A linked system of symmetric designs (LSSD) is a $w$-partite graph ($w\ge 2$) where the incidence between any two parts corresponds to a symmetric design and the designs arising from three parts are related. The original construction for LSSDs by Goethals used Kerdock sets, in which $v$ is a power of two. Some four decades later, new examples were given by Davis et. al. and Jedwab et. al. using difference sets, again with $v$ a power of two. In this paper we develop a connection between LSSDs and “linked simplices”, full-dimensional regular simplices with two possible inner products between vertices of distinct simplices. We then use this geometric connection to construct sets of equiangular lines and to find an equivalence between regular unbiased Hadamard matrices and certain LSSDs with Menon parameters. We then construct examples of non-trivial LSSDs in which $w$ can be made arbitarily large for fixed even part of $v$. Finally we survey the known infinite families of symmetric designs and show, using basic number theoretic conditions, that $w=2$ in most cases.

Revised: 2018-05-16

Accepted: 2018-05-19

Published online: 2019-02-04

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5802/alco.22

Classification: 05E30

Keywords: association schemes, symmetric designs

@article{ALCO_2019__2_1_119_0, author = {Kodalen, Brian G.}, title = {Linked systems of symmetric designs}, journal = {Algebraic Combinatorics}, pages = {119--147}, publisher = {MathOA foundation}, volume = {2}, number = {1}, year = {2019}, doi = {10.5802/alco.22}, mrnumber = {3912170}, zbl = {1405.05195}, language = {en}, url = {alco.centre-mersenne.org/item/ALCO_2019__2_1_119_0/} }

Kodalen, Brian G. Linked systems of symmetric designs. Algebraic Combinatorics, Volume 2 (2019) no. 1, pp. 119-147. doi : 10.5802/alco.22. https://alco.centre-mersenne.org/item/ALCO_2019__2_1_119_0/

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