.11 : Every partition of A is a proper subset of P (A), the power set of A. Sowehave, N, <2” foratl n21 ‘Therefore we can conclude that 2” 1. Suppose S,, be the set ofall partitions of A and NV, = The cardinality of 5, =|S,| Let PE S, and e(P) be the number of cells in P. £ + on + Then N~ is defined by N~ = 5 (-1)" and It may happen that N can be a n n a zt small, even if the N, are super exponential, sse Klazar (25]. For integer partitions, S, consists of the partitions P of n into disjoint parts, 11 = +4, where 0, >a, >....>4, 21 are integers and e(P) = For more informations on integer partitions one may consult, Hardy (20), Liu [29], Apostol [3] and Andrews 2 In 1748. L.Ller proved that for int is just the number of parts, partitions with distinet parts, + No =(-1)" if n= m(3m+1)/2 and N n n 0, other wise. Here one thing should be noted that L. Euler indeed laid the foundations of the theory of partitions. In Ktazar {25}, itis proved by analytic function theory argornent that for all set pasttons,|N | is super exponential that means for every ¢ > 0, there always a exists a positive integer k such that > c* (In fact this k is + proved, using the exponential generating function of NV n infinitely many), Subbarao and Ver that toelv"| tim PFN a1 Klazar (25). nee nlogn : 39 Asutost 2ollege Reference s Sem eww 34, 35, 36, 2. 38, ‘Adhikari, M.R : Groups. Rings and Modules with App vations, Unive-sities Press (P) Ltd, (1999) Andrews. G, E: The Theory of Paritions, Addison We ‘ey Pub, Cot 976) Apostol 7. M: Introduction to Analytic number theor . Springer Ve«iug (1989), ‘Artin, 1: Algebra, Prentice-Hall (U.S. A) (1991) Bell, 6. T: Exponsntil numbers, Trans, Amer, Math. soe, 41 (1934) /'P. 411-419. Men of mathemat..s, Simon And Schuster, Inc (U.S.A) (1986) Birkhoff, G : Current Trends in Algebra, Amer. Math, Monthy 80 (11973) 760-782. 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