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MATHEMATICS

555

Commutative Algebra

and Its Connections

to Geometry

Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute

August 3 –14, 2009

Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Olinda, Brazil

Alberto Corso

Claudia Polini

Editors

Commutative Algebra

and Its Connections

to Geometry

This page intentionally left blank

CONTEMPORARY

MATHEMATICS

555

Commutative Algebra

and Its Connections

to Geometry

Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute

August 3–14, 2009

Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Olinda, Brazil

Alberto Corso

Claudia Polini

Editors

Providence, Rhode Island

Editorial Board

Dennis DeTurck, managing editor

George Andrews Abel Klein Martin J. Strauss

2010 Mathematics Subject Classiﬁcation. Primary 05C90, 13C40, 13D02, 13D07, 13D40,

14C05, 14J60, 14M12, 14N05.

Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute (2009 : Universidade Federal de Pernambuco)

Commutative algebra and its connections to geometry : Pan-american Advanced Studies In-

stitute, August 3–14, 2009, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Olinda, Brazil / Alberto Corso,

Claudia Polini, editors.

p. cm. — (Contemporary mathematics ; v. 555)

Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 978-0-8218-4959-0 (alk. paper)

1. Combinatorial group theory—Congresses. 2. Algebra, Homological—Congresses. 3. Ge-

ometry, Algebraic—Congresses. I. Corso, Alberto. II. Polini, Claudia, 1966– III. Title.

QA182.5.P36 2009

512.44—dc23

2011027283

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10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 16 15 14 13 12 11

Contents

Preface vii

List of Mini Courses at PASI 2009 xi

List of Talks at PASI 2009 xiii

PASI 2009 Photos xv

Hilbert depth of powers of the maximal ideal

Winfried Bruns, Christian Krattenthaler, and Jan Uliczka 1

A note on reductions of monomial ideals in k[x, y](x,y)

C.-Y. Jean Chan and Jung-Chen Liu 13

Plücker-Clebsch formula in higher dimension

Ciro Ciliberto and Vincenzo Di Gennaro 35

Invariants of ideals generated by pfaﬃans

Emanuela De Negri and Elisa Gorla 47

Hilbert polynomial and the intersection of ideals

Juan Elias and Jordi Martı́nez-Borruel 63

Polynomial vector ﬁelds with algebraic trajectories

Viviana Ferrer and Israel Vainsencher 71

Minimal free resolutions for certain aﬃne monomial curves

Philippe Gimenez, Indranath Sengupta, and Hema Srinivasan 87

Uniform bounds for Hilbert coeﬃcients of parameters

Shiro Goto and Kazuho Ozeki 97

Absolute integral closure

Craig Huneke 119

A property of the Frobenius map of a polynomial ring

Gennady Lyubeznik, Wenliang Zhang, and Yi Zhang 137

A note on the variety of pairs of matrices whose product is symmetric

Mahdi Majidi-Zolbanin and Bart Snapp 145

Combinatorics of symbolic Rees algebras of edge ideals of clutters

José Martı́nez-Bernal, Carlos Renterı́a-Márquez,

and Rafael H. Villarreal 151

v

vi CONTENTS

Paul Roberts and Anurag K. Singh 165

Hilbert functions of Cohen-Macaulay local rings

Maria Evelina Rossi 173

Some homological properties of almost Gorenstein rings

Janet Striuli and Adela Vraciu 201

Preface

Commutative algebra has several sources – among them number theory, invari-

ant theory and algebraic geometry. Besides these classical sources, the ﬁeld has

undergone a striking evolution over the last quarter of a century, reaching out to

applicable disciplines such as combinatorics, computer algebra, optimization and

statistics. Commutative algebra is taught, and actively pursued as a research ﬁeld,

not only in developed countries, but also in several developing countries – in partic-

ular in Brazil and other Latin American countries such as Argentina and Mexico.

In Brazil the area has since its inception been associated to algebraic geometry.

This association has been very fruitful and, in particular, it has produced a joint

research group (ALGA) involving partners in the scientiﬁc centers of the country.

Many of the results published in this volume were presented during the NSF-

sponsored Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute (PASI) in Commutative Al-

gebra and its Connections to Geometry held in Olinda (Brazil) during the period

August 3-14, 2009, under the patronage of the Universidade Federal de Pernam-

buco. This institution is located in the center of the Brazilian Northeast, a vast,

less developed region of the country. It has an established mathematics department

with a long tradition as a research institution that has produced, for instance, a

number of mathematicians currently holding positions at leading US universities.

The goals of this event were to reinforce the above mentioned successful Brazil-

ian partnership throughout less privileged regions of Brazil and of Latin America in

general by introducing young mathematicians from Brazil and other Latin Ameri-

can countries to fundamental techniques and recent developments in the ﬁeld and

promoting the collaboration between mathematicians from these areas and devel-

oped countries. It is our belief that the school contributed to the training of young

researchers from North and South America in a timely atmosphere of international

cooperation. For algebra in Latin America it had the eﬀect of building regional

expertise to overcome the problem of isolation. For both the US and the Latin

American participants, the school and conference provided international experi-

ence and exposure, and new opportunities for collaborations. We expect that the

meeting has in fact enlarged the circle of US researchers visiting Latin American

universities on a regular basis. This in turn may help stem the now classical brain-

drain of scientists from these countries. Yet another direction in which the school

and conference succeeded was to enhance the collaboration between mathematicians

within Latin America and to trigger initiatives for further interchange between the

various countries of the continent.

We would also like to point out the fact that the PASI program was also an

occasion to honor Wolmer Vasconcelos of Rutgers University, one of the most dis-

tinguished senior commutative algebraists. Wolmer Vasconcelos grew up in the

vii

viii PREFACE

ated with a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago and spent most

of his professional life at Rutgers University. So far he has supervised 17 doctoral

students, authored 6 books, and written over 125 papers as a single author or

jointly with a total of 40 collaborators. Wolmer Vasconcelos is a member of the

Brazilian Academy of Sciences. Through his highly original contributions he has

been a major inﬂuence in the development of modern commutative algebra.

The school and conference, co-organized by Craig Huneke, Aron Simis, Bernd

Ulrich and the editors of the present volume, brought together more than 70 peri-

doctoral students from all over the world, but mostly from the Americas, and

approximatively 50 senior researchers in the areas of commutative algebra and al-

gebraic geometry. The focus of the program was on the following clusters of topics

central to modern commutative algebra:

• the homological conjectures;

• problems in positive and mixed characteristic;

• tight closure and its interaction with birational geometry;

• integral dependence and blowup algebras;

• equisingularity theory;

• Hilbert functions and multiplicities;

• combinatorial commutative algebra;

• Gröbner bases and computational algebra.

Homological conjectures, positive and mixed characteristic, tight closure. Charac-

teristic p methods, where p is a prime number, have been a powerful tool in both

commutative algebra and algebraic geometry. Via reduction to characteristic p they

also apply to the case of arbitrary characteristic. A culmination of this approach

is the theory of tight closure conceived by Hochster and Huneke in the eighties,

that led to powerful new results and sometimes strikingly simple proofs of known

theorems. Very recently one of the main open problems in this area has been solved

by Brenner and Monsky – the question of whether tight closure commutes with lo-

calization. Ein, Hara, Mustaţă, K. Smith, K. Watanabe and others have uncovered

intriguing connections between tight closure and seemingly unrelated notions from

birational geometry, such as rational singularities, multiplier ideals and arc spaces.

These connections are being explored further, and have already led to deep results

in both algebra and geometry.

The homological conjectures are a system of interrelated conjectures proposed

by Hochster in the seventies that grew out of work of Serre, Peskine and Szpiro on

intersection multiplicities. They have been solved for rings containing a ﬁeld, but

are open – and notoriously diﬃcult – in the case of mixed characteristic. Fairly

recently Heitmann was able to prove the direct summand conjecture in dimension

three. His methods are currently being developed further by Lyubeznik, Roberts,

Singh and others, who have uncovered deep properties of local cohomology modules

with the aim of proving the conjectures in general.

