Algebraic combinatorics is an area of mathematics that employs methods of abstract algebra, notably group theory and representation theory, in various combinatorial contexts and, conversely, applies combinatorial techniques to problems in algebra.
Through the early or mid-1990s, typical combinatorial objects of interest in algebraic combinatorics either admitted a lot of symmetries (association schemes, strongly regular graphs, posets with a group action) or possessed a rich algebraic structure, frequently of representation theoretic origin (symmetric functions, Young tableaux). This period is reflected in the area 05E, Algebraic combinatorics, of the AMS Mathematics Subject Classification, introduced in 1991.
Algebraic combinatorics has come to be seen more expansively as an area of mathematics where the interaction of combinatorial and algebraic methods is particularly strong and significant. Thus the combinatorial topics may be enumerative in nature or involve matroids, polytopes, partially ordered sets, or finite geometries. On the algebraic side, besides group and representation theory, lattice theory and commutative algebra are common. The Journal of Algebraic Combinatorics, published by Springer-Verlag, is an international journal intended as a forum for papers in the field.
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- Godsil, C. D. (1993). Algebraic Combinatorics. New York: Chapman and Hall. ISBN 0-412-04131-6. MR 1220704.
- Takayuki Hibi, Algebraic combinatorics on convex polytopes, Carslaw Publications, Glebe, Australia, 1992
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- Ezra Miller, Bernd Sturmfels, Combinatorial commutative algebra, Graduate Texts in Mathematics, vol. 227, Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, 2005. ISBN 0-387-22356-8
- Richard Stanley, Combinatorics and commutative algebra. Second edition, Progress in Mathematics, vol. 41. Birkhäuser, Boston, MA, 1996. ISBN 0-8176-3836-9
- Bernd Sturmfels, Gröbner bases and convex polytopes, University Lecture Series, vol. 8, American Mathematical Society, Providence, RI, 1996. ISBN 0-8218-0487-1
- Doron Zeilberger, Enumerative and Algebraic Combinatorics
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