The classification of partition homogeneous groups with applications to semigroup theory

Jorge André, Joao Araújo, Peter J. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Let λ=(λ1, λ2, . . .) be a partition of n, a sequence of positive integers in non-increasing order with sum n. Let Ω:={1, . . ., n}. An ordered partition P=(A1, A2, . . .) of Ω has type λ if |Ai|=λi.Following Martin and Sagan, we say that G is λ-transitive if, for any two ordered partitions P=(A1, A2, . . .) and Q=(B1, B2, . . .) of Ω of type λ, there exists g∈G with Aig=Bi for all i. A group G is said to be λ-homogeneous if, given two ordered partitions P and Q as above, inducing the sets P'={A1, A2, . . .} and Q'={B1, B2, . . .}, there exists g∈G such that P'g=Q'. Clearly a λ-transitive group is λ-homogeneous.The first goal of this paper is to classify the λ-homogeneous groups (Theorems 1.1 and 1.2). The second goal is to apply this classification to a problem in semigroup theory. Let Tn and Sn denote the transformation monoid and the symmetric group on Ω, respectively. Fix a group H≤Sn. Given a non-invertible transformation a∈Tn{set minus}Sn and a group G≤Sn, we say that (a, G) is an H-pair if the semigroups generated by {a}. ∪. H and {a}. ∪. G contain the same non-units, that is, 〈. a, G〉. {set minus}. G=〈. a, H〉. {set minus}. H. Using the classification of the λ-homogeneous groups we classify all the Sn-pairs (Theorem 1.8). For a multitude of transformation semigroups this theorem immediately implies a description of their automorphisms, congruences, generators and other relevant properties (Theorem 8.5).This topic involves both group theory and semigroup theory; we have attempted to include enough exposition to make the paper self-contained for researchers in both areas.The paper finishes with a number of open problems on permutation and linear groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-310
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Algebra
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016


  • Transformation semigroups
  • Permutation groups
  • Primitive groups
  • lambda-transitive
  • GAP

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