Blowup algebras, integral dependence, equisingularity theory. There has been an

abundance of new results about Rees algebras, or blowup algebras, and their struc-

ture over the past two decades. Rees algebras are the algebraic objects appearing

in the process of resolving singularities, and they have been used in Kawasaki’s

celebrated proof of the existence of Macauliﬁcations, a weak version of resolution

PREFACE ix

Simis, Ulrich, Vasconcelos and others, have focused on describing Rees algebras

explicitly in terms of generators and relations, a problem known in the applied

mathematics community as ‘implicitation’.

Rees algebras are also the environment in which integral dependence of ideals

and modules can be studied. Integral dependence is a notion of central importance

in modern commutative algebra, and has been the subject of two recent mono-

graphs, one by Vasconcelos and one by Huneke and Swanson. The concept appears

naturally in the study of multiplicities, Hilbert functions, cores and the aforemen-

tioned multiplier ideals. It also ﬁgures prominently in equisingularity theory, an

area particularly well represented in Brazil.

Equisingularity theory strives to providing numerical criteria for when the mem-

bers of a family of analytic sets are ‘similar’ to each other. Such criteria are provided

by the equisingularity conditions of Whitney and Thom. Through work of Gaﬀney,

Kleiman and Teissier these conditions are expressed in terms of integral dependence

of Jacobian modules, which in turn can be translated into numerical conditions on

multiplicities, at least in the case of isolated complete intersection singularities. In

the light of recent progress in multiplicity theory one can hope that these results

could be extended to more general types of singularities.

Combinatorial and computational commutative algebra, Gröbner bases, Hilbert func-

tions. Since the seminal work of Hochster and Stanley in the seventies and eighties,

combinatorial methods have played an important role in commutative algebra. The

objects studied in this area include Stanley-Reisner rings of simplicial complexes,

ideals of graphs, and toric varieties, which, being described by combinatorial data,

are a useful testing group for statements about varieties in general. More recently,

through work of Dickenstein, E. Miller and others, hypergeometric systems of linear

partial diﬀerential equations have entered the realm of combinatorial commutative

algebra as well.

A fundamental tool in computational algebra is Gröbner bases, a device that

reduces arbitrary ideals to ideals generated by monomials, which are combinatorial

objects and thereby more easily accessible computationally. Gröbner bases also

play a role theoretically in the study of Hilbert functions, multiplicities and graded

free resolutions. A recent breakthrough in this area has been the solution, by

Eisenbud and Schreyer, of a longstanding conjecture relating the degree shifts in a

free resolution to the multiplicity.

We end this Preface by expressing our gratitude to the contributors of this

volume for their enthusiasm in the project. The anonymous referees, who worked

very closely with us, also deserve special credit for all their time spent in reading

and correcting the original manuscripts. We are aware of the many demands on

our time that the academic profession requires from each of us! Finally, we wish to

express our heartfelt gratitude to the following institutions for their generous ﬁnan-

cial support: CAPES, CNPq, Department of Energy, through its Oﬃce of Basic

Energy Sciences, FACEPE (State Foundation of Pernambuco), National Science

Foundation (NSF), through the grant NSF-OISE 0819049, Millenium Program,

Third World Academy of Science (TWAS).

Lexington and Notre Dame · June 1, 2011

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List of Mini Courses at PASI 2009

and commutative algebra

David Cox, Amherst College (USA)

Combinatorial commutative algebra

Jürgen Herzog, Universität Duisburg-Essen (Germany)

Tight closure theory and problems in positive characteristic

Craig Huneke, University of Kansas (USA)

Equisingularity theory

Steven Kleiman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA)

Hilbert functions and Hilbert coeﬃcients in local rings

Maria Evelina Rossi, Università di Genova (Italy)

Tropical algebra

Bernd Sturmfels, University of California at Berkeley (USA)

Rees algebras, integral closures and adjoint ideals

Bernd Ulrich, Purdue University (USA)

xi

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List of Talks at PASI 2009

Carolina Araujo, IMPA (Brazil)

Luchezar Avramov, University of Nebraska (USA)

Nicolás Botbol, Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Winfred Bruns, Universität Osnabrück (Germany)

Ciro Ciliberto, Università di Roma (Italy)

Alicia Dickenstein, Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Daniel Erman, University of California at Berkeley (USA)

The Poincaré problem for subschemes invariant under Pfaﬀ ﬁelds on projective

spaces

Eduardo Esteves, IMPA (Brazil)

Hubert Flenner, Universität Bochum (Germany)

Arnaldo Garcia, IMPA (Brazil)

Anthony Geramita, Queen’s University (Canada)

Xavier Gomez Mont, CIMAT (Mexico)

Towards a problem of Wolmer Vasconcelos

Shiro Goto, Meiji University (Japan)

Robin Hartshorne, University of California at Berkeley (USA)

xiii

xiv LIST OF TALKS AT PASI 2009

Melvin Hochster, University of Michigan (USA)

A property of the ring of polynomials over a perfect ﬁeld of characteristic p > 0

Gennady Lyubeznik, University of Minnesota (USA)

Blowup algebras and elimination theory

Claudia Polini, University of Notre Dame (USA)

Toric ideals of graphs and digraphs

Enrique Reyes, Instituto Politecnico Nacional/CINVESTAV (Mexico)

Oil ﬁelds and Hilbert schemes

Lorenzo Robbiano, Università di Genova (Italy)

Fontaine rings and local cohomology

Paul Roberts, University of Utah (USA)

Counting compatibly Frobenius split ideals

Karl Schwede, University of Michigan (USA)

Stanley decompositions of squarefree monomial ideals

YiHuang Shen, Purdue University (USA)

Local cohomology with determinantal support

Anurag Singh, University of Utah (USA)

Growth of Bass numbers

Janet Striuli, Fairﬁeld University (USA)

Polynomial vector ﬁelds with algebraic trajectories

Israel Vainsencher, UFMG (Brazil)

On the ideal theory of graphs (ﬁfteen years later)

Rafael H. Villarreal, Instituto Politecnico Nacional/CINVESTAV

(Mexico)

The a-invariants of normal graded Gorenstein rings and varieties with even

canonical class

Kei-ichi Watanabe, Nihon University (Japan)

PASI 2009 Photos

xv

xvi PASI 2009 PHOTOS

Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

occurs among all modules with the same Hilbert function as M . In this note

we compute the Hilbert depths of the powers of the irrelevant maximal ideal

in a standard graded polynomial ring.

1. Introduction

In [5] and [7] the authors have investigated the relationship between Hilbert

series and depths of graded modules over standard graded and multigraded poly-

nomial rings. In this paper we will consider only the standard graded case, i.e.,

ﬁnitely generated graded modules over polynomial rings R = K[X1 , . . . , Xn ] for

which K is a ﬁeld and deg Xi = 1 for i = 1, . . . , n.

We refer the reader to [4] for the basic theory of Hilbert functions and

series.

Let us just recall that the Hilbert function of a graded R-module M = k∈Z Mk

is given by

H(M, k) = dimK Mk , k ∈ Z,

and that the Laurent series

HM (T ) = H(M, k) T k

k∈Z

is called the Hilbert series of M . The Hilbert series is the Laurent expansion at 0

of a rational function as in (1.1) with aLaurent polynomial in the numerator.

Let us say that a Laurent series k∈Z ak T

k

is positive if ak ≥ 0 for all k.

Hilbert series are positive by deﬁnition, and it is not surprising that positivity is

the central condition in the following theorem that summarizes the results of [7]. It

describes the maximum depth that a graded module with given Hilbert series can

have.

The second author was partially supported by the Austrian Science Foundation FWF, grants

Z130-N13 and S9607-N13, the latter in the framework of the National Research Network “Analytic

Combinatorics and Probabilistic Number Theory”.

2011

c 0000

c Mathematical

American (copyright Society

holder)

1

2 WINFRIED BRUNS, CHRISTIAN KRATTENTHALER, AND JAN ULICZKA

generated graded R-module with Hilbert series

QM (T )

(1.1) HM (T ) = , QM (T ) ∈ Z[T, T −1 ].

