Definition:Matroid

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Definition

Let $S$ be a finite set.

Let $\mathscr I$ be a set of subsets of $S$ satisfying the matroid axioms:

\((I1)\)   $:$   \(\displaystyle \O \in \mathscr I \)             
\((I2)\)   $:$     \(\displaystyle \forall X \in \mathscr I \land Y \subseteq S:\) \(\displaystyle Y \subseteq X \implies Y \in \mathscr I \)             
\((I3)\)   $:$     \(\displaystyle \forall U, V \in \mathscr I:\) \(\displaystyle \size U = \size V + 1 \implies \exists x \in U \setminus V : V \cup \set x \in \mathscr I \)             


The ordered pair $M = \struct{S, \mathscr I}$ is called a matroid on $S$, or simply a matroid when the context is obvious.


Independent Set

An element of $\mathscr I$ is called an independent set of $\mathscr I$.


Dependent Set

A subset of $S$ that is not an element of $\mathscr I$ is called a dependent set of $\mathscr I$.


Examples of Matroids

Uniform Matroid

Let $S$ be a finite set of cardinality $n$.

Let $\mathscr I_{k,n}$ be the set of all subsets of $S$ of cardinality less than or equal to $k$.


Then the ordered pair $\struct {S, \mathscr I_{k, n} }$ is called the uniform matroid of rank $k$ and is denoted $U_{k,n}$.


Free Matroid

Let $S$ be a finite set.

Let $\mathscr I = \powerset S$ be the power set of $S$.

That is, let $\mathscr I$ be the set of all subsets of $S$:

$\mathscr I := \set {X: X \subseteq S}$


Then the ordered pair $\struct{S, \mathscr I}$ is called the free matroid of $S$.


Matroid Induced by Linear Independence in Vector Space

Let $V$ be a vector space.

Let $S$ be a finite subset of $V$.

Let $\mathscr I$ be the set of linearly independent subsets of $S$.


Then the ordered pair $\struct{S, \mathscr I}$ is called a matroid induced on $S$ by linear independence in $V$.


Cycle Matroid

Let $G$ be a graph.

Let $E$ be the edge set of $G$.

Let $\mathscr I$ be the set of edge sets of subgraphs of $G$ that contain no cycles.


Then the ordered pair $\struct{E, \mathscr I}$ is called the cycle matroid of the graph $G$.


Matroid Induced by Algebraic Independence

Let $L / K$ be a field extension.

Let $S \subseteq L$ be a finite subset of $L$.

Let $\mathscr I$ be the set of algebraically independent subsets of $S$.


Then $\struct {S, \mathscr I}$ is called the matroid induced by algebraic independence over $K$ on $S$.


Matroid Induced by Affine Independence

Let $\R^n$ be the $n$-dimensional real Euclidean space.

Let $S = \set{x_1, \dots, x_r}$ be a finite subset of $\R^n$.

Let $\mathscr I$ be the set of affinely independent subsets of $S$.


Then $\struct{S, \mathscr I}$ is called the matroid induced by affine independence on $S$.


Matroid Induced by Linear Independence in Abelian Group

Let $\struct{G, +}$ be a torsion-free Abelian group.

Let $\struct{G, +, \times}$ be the $\Z$-module associated with $G$.

Let $S$ be a finite subset of $G$.

Let $\mathscr I$ be the set of linearly independent subsets of $S$.


Then the ordered pair $\struct{S, \mathscr I}$ is called the matroid induced by linear independence in $G$ on $S$.


Sources