Zero-sum problem

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In number theory, zero-sum problems are a certain class of combinatorial questions. In general, a finite abelian group G is considered. The zero-sum problem for the integer n is the following: Find the smallest integer k such that every sequence of elements of G with length k contains n terms that sum to 0.

In 1961 Paul Erdős, Abraham Ginzburg, and Abraham Ziv proved the general result for \mathbb{Z}/n\mathbb{Z} (the integers mod n) that[1]

k = 2n - 1.\

Explicitly this says that any multiset of 2n − 1 integers has a subset of size n the sum of whose elements is a multiple of n. This result is known as the Erdős–Ginzburg–Ziv theorem after its discoverers: it may be deduced from the Cauchy–Davenport theorem.[2]

More general results than this theorem exist, such as Olson's theorem, Kemnitz's conjecture (proved by Christian Reiher in 2003[3]), and the weighted EGZ theorem (proved by David J. Grynkiewicz in 2005[4]).

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Erdős, Paul; Ginzburg, A.; Ziv, A. (1961). "A theorem in additive number theory". Bull. Res. Council Israel 10F: 41–43. Zbl 0063.00009. 
  2. ^ Nathanson (1996) p.48
  3. ^ Reiher, Christian (2007), "On Kemnitz' conjecture concerning lattice-points in the plane", The Ramanujan Journal 13 (1–3): 333–337, doi:10.1007/s11139-006-0256-y, Zbl 1126.11011 .
  4. ^ Grynkiewicz, D. J. (2006), "A Weighted Erdős-Ginzburg-Ziv Theorem", Combinatorica 26 (4): 445–453, doi:10.1007/s00493-006-0025-y, Zbl 1121.11018 .
  • Geroldinger, Alfred (2009). "Additive group theory and non-unique factorizations". In Geroldinger, Alfred; Ruzsa, Imre Z. Combinatorial number theory and additive group theory. Advanced Courses in Mathematics CRM Barcelona. Elsholtz, C.; Freiman, G.; Hamidoune, Y. O.; Hegyvári, N.; Károlyi, G.; Nathanson, M.; Solymosi, J.; Stanchescu, Y. With a foreword by Javier Cilleruelo, Marc Noy and Oriol Serra (Coordinators of the DocCourse). Basel: Birkhäuser. pp. 1–86. ISBN 978-3-7643-8961-1. Zbl 1221.20045. 
  • Nathanson, Melvyn B. (1996). Additive Number Theory: Inverse Problems and the Geometry of Sumsets. Graduate Texts in Mathematics 165. Springer-Verlag. ISBN 0-387-94655-1. Zbl 0859.11003. 

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