(1 − T )n

Then the following numbers coincide:

(1) max{depth N : HM (T ) = HN (T )},

(2) the maximum d such that HM (T ) can be written as

n

Qe (T )

(1.2) HM (T ) = , Qe (T ) ∈ Z[T, T −1 ],

(1 − T )e

e=d

with positive Laurent polynomials Qe (T ),

(3) max{p : (1 − T )p HM (T ) positive},

(4) n − min{q : QM (T )/(1 − T )q positive}.

The crucial point of the proof of Theorem 1.1 is to show that every positive

Laurent series that can be written in the form (1.1) has a representation of type

(1.2) (with d ≥ 0).

In [7], Theorem 1.1(1) is used to deﬁne the Hilbert depth Hdepth M of M ,

whereas [5] bases the deﬁnition of Hilbert depth on (2). In view of the theorem,

this diﬀerence is irrelevant in the standard graded case, but in the multigraded case

the equivalence of 1.1(1) and a suitable generalization of (2) is widely open, and

can be considered as a Hilbert function variant of the Stanley conjecture (see [5] for

this connection). (Note that Theorem 1.1(3) and (4) cannot be transferred easily

to the multigraded situation.)

The Hilbert depth of the maximal ideal m = (X1 , . . . , Xn ) is known:

n

Hdepth m = .

2

This was observed in [7] and will be proved again below. (In fact, by a theorem of

Biró et al. [3], the (multigraded) Stanley depth of m is given by n/2.)

In general, Hilbert depth is hard to compute since one almost inevitably en-

counters alternating expressions whose nonnegativity is to be decided. Not even

for all syzygy modules of m Hilbert depth is known precisely; see [5]. Nevertheless,

the main result of our paper shows that the Hilbert depths of the powers of m can

be determined exactly.

Theorem 1.2. For all n and s one has

n

Hdepth ms = .

s+1

That n/(s + 1) is an upper bound is seen easily. The Hilbert series of ms is

n+s−1 s n + s s+1

T + T + ···

s s+1

Thus the coeﬃcient of T s+1 in (1 − T )p Hms (T ) is

n+s n+s−1

−p ,

s+1 s

and the diﬀerence is negative unless p ≤ (n + s)/(s + 1) = n/(s + 1). That the

condition p ≤ n/(s + 1) is suﬃcient for the positivity of (1 − T )p Hms (T ) will be

shown in the remainder of this paper.

HILBERT DEPTH OF POWERS OF THE MAXIMAL IDEAL 3

The ﬁrst step in the proof is the computation of (1 − T )r Hms (T ) since, in view

of Theorem 1.1(3), we want to ﬁnd the maximum r for which this series is positive.

Proposition 1.3. For any integer 0 < r < n, we have

n+s−1 s

(1.3) (1 − T )r Hms (T ) = T

s

⎡ ⎤

n + k − 1 − r

r+s−1

s−1

r

n+j−1 ⎦ k

+ ⎣ + (−1)k−1 (−1)j T

k j=0

k − j j

k=s+1

∞

n+k−1−r k

+ T .

k

k=r+s

The critical term in (1.3) is the one in the middle row. In the next section

we will ﬁnd an alternative expression for it. The positivity of this expression for

r ≤ n/(s+1) will be stated in Proposition 3.1. Its proof is the subject of Section 3.

Acknowledgement. We are indebted to Jiayuan Lin for pointing out a gap in the

proof of Lemma 3.5 in the ﬁrst version of this article, for providing an argument

that ﬁxes this gap, and for giving us the permission to reproduce this argument

here.

2. Binomial identities

One of the ingredients in the proof of Theorem 1.2 via Proposition 3.1 in the

next section are two alternative expressions for the sum over j in the critical term in

(1.3). We provide two proofs: a direct one using well-known identities for binomial

and hypergeometric series, and a — perhaps more illuminating — algebraic one

which shows that the three expressions give the Hilbert function of a certain module.

Lemma 2.1. For all positive integers n, s, r, k, we have

k

k−j n + j − 1 r

(−1)

j=s

j k−j

s−1

(2.1) = + (−1) (−1)

k j=0

k−j j

r

(2.2) = + (−1)k+s .

k t=1

k−s s−1

Proof. We start with the direct proof. Using the short notation T k f (T )

for the coeﬃcient of T k in the power series f (z), we have

∞

k

n+j−1 r n+j−1 j

(−1)k−j = T k (1 − T )r T

j=s

j k−j j=s

j

⎛ ⎞

s−1

k n + j − 1

= T (1 − T )r ⎝(1 − T )−n − T j⎠

j=0

j

4 WINFRIED BRUNS, CHRISTIAN KRATTENTHALER, AND JAN ULICZKA

s−1

n+j−1 j

= T k (1 − T )r−n − T k (1 − T )r T

j=0

j

s−1

n+k−r−1 r n+j−1

= − (−1)k−j ,

k j=0

k−j j

In order to see the equality between (2.1) and (2.2), we have to prove

s−1

r

(2.3) (−1)j = (−1)s+1 .

j=0

k−j j t=1

k−s s−1

In the sum on the left-hand side, we reverse the order of summation (that is, we

replace j by s−j −1), and we rewrite the resulting sum in hypergeometric notation.

Thus, we obtain that the left-hand side of (2.3) equals

s+1 r n+s−2 1, 1 − s, 1 + k − r − s

(−1) 3 F2 ;1 .

k−s+1 s−1 2 − n − s, 2 + k − s

Next we apply the transformation formula (see [2, Ex. 7, p. 98])

a, b, c Γ(e) Γ(d + e − a − b − c) a, d − b, d − c

3 F2 ;1 = 3 F2 ;1

d, e Γ(e − a) Γ(d + e − b − c) d, d + e − b − c

to the 3 F2 -series, to obtain

s+1 (n)s−1 (−k + r + s)1+k−s 1 − k − n + r, 1, 1 − n

(−1) 3 F2 ;1 .

(1 − n + r) (1)k−s (1)s−1 2 − n − s, 2 − n + r

Now we apply the transformation formula ([6, Eq. (3.1.1)])

a, b, −N (e − b)N −N, b, d − a

3 F2 ;1 = 3 F2 ;1

d, e (e)N d, 1 + b − e − N

where N is a nonnegative integer. After some simpliﬁcation, one sees that the

resulting expression agrees with the right-hand side of (2.3).

Now we discuss the algebraic proof. We consider the u-th syzygy M of the

residue class ring S = R/(X1 , . . . , Xr ) of R = K[X1 , . . . , Xn ]. There are two exact

sequences from which the Hilbert function of M can be computed since S is resolved

by the Koszul complex of the sequence X1 , . . . , Xr . We simply break the Koszul

complex into two parts, inserting M as the kernel or cokernel, respectively, at the

appropriate place:

u−1

0→M → F (−u + 1) → · · · → F → R → S → 0, F = Rr ,

r

r−1

u

0→ F (−r) → F (−r + 1) → · · · → F (−r) → M → 0.

The computation of the Euler characteristic of the ﬁrst complex in degree k yields

the equation

u−1

n−r+k−1 n+k−i−1

i r

H(M, k) = (−1) u

− (−1)

n−r−1 i=0

i k−i

HILBERT DEPTH OF POWERS OF THE MAXIMAL IDEAL 5

⎛ ⎞

k

u⎝ n−r+k−1 r n+j−1 ⎠

(2.4) = (−1) − (−1)k−j ,

n−r−1 k−j j

j=k−u+1

where we pass from the ﬁrst to the second line by the substitution j = k − i. In

the same degree we obtain for the second complex

k−u

l r n+k−u−l−1

H(M, k) = (−1)

u+l n−1

l=0

k−u

k−u j r n+j−1

(2.5) = (−1) (−1) ,

j=0

k−j j

where we have substituted the summation index l by k −u−j in the second line. On

the other hand, we can also compute the Hilbert function by [5, Proposition 3.7].

To this end, we ﬁx r. For n = r, loc. cit. then yields

r

r−t r−t+k−u

H(M, k) = .

t=1

u−1 k−u

the dimensions of the symmetric powers of K r−t by those of K n−t ; therefore

r

r−t n−t+k−u

(2.6) H(M, k) =

t=1

u−1 k−u

and (2.5), while equating (2.5) and (2.6) leads to (2.2).

