Complete Arcs and Caps in Galois Spaces

Platoni, Irene (2014) Complete Arcs and Caps in Galois Spaces. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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Abstract

Galois spaces, that is affine and projective spaces of dimension N ≥ 2 defined over a finite (Galois) field F_q, are well known to be rich of nice geometric, combinatorial and group theoretic properties that have also found wide and relevant applications in several branches of Combinatorics, as well as in more practical areas, notably Coding Theory and Cryptography. The systematic study of Galois spaces was initiated in the late 1950’s by the pioneering work of B. Segre [59]. The trilogy [34, 36, 42] covers the general theory of Galois spaces including the study of objects which are linked to linear codes. Typical such objects are plane arcs and their generalizations - especially caps and arcs in higher dimensions - whose code theoretic counterparts are distinguished types of error-correcting and covering linear codes. Their investigation has received a great stimulus from Coding Theory, especially in the last decades; see the survey papers [40, 41]. An important issue in this context is to ask for explicit constructions of small complete arcs and small complete caps. A cap in a Galois space is a set of points no three of which are collinear. A cap is complete if its secants (lines through two points of the set) cover the whole space. An arc in a Galois space of dimension N is a set of points no N+1 of which lying on the same hyperplane. In analogy with caps, an arc which is maximal with respect to set-theoretical inclusion is said to be complete. Also, arcs coincide with caps in Galois planes. From these geometrical objects, there arise linear codes which turn out to have very good covering properties, provided that the size of the set is small with respect to the dimension N and the order q of the ambient space. For the size t(AG(N,q)) of the smallest complete caps in a Galois affine space AG(N,q) of dimension N over F_q, the trivial lower bound is √2q^{N−1/2}. General constructions of complete caps whose size is close to this lower bound are only known for q even and N odd, see [16, 19, 29, 52]. When N is even, complete caps of size of the same order of magnitude as cq^{N/2}, with c a constant independent of q, are known to exist for both the odd and the even order case, see [16, 18, 28, 29, 31] (see also Section 2.2 and the references therein). Whereas, few constructions of small complete arcs in Galois spaces of dimension N>2 are known. In [65, 66, 67], small complete arcs having many points in common with the normal rational curve are investigated (see Section 4.2.3 for comparisons with our results). In this thesis, new infinite families of complete arcs and caps in higher dimensional spaces are constructed from algebraic curves defined over a finite field. In most cases, no smallest complete caps/arcs were previously known in the literature. Although caps and arcs are rather combinatorial objects, constructions and proofs sometimes heavily rely on concepts and results from Algebraic Geometry in positive characteristic.

Item Type: Doctoral Thesis (PhD) Mathematics 27 Area 01 - Scienze matematiche e informatiche > MAT/03 GEOMETRIA Galois Spaces - Complete arcs - Complete caps - Quasi-perfect codes - MDS codes 23 Dec 2014 09:38

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