In view of Proposition 1.3 and Lemma 2.1, for the proof of Theorem 1.2 we have

to show the inequality that we state below in Proposition 3.1. Its proof requires

several auxiliary lemmas, provided for in Lemmas 3.3–3.5. The actual proof of

Proposition 3.1 (and, thus, of Theorem 1.2) is then given at the end of this section.

Proposition 3.1. Let n and s be positive integers, and let r = n/(s + 1).

Then, for all k = s + 1, s + 2, . . . , s + r − 1, we have

r

(3.1) ≥ .

k t=1

k−s s−1

In the following, we make frequent use of the classical digamma function ψ(x),

which is deﬁned to be the logarithmic derivative of the gamma function Γ(x), i.e.,

ψ(x) = Γ (x)/Γ(x).

Lemma 3.3. For all real (!) numbers n, k, s, t with n, t ≥ 1, s ≥ 2, s + 2 ≤ k ≤

r + s − t − 1, we have

ψ(n + k − r) − ψ(k + 1) > ψ(r − t − k + s + 1) − ψ(k − s + 1),

where, as before, r = n/(s + 1).

6 WINFRIED BRUNS, CHRISTIAN KRATTENTHALER, AND JAN ULICZKA

(3.2) ψ(n + k − r) − ψ(r − t − k + s + 1) + ψ(k − s + 1) − ψ(k + 1) > 0

for the range of parameters indicated in the statement of the lemma. Since ψ(x)

is monotone increasing for x > 0 (this follows e.g. from [1, Eq. (1.2.14)]), the left-

hand side of (3.2) is monotone increasing in t. It therefore suﬃces to prove (3.2)

for t = 1, that is, it suﬃces to prove

(3.3) ψ(n + k − r) − ψ(r − k + s) + ψ(k − s + 1) − ψ(k + 1) > 0.

Next we claim that the left-hand side of (3.3) is monotone increasing in k. To

see this, we diﬀerentiate the left-hand side of (3.3) with respect to k, to obtain

(3.4) ψ (n + k − r) + ψ (r − k + s) + ψ (k − s + 1) − ψ (k + 1).

Since ψ(x) is monotone increasing, the ﬁrst two terms in (3.4) are positive. More-

over, ψ(x) is a concave function for x > 0 (this follows also from [1, Eq. (1.2.14)]),

whence ψ (k − s + 1) − ψ (k + 1) > 0. This proves that the expression in (3.4) is

positive, that is, that the derivative with respect to k of the left-hand side of (3.3)

is positive. This establishes our claim.

As a result of the above argument, we see that it suﬃces to prove (3.3) for the

smallest k, that is, for k = s + 2. In other words, it suﬃces to prove

(3.5) ψ(n + s − r + 2) − ψ(r − 2) + ψ(3) − ψ(s + 3) > 0.

We now investigate the behaviour of the left-hand side of (3.5) as a function of

n, which we denote by f (n) (ignoring the dependence of the expression on s at this

point). Clearly, as long as n stays strictly between successive multiples of s + 1,

r = n/(s+1) does not change, and f (n) is monotone increasing in n in this range.

However, if n changes from n = (s + 1), say, to something just marginally larger,

then r jumps from to + 1, thereby changing the value of f discontinuously. The

limit value limn↓(s+1) f (n) is given by

lim f (n) = ψ((s + 1) + s − + 1) − ψ( − 1) + ψ(3) − ψ(s + 3).

n↓(s+1)

By the argument above, we know that f (n) stays above this value for (s + 1) <

n ≤ ( + 1)(s + 1). Let us examine the diﬀerence of two such limit values:

lim f (n) − lim f (n) = ψ((s + 1) + s − + 1) − ψ( − 1)

n↓(s+1) n↓(+1)(s+1)

1

(3.6) = ψ(( + 1)s + 1) − ψ(( + 1)s + s + 1) + ,

−1

where we used [1, Eq. (1.2.15) with n = 1] to obtain the last line. By [1,

Eq. (1.2.12)], we have ψ (1) = −γ, where γ is the Euler–Mascheroni constant.

Making use of the integral representation

1

1 − xa−1

ψ(a) = −γ + dx, (a − 1) > 0

0 1−x

(see [1, Theorem 1.6.1(ii) after change of variables x = e−z ]), we estimate

1 (+1)s

x − x(+1)s+s

ψ(( + 1)s + 1) − ψ(( + 1)s + s + 1) = − dx

0 1−x

HILBERT DEPTH OF POWERS OF THE MAXIMAL IDEAL 7

1

1 − xs

=− x(+1)s dx

0 1−x

1

≥ −s x(+1)s dx

0

s 1 1

≥− >− >− .

( + 1)s + 1 +1 −1

This shows that the diﬀerence in (3.6) is (strictly) negative, that is, that the left-

hand side of (3.5) becomes smaller when we “jump” from (slightly above) n =

(s + 1) to (slightly above) n = ( + 1)(s + 1), while the values in between stay

above the limit value from the right at n ↓ ( + 1)(s + 1). Therefore, it suﬃces to

prove (3.5) in the limit n → ∞. By recalling the asymptotic behaviour

1

(3.7) ψ(x) = log x + O , as x → ∞,

x

of the digamma function (cf. [1, Cor. 1.4.5]), we see that this limit of the left-hand

side of (3.5) is log s + ψ(3) − ψ(s + 3), so that it remains to prove

(3.8) log s + ψ(3) − ψ(s + 3) > 0.

Also here, we look at the derivative of the left-hand side with respect to s:

1

− ψ (s + 3).

s

By [1, Eq. (1.2.14)], this can be rewritten in the form

∞

1 1

− .

s m=0 (s + m + 3)2

The inﬁnite sum can be interpreted as the integral of the step function

1

x →

x2

between x = s + 2 and x = ∞. The function being bounded above by the function

x → 1/x2 , we conclude

∞

1 1 dx 1 1

− ψ (s + 3) > − 2

= − > 0.

s s s+2 x s s + 2

In other words, the derivative with respect to s of the left-hand side of (3.8) is

always positive, hence it suﬃces to verify (3.8) for s = 2:

1 4

log 2 + ψ(3) − ψ(5) = log 2 − − > 0,

3 5

where we used again [1, Eq.(1.2.15)].

This completes the proof of the lemma.

Lemma 3.4. Let the real numbers n, k0 , s be given with n ≥ 1, s ≥ 2, s + 2 ≤

k0 ≤ r + s − t − 1. Suppose that (3.1) holds for this choice of n, k0 , s. Then it also

holds for k in an interval [k0 , k0 + ε) for a suitable ε > 0.

Proof. We extend the binomial coeﬃcients in (3.1) to real values of k, by

using gamma functions. To be precise, we extend the left-hand side of (3.1) to

Γ(n + k − r)

,

Γ(k + 1) (n − r − 1)!

8 WINFRIED BRUNS, CHRISTIAN KRATTENTHALER, AND JAN ULICZKA

r

(r − t)! n−t+s−1

.

t=1

Γ(k − s + 1) Γ(r − t − k + s + 1) s−1

In abuse of notation, we shall still use binomial coeﬃcient notation, even if we allow

real values of k.

We now compute the derivative at k = k0 on both sides of (3.1). On the

left-hand side, this is

n + k0 − r − 1

ψ(n + k0 − r) − ψ(k0 + 1) ,

k0

while on the right-hand side this is

r

r−t n−t+s−1

ψ(r − t − k0 + s + 1) − ψ(k0 − s + 1) .

t=1

k0 − s s−1

By using Lemma 3.3, we can estimate the derivative of the right-hand side as

follows:

r

r−t n−t+s−1

ψ(r − t − k0 + s + 1) − ψ(k0 − s + 1)

t=1

k0 − s s−1

r

r−t n−t+s−1

< ψ(n + k0 − r) − ψ(k0 + 1)

t=1

k0 − s s−1

n + k0 − r − 1

< ψ(n + k0 − r) − ψ(k0 + 1) .

k0

The last expression is however exactly the derivative of the left-hand side of (3.1).

Hence, the left-hand side of (3.1) must also exceed the right-hand side in a small

“neighbourhood” [k0 , ε) to the right of k0 . This proves the lemma.

Lemma 3.5. For all positive integers n and s with n > 3s + 3 and s ≥ 2, we

have

(3.9) 2 ≥ −r + ,

s+2 s+2 s+1 2 s

where, as before, r = n/(s + 1).

Proof. We proceed in a spirit similar to the one in the proof of Lemma 3.4.

We regard both sides of (3.9) as functions in the real variable n. The reader should

note that the assumption that n > 3s + 3 implies that r ≥ 4, a fact that will be

used frequently without further mention.

Let ﬁrst n be strictly between (s + 1) and ( + 1)(s + 1), for some ﬁxed non-

negative integer . Then r = + 1, so that both sides of (3.9) become polynomial

(whence continuous) functions in n. The derivative of the left-hand side of (3.9)

with respect to n (in the interval ((s + 1), ( + 1)(s + 1))) equals

n+s−r+1

(3.10) 2 ψ(n + s − r + 2) − ψ(n − r) ,

s+2

while the derivative of the right-hand side of (3.9) with respect to n equals

2n + 2s + 1 − r(s + 2) (n + s − 1)!

(3.11) ψ(n + s) − ψ(n) + N (n, s),

N (n, s) (s + 2)! (n − 1)!

HILBERT DEPTH OF POWERS OF THE MAXIMAL IDEAL 9

where

r

N (n, s) = (n + s)(n + s + 1) − r(n + s)(s + 2) + (s + 1)(s + 2).

2

We claim that1

2n + 2s + 1 − r(s + 2)

(3.12) ψ(n + s − r + 2) − ψ(n − r) > ψ(n + s) − ψ(n) + .

N (n, s)

This would imply that, provided (3.9) holds for some n in the (closed) interval

[(s + 1), ( + 1)(s + 1)], then the derivative of the left-hand side of (3.9) would be

larger than the derivative of the right-hand side of (3.9) at this n, and hence the

function on the left-hand side of (3.9) would grow faster than the right-hand side of

(3.9) for n in ((s + 1), ( + 1)(s + 1)]. In turn, this would mean that it would suﬃce

to show the validity of (3.9) for n ↓ (s + 1) (that is, for n = (s + 1) and r = + 1),

to conclude that (3.9) holds for the whole interval ((s + 1), ( + 1)(s + 1)].

We next embark on the proof of (3.12). Using [1, Eq. (1.2.15)], we see that

s+1

1 1 s−1

ψ(n + s − r + 2) − ψ(n − r) − ψ(n + s) − ψ(n) = −

i=0

n − r + i i=0 n + i

s−1

1 1 1 1

= + + −

n − r n − r + 1 i=0 n − r + i + 2 n + i

2 1 s−1

r−2

= + +

n − r + 1 (n − r)(n − r + 1) i=0 (n − r + i + 2)(n + i)

2 1 s−1

r−2

> + +

n − r + 1 (n − r)(n − r + 1) i=0 (n + i − 1)(n + i)

s−1

2 1 1 1

> + + (r − 2) −

n − r + 1 (n − r)(n − r + 1) i=0

n+i−1 n+i

2 1 1 1

> + + (r − 2) −

n − r + 1 (n − r)(n − r + 1) n−1 n+s−1

2 1 (r − 2)s

> + +

n − r + 1 (n − r)(n − r + 1) (n − 1)(n + s − 1)

2 (r − 2)s + 1

> + .

n − r + 1 (n − 1)(n + s − 1)

Hence, if we are able to prove that

2 (r − 2)s + 1 2n + 2s + 1 − r(s + 2)

(3.13) + ≥ ,

n − r + 1 (n − 1)(n + s − 1) N (n, s)

the inequality (3.12) will follow immediately. We now claim that

(3.14) (r − 1)N (n, s) ≥ (n − 1)(n + s)

and

(3.15) 2N (n, s) + ((r − 2)s + 1)s ≥ (n − r + 1)(2n + 2s + 1 − r(s + 2)).

1Our original proof had a weaker inequality at this point, which however turns out to be

not suﬃcient. This gap was pointed out by Jiayuan Lin. In addition, he provided the following

argument establishing (3.12), and he kindly gave us the permission to reproduce it here.

10 WINFRIED BRUNS, CHRISTIAN KRATTENTHALER, AND JAN ULICZKA

If, for the moment, we assume the validity of (3.14) and (3.15), then we infer

+ = 2+

n − r + 1 (n − 1)(n + s − 1) n−r+1 (n − 1)(n + s − 1)

≥ 2+

n−r+1 (r − 1)N (n, s)

≥ 2+

n−r+1 N (n, s)

2n + 2s + 1 − r(s + 2)

≥ ,

N (n, s)

which is exactly (3.13). Here we used (3.14) to obtain the second line, the simple

fact that

n−r+1 (r − 1)(s + 1) − r + 1

≥ =s

r−1 r−1

to obtain the third line, and (3.15) to obtain the last line. In summary, (3.14) and

(3.15) together would imply (3.13), and hence (3.12).

To see (3.14), we rewrite it explicitly in the form

r

(3.16) (r −1) (s+1)(s+2) ≥ (n+s) n−1−(r −1)(n+s+1)+r(r −1)(s+2) .

2

We write n = r(s + 1) − n0 , with 0 ≤ n0 ≤ s. If we substitute this in the inequality

above, then the right-hand side of (3.16) turns into

r(s + 1) + s − n0 r(s + 1) − 1 − (r − 1)(r + 1)(s + 1) + (r − 2)n0 + r(r − 1)(s + 2) .

We consider this as a quadratic function in n0 . It has its unique maximum at

r 2 s − rs − r − 3s 3rs − r − 3s 2rs − 4s

≥ ≥ = s.

2(r − 2) 2(r − 2) 2(r − 2)

It is therefore monotone increasing on the interval [0, s] and consequently attains

its maximal value on the interval [0, s] at n0 = s. So it suﬃces to verify (3.16) at

n0 = s. After simpliﬁcation, this turns out to be equivalent to

r

(s + 1)(s(r − 3) − 2) ≥ 0,

2

which, by our assumptions on r and s, is trivially true.

To see (3.15), we again substitute r(s + 1) − n0 for n (with 0 ≤ n0 ≤ s) to

obtain the equivalent inequality

rs(r − 3) + s − 1 + (rs − 2s + 1)n0 > 0,

which is trivially true by our assumptions on r, s, and n0 .

Altogether, we have now established (3.12). Hence, the conclusion of the para-

graph following (3.12) that it suﬃces to prove (3.9) for n = (s + 1) and r = + 1

holds as well.

We substitute n = (s + 1) and r = + 1 in (3.9):

( + 1)s ( + 1)(s + 1)

2 ≥

s+2 s+2

( + 1)(s + 1) − 1 + 1 ( + 1)(s + 1) − 2

− ( + 1) + ,

s+1 2 s

HILBERT DEPTH OF POWERS OF THE MAXIMAL IDEAL 11

(( + 1)s − 1)! 1 (( + 1)(s + 1) − 2)! ((s + 1) − 2)

2 ≥ .

(s − 2)! 2 ((s + 1) − 1)!

We shall actually establish the stronger inequality

(( + 1)s − 1)! 1 (( + 1)(s + 1) − 2)!

(3.17) 2 ≥ .

(s − 2)! 2 ((s + 1) − 2)!

In order to do so, we regard the functions in (3.17) again as functions in real

variables, more precisely, as functions in the real variable , while we think of s as

being ﬁxed.

We ﬁrst verify that (3.17) holds for the smallest possible value of = r − 1,

that is, for = 3. For that value of , the inequality (3.17) becomes

(4s − 1)! 1 (4s + 2)!

2 ≥ ,

(3s − 2)! 2 (3s + 1)!

or, equivalently,

4(3s + 1)3s(3s − 1) ≥ (4s + 2)(4s + 1)4s,

which is indeed true for s ≥ 2.

Next we compute the derivative of both sides of (3.17) with respect to . On

the left-hand side, we obtain

(( + 1)s − 1)!

(3.18) 2s (ψ(( + 1)s) − ψ(s − 1)) ,

(s − 2)!

while on the right-hand side we obtain

s+1 (( + 1)(s + 1) − 2)!

(3.19) (ψ(( + 1)(s + 1) − 1) − ψ((s + 1) − 1)) .

2 ((s + 1) − 2)!

Using [1, Eq. (1.2.15)], it is straightforward to see that

ψ(( + 1)s) − ψ(s − 1) > ψ(( + 1)(s + 1) − 1) − ψ((s + 1) − 1).

s+1

Furthermore, we have 2s > 2 , so that

s+1

2s (ψ(( + 1)s) − ψ(s − 1)) > (ψ(( + 1)(s + 1) − 1) − ψ((s + 1) − 1))

2

for all ≥ 3. Since we already know that (3.17) holds for = 3, it then follows that

the derivative of the left-hand side of (3.17) (see (3.18)) is always larger than the

derivative of the right-hand side (see (3.19)). This establishes (3.17) and completes

the proof of the lemma.

Proof of Proposition 3.1. The assertion is true for k = s + 1 because of

the choice of r. By comparing (2.1) and (2.2) in Lemma 2.1, the assertion for

k = s + 2, which reads

r

≥ ,

s+2 t=1

2 s−1

can be rewritten as

s+2

≥− + (−1)s−j+2 ,

s+2 s+2 j=s

j s−j+2

12 WINFRIED BRUNS, CHRISTIAN KRATTENTHALER, AND JAN ULICZKA

or, equivalently, as

2 ≥ −r + .

s+2 s+2 s 2 s

Remembering Remark 3.2, we see that it is enough to show this for r > 3, that

is, for n > 3s + 3. Lemma 3.5 shows that the above inequality indeed holds for

that range of n. Lemma 3.4 then implies that the assertion must be true for all

k ≥ s + 2.

References

[1] G. E. Andrews, R. A. Askey and R. Roy, Special functions, Encyclopedia of Math. And Its

Applications, vol. 71, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999.

[2] W. N. Bailey, Generalized hypergeometric series, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,

1935.

[3] C. Biró, D. M. Howard, M. T. Keller, W. T. Trotter and S. J. Young, Interval partitions and

Stanley depth, J. Combin. Theory Ser. A 117 (2010), 475–482.

[4] W. Bruns and J. Herzog, Cohen-Macaulay rings, rev. ed., Cambridge Studies in Advanced

Mathematics 39, Cambridge University Press, 1998.

[5] W. Bruns, C. Krattenthaler and J. Uliczka, Stanley decompositions and Hilbert depth in the

Koszul complex, J. Commut. Algebra 2 (2010), 327–359.

[6] G. Gasper and M. Rahman, Basic hypergeometric series, second edition, Encyclopedia of

Math. And Its Applications, vol. 96, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004.

[7] J. Uliczka, Remarks on Hilbert series of graded modules over polynomioal rings, Manuscr.

Math. 132 (2010), 159–168.

E-mail address: wbruns@uos.de

Austria

E-mail address: Christian.Krattenthaler@univie.ac.at

E-mail address: Jan.Uliczka@uos.de

Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

polynomial ring k[x, y](x,y) where k is an inﬁnite ﬁeld. The goal of this paper is

to determine a suﬃcient condition under which an ideal containing xa y b +xc y d

is a reduction of an ideal containing xa y b and xc y d . The main theorem states

and provides a means to verify a condition that implies the integral closure of

an ideal is a monomial ideal. As a corollary, we form an algorithm to obtain

a minimal reduction of an arbitrary non-principal monomial ideal. We also

demonstrate an application of the main results on the monomial ideals dis-

cussed in this paper to the computation of the Buchsbaum-Rim multiplicity

of a module under certain conditions.

Let R be a commutative ring with identity and let J ⊆ I be ideals of R. I is

integral over J, if for every element u in I, there exist elements ai in J i such that

un + a1 un−1 + a2 un−2 + · · · + an−1 u + an = 0.

J is a reduction of I, if I m+1 = JI m for some positive integer m. When R is

Noetherian, these two deﬁnitions are equivalent; in other words, I is integral over

J if and only if J is a reduction of I (c.f. [RS, 1.1]). The reduction of ideals was

ﬁrst introduced by Northcott and Rees [NR] and Rees [R] extended the notion

to modules. Since then the reduction of ideals and modules have been discussed

extensively.

It is known that the ideals with reduction relation have the same integral clo-

sure and that they, if m-primary, have the same Hilbert-Samuel multiplicity. The

main aim of this paper is to discuss the reductions of monomial ideals in a two-

dimensional localized polynomial ring R = k[x, y](x,y) over an inﬁnite ﬁeld. In

particular, for a given ideal I in R, there is a monomial ideal I ∗ naturally arising

from I (see deﬁnition below). Theorem 3.3 provides an algorithm to determine if

1991 Mathematics Subject Classiﬁcation. Primary 13B22, Secondary 13A30, 13B25, 13F20.

Key words and phrases. monomidal ideals, reductions, minimal reductions, integral closures,

Hilbert Samuel multiplicity, monomial modules, Buchsbaum-Rim multiplicity.

The ﬁrst author was partially supported by FRCE Type B Grant #48780 and Early Career

Investigator’s Grant #C61368 of Central Michigan University.

1 2011

c American Mathematical Society

13

14

2 C-Y. JEAN CHAN AND JUNG-CHEN LIU

I is a reduction of I ∗ . This is desirable since the integral closure and the Hilbert-

Samuel multiplicity (if deﬁned) both have graphical interpretations. So one can

easily obtain this information for I if I ∗ is integral over I.

For the convenience of discussions in the latter sections, we elaborate here the

graph associated to a monomial ideal and some relevant information one can read

from it. Note that each monomial in a localized polynomial ring k[x1 , . . . , xd ](x1 ,...,xd )

over a ﬁeld k corresponds to a point in Zd . If a is a monomial ideal in the above

local ring, we deﬁne the graph of a, commonly called the Newton polyhedron, to be

the set

Ga = {(a1 , . . . , ad ) | ai ≥ αi ∀i for some xα

1 · · · xd ∈ a} ⊂ R .

1 αd d

Then, the integral closure of a is again a monomial ideal (c.f. [SH, 1.4.2]) and is

generated by those monomials corresponding to the integral lattice points in the

convex hull of the graph of a (c.f. [SH, 1.4.6]). If we further assume that a is

m-primary where m is the unique maximal ideal in k[x1 , . . . , xd ](x1 ,...,xd ) , then the

Hilbert-Samuel multiplicity is

(1.1) e(a) = d! × the volume of the complement of the convex hull of Ga in Rd≥0 .

In this paper, we assume that R is two-dimensional, i.e., R = k[x, y](x,y) . Let

I be the ideal generated by fi = μij xaij y bij with μij = 0 and i = 1, . . . , m.

All the monomials occurring in the fi for all i together generate a monomial ideal,

denoted I ∗ . A simple exercise shows that such monomial ideal is independent from

the choices of the generating set {fi }. Indeed I ∗ is the smallest monomial ideal

containing I (see also Remark 3.1). We focus on ﬁnding a suﬃcient condition under

which I becomes a reduction of I ∗ . In such case, the integral closure and, if I is

m-primary, the Hilbert-Samuel multiplicity of I can be obtained straightforwardly

from the graph of I ∗ as stated in the previous paragraph.

A reduction of an ideal is minimal if it is minimal with respect to inclusion.

In a Noetherian local ring (R, m), a reduction b of an ideal a is minimal if b is

generated by elements where is the analytic spread of a (i.e., the dimension of

the ﬁber cone of a) (c.f. [SH, 8.3.5]). It is also known that ht a ≤ ≤ dim R

(c.f. [SH, 8.3.9]). Moreover when the residue ﬁeld is inﬁnite, then a reduction b

is minimal if and only if b is minimally generated by elements (c.f. [SH, 8.3.5,

8.3.7]). In a Noetherian unique factorization local domain of dimension d with

d > 1, all non-principal ideals have analytic spread 2 ≤ ≤ d. (An easy exercise

shows that principal ideals in an UFD are integrally closed.) Most examples in this

paper are taken from k[x, y](x,y) which is a unique factorization local domain.

In particular, if a is an m-primary ideal in a local ring of dimension d with

inﬁnite residue ﬁeld, then a reduction b of a is minimal if and only if b is gener-

ated by d elements. In principal, b can be chosen by taking d “general enough”

combinations on the generators of a. Example 4.4, however, shows that false com-

binations exist easily. Let R = k[x, y](x,y) with |k| = ∞. Deducing from the main

result, Theorem 3.3, we give an algorithm of obtaining a minimal reduction of an

arbitrary non-principal monomial ideal, not necessarily m-primary (Corollary 3.7).

It was brought to our attention that V. C. Quiñonez has also achieved the same

result as Corollary 3.7 in her research report [Q]. In Subsection 4.2, we brieﬂy

discuss the main theorem in [Q] and give a proof using Lemma 3.4

A NOTE ON REDUCTIONS OF MONOMIAL IDEALS IN k[x, y](x,y) 15

3

ideal b generated by the monomials corresponding to the vertices of the graph Ga

of a is a reduction of a. Singla [S, 2.1] proves that such b is the unique minimal

monomial reduction of a, where b being a minimal monomial reduction means

that no monomial ideal properly contained in b is a reduction of a. Note that

the minimal monomial reduction of a non-principal monomial ideal a is almost

never a minimal reduction unless Ga contains only two vertices. For example, for

the ideal a1 = (xy 5 , x2 y 4 , x3 y), the vertices of Ga1 are (1, 5) and (3, 1), and so

the ideal b1 = (xy 5 , x3 y) is the unique minimal monomial reduction as well as a

minimal reduction of a1 since b1 is generated by two elements. In fact from the

discussion in the previous paragraphs, every non-principal ideal in R = k[x, y](x,y)

has analytic spread two, so a reduction is minimal if and only if it is generated by

exactly two elements. For the ideal a2 = (xy 5 , x2 y 2 , x3 y), a2 is its own minimal

monomial reduction by inspecting Ga2 but not a minimal reduction of itself since a2

is minimally generated by three elements. On the other hand, b2 = (xy 5 +x3 y, x2 y 2 )

is a reduction of a2 by Corollary 3.7 and is not a minimal monomial reduction.

In [S] Singla studies monomial reductions of monomial ideals in the polynomial

ring k[x1 , x2 , . . . , xn ] and proves that every monomial ideal has a unique minimal

monomial reduction. In this paper we intend to ﬁnd, for a non-monomial ideal a,

conditions that guarantee the existence of a monomial ideal which is integral over

a.

The notion of the Hilbert-Samuel multiplicity of an m-primary ideal is general-

ized to a module satisfying certain conditions by Buchsbaum and Rim in 1960s [BR].

It has attracted attention of both algebraists and geometers. Many nice properties

of m-primary ideals are then extended to modules, especially those in the reduc-

tion theory (see Section 2). Buchsbaum-Rim multiplicity is also used to classify

singularities of certain types (c.f. [G]).

Attempting to generalize the computation in (1.1) to Buchsbaum-Rim multi-

plicity, Jones [J] considers R = k[x, y](x,y) and proves that the Buchsbaum-Rim

multiplicity of so-called monomial modules (see deﬁnition in Section 5) of lower

rank has a graphical computation. In particular, Jones breaks her computations

into seven cases and for each case she gives a graphical interpretation. We present

a formula that summarizes the seven individual cases in [J]. The multiplicity for-

mula presented in this paper should be viewed as an improvement of the result in

[J] instead of recovering. In fact, our formula is achieved by using Theorem 3.3,

Corollary 3.7, and some computations in [J].

The paper is arranged as follows. Section 2 gives deﬁnitions of notation and

reviews of some propositions that will be applied often. Section 3 proves the main

result in monomial ideals. The proof of Theorem 3.3 utilizing properties on ﬁber

cones is broken down to several lemmas since each lemma has its own independent

interest. Section 4 mainly consists of examples and an application of Lemma 3.4 to

Quiñonez’s main theorem in [Q]. Indeed we suggest the readers ﬁrst to look at the

examples in Section 4 before jumping into the proof of Theorem 3.3. The examples

in Section 4 are meant to provide better intuition for the condition in Theorem 3.3

which is very straightforward once visualized. Also we wish to point out that the

condition in Theorem 3.3 is a suﬃcient condition. It is not clear, at least to the

authors, whether or not it is possible to establish a necessary condition. These are

discussed in Section 4 as well.

16

4 C-Y. JEAN CHAN AND JUNG-CHEN LIU

multiplicity of a module and the Hilbert-Samuel multiplicity of certain ideals related

to the module. The discussion in this section leads to the formula in Theorem 5.3

that is also proved in our joint work with B. Ulrich [CLU] in a more general setting.

Here the authors would like to provide the original idea and the motivation of how

such result is formulated using the reduction theory on monomial ideals discussed

in Section 3. We refer the readers to [CLU] for more generalized results.

Acknowledgement. We would like to express our gratitude to William Heinzer

for helpful discussions on the reduction of ideals and for his endless encouragement

throughout the course of writing this paper.

Assume R is a Noetherian local ring with maximal ideal m. Given an ideal a

of R, there are two rings that are used frequently in the study of reduction, namely

the Rees algebra R[at] of a and the ﬁber cone R[at]/mR[at] of a. It can be seen

directly from the deﬁnition that a subideal b ⊆ a is a reduction if and only if

the Rees algebra R[at] of a is integral over the Rees algebra R[bt] of b. In fact,

a similar result holds for their ﬁber cones, i.e., a subideal b ⊆ a is a reduction if

and only if the ﬁber cone of a is integral over that of b via the homomorphism

induced by the inclusion R[bt] ⊆ R[at] (c.f. [SH, 8.2.4]). In the proof of our main

result Theorem 3.3, we use this equivalent condition on the ﬁber cones to verify the

reduction relation.

If a is an m-primary ideal of R, then there exists a polynomial Pa (n) of degree

d, where d is the dimension of R, such that Pa (n) = (R/an ) for all large n. This is

d

called the Hilbert-Samuel polynomial and the coeﬃcient of nd! is called the Hilbert-

Samuel multiplicity, denoted e(a). If we further assume that R is Cohen-Macaulay

with inﬁnite residue ﬁeld, then given an m-primary ideal a, it is known that an m-

primary subideal b of a is a reduction of a if and only if e(a) = e(b). Furthermore,

if b is a minimal reduction of a, then

(2.1) e(a) = e(b) = (R/b).

Let F be a free R-module of rank r and let M be a submodule of F with

(F/M ) < ∞. Buchsbaum and Rim [BR, 3.4] prove that there exists a poly-

nomial λ(n) such that for all large n ∈ N, λ(n) = (Sn (F )/Rn (M )), where

S(F ) = ⊕n≥0 Sn (F ) is the symmetric algebra of F and R(M ) is the R-subalgebra

of S(F ) generated by the image of M in S1 (F ). It is also proved in [BR, 3.4] that

nd+r−1

the polynomial λ(n) has degree d + r − 1 unless M = F . The coeﬃcient of (d+r−1)!

in this polynomial is deﬁned to be the Buchsbaum-Rim multiplicity br(M ). It is a

positive integer whenever M = F and only depends on F/M [BR, 3.3]. Note that

if r = 1 and M = F , then M is an m-primary ideal of R and br(M ) = e(M ), so

the Buchsbaum-Rim multiplicity can be viewed as a generalization of the Hilbert-

Samuel multiplicity.

Let U be a submodule of M . We write R(U ) to be the R-subalgebra of S(F )

generated by U . We say that U is a reduction of M if R(M ) is integral over R(U ) as

rings. A free module has no proper reduction. Similar to the ideal case, a minimal

reduction of M is a reduction that is minimal with respect to inclusion. When

M = F and the residue ﬁeld of R is inﬁnite, a reduction U of M is minimal if and

A NOTE ON REDUCTIONS OF MONOMIAL IDEALS IN k[x, y](x,y) 17

5

only if its minimal number of generators is d + r − 1 (c.f. [BR, 3.5], [R, 2.1 and

2.2], [EHU, page 707]).

Reductions of modules are closely related to Buchsbaum-Rim multiplicities. If

U is a reduction of M then br(U ) = br(M ) [KT, 6.3(i)], and the converse holds

in case R is universally catenary and equidimensional with d > 0 (c.f. [KR, 4.11],

[KT, 6.3(ii)], [K, 2.2], [SUV1, 5.5]). Furthermore, similar to the result (2.1) in

ideals, if R is a Cohen-Macaulay local ring with inﬁnite residue ﬁeld and if U is a

minimal reduction of M , then

(2.2) br(M ) = br(U ) = (F/U )

(c.f. [BR, 4.5(2)]).

Suppose M is a submodule of a free module F of rank r such that F/M ∼ = I/J

for two m-primary ideals I and J; for instance, if R is a Cohen-Macaulay ring of

dimension at least two, one can choose I and J to be the Bourbaki ideal of F and

M , respectively (c.f. [B, Chapter 7, no. 4], [SUV2, 3.2(a),(c)]). If r ≥ 2 and if M

is generated by three elements, then M = F or r = d = 2 [BR, 3.5]. In this case,

I and J can be chosen to be the unit ideal or an m-primary complete intersection.

Since M is its own minimal reduction, by (2.2), we have the following equalities,

br(M ) = (F/M ) = (R/J) − (R/I) = e(J) − e(I).

From this we observe that not only does the Buchsbaum-Rim multiplicity gener-

alize the Hilbert-Samuel multiplicity by deﬁnition and share parallel properties in

the reduction theory as described earlier but also the two multiplicities are con-

nected in such a special case. Such a relation was generalized in [J] when I and

J are monomial ideals with small number of generators. In Section 5, we take the

results in [J] one step further by formulating its outcome. The formula obtained in

Theorem 5.3 also motivates the work in [CLU] for arbitrary modules over a two

dimensional Gorenstein local ring.

For the rest of the paper, we let R = k[x, y](x,y) be the polynomial ring k[x, y]

localized at the maximal ideal (x, y). We also assume that k is an inﬁnite ﬁeld.

Note that by multiplying a suitable unit to a generator, we see that every ideal

in R is generated by polynomials in k[x, y]. For every element f iinj k[x, y], f can

be written as a ﬁnite sum in distinct monomials; i.e., f = ηij x y with ηij ∈ k

where we assume no repeated like terms in the expression. We use the following

notation for the collection of the ﬁnitely many monomials occurring in f

Γ(f ) = {xi y j | f = ηij xi y j and ηij = 0}.

k[x, y]. If I is a monomial ideal containing I, then it is clear that I contains

Γ(f1 ) ∪ · · · ∪ Γ(fm ). Hence the smallest monomial ideal containing I is generated

by Γ(f1 ) ∪ · · · ∪ Γ(fm ). We denote this monomial ideal by I ∗ .

We are interested in conditions under which I ∗ becomes integral over I.

Question 3.2. Under what conditions is I a reduction of I ∗ ?

18

6 C-Y. JEAN CHAN AND JUNG-CHEN LIU

Γ(fm ), for I to be a reduction of I ∗ . As an application, Corollary 3.7 provides a

minimal reduction of a given monomial ideal.

Theorem 3.3. Let R = k[x, y](x,y) and |k| = ∞. Let I be an ideal of R

generated by f1 , . . ., fm ∈ k[x, y]. Assume that the following is true: for all i =

1, 2, . . . , m and for any two distinct monomials xa y b and xc y d in Γ(fi ) with c < a

and b < d, there exists xr y s ∈ Γ(fj ) for some j such that the point (r, s) lies on the

left hand side of the line through (a, b) and (c, d). Then I is a reduction of I ∗ .

Prior to proving this theorem, we discuss several supporting lemmas.

Lemma 3.4. Let k[u1 , u2 , . . . , un ] be a k-algebra and consider its k-subalgebra

k[η1 u1 + η2 u2 + · · · + ηn un ] for nonzero η1 , . . . , ηn in k. For each i = 1, 2, . . . , n,

α β

suppose there are positive integers αij , βij such that ui ij uj ij = 0 for all j = i.

Then ui is integral over k[η1 u1 + η2 u2 + · · · + ηn un ]. Consequently, k[u1 , . . . , un ] is

integral over k[η1 u1 + η2 u2 + · · · + ηn un ].

Proof. First, we show that the lemma can be reduced to proving the case

α β

where η1 = η2 = · · · = ηn = 1. Note that ui ij uj ij = 0 implies (ηi ui )αij (ηj uj )βij =

0. Therefore, once the case where η1 = η2 = · · · = ηn = 1 is proved, then by

replacing u by η u for all = 1, 2, . . . n, we have k[η1 u1 , . . . , ηn un ] is integral over

k[η1 u1 + η2 u2 · · · + ηn un ]. Since η1 , . . . , ηn are all units in k, k[u1 , u2 , . . . , un ] =

k[η1 u1 , η2 u2 , . . . , ηn un ]. This gives the general case. Hence, it suﬃces to show that

k[u1 , u2 , . . . , un ] is integral over k[u1 + u2 + · · · + un ] under the same hypothesis.

We prove the statement (with η1 = · · · = ηn = 1) by induction on n and

assume n ≥ 2 since the assertion is trivial for n = 1. We ﬁrst show the base case

n = 2. For simplicity on the notation, in this case we write uα 1 α2

1 u2 = 0. This

α1 α2 +1

implies u1 u2 = 0 so we may assume that α2 is odd. By a straightforward

computation,

uα

1

1 +α2

= uα α2 α2

1 (u2 + u1 ) = u

1 α1

1

α {[(u1 + u2 ) − u1 ]α2 + uα

1 }

2

−1

= u1 [(u1+ u2 ) − 12 (u1 + u2 ) 2 u1 + · · ·

α1 α2 α

2 −1

+ αα 2

2 −1

(u1 + u2 )uα

1 ].

We conclude

2

uα 1 +α2

− αα (u1 + u2 )u1α1 +α2 −1 + · · ·

1 2 −1

+ α12 (u1 + u2 )α2 −1 uα1

1 +1

− (u1 + u2 )α2 uα

1 = 0.

1

Assume n ≥ 3 and suppose the assertion holds for all k-algebras with n − 1

or less generators. For the k-algebra k[u1 , u2 , . . . , un ] with n generators, choose

α = max{αij , βij }, then we have uαi uj = 0 for all i = j. Consider the k-algebras

α

i,j

We claim that

(1) k[u1 , . . . , un−1 , un ] is integral over k[u1 + · · · + un−1 , un ], and

(2) k[u1 + · · · + un−1 , un ] is integral over k[u1 + · · · + un−1 + un ].

For (1), since uα i uj = 0 for all i = j, by the induction hypothesis, we have that

α

integral over k[u1 +u2 +· · ·+un−1 , un ]. For (2), consider the element (u1 +u2 +· · ·+

A NOTE ON REDUCTIONS OF MONOMIAL IDEALS IN k[x, y](x,y) 19

7

(n−1)α

, all terms are

αn−1

of the form u1 u2 · · · un−1 with α1 +α2 +· · ·+αn−1 = (n−1)α. Hence at least one

α1 α2

Thus, by the case of n = 2, k[u1 +· · ·+un−1 , un ] is integral over k[u1 +· · ·+un−1 +un ].

At last, it follows from (1) and (2) that k[u1 , . . . , un ] is integral over k[u1 + · · · + un ]

and the proof is complete.

The following two lemmas are deduced from algebraic inequalities regarding

relative positions of a point and a line. They both play important roles in the proof

of Theorem 3.3. Although only one implication in Lemma 3.5 will be needed, we

prove an equivalent statement for completion.

Lemma 3.5. Let (a, b), (c, d), (e, f ) ∈ Z2≥0 with a > c and b < d. Then the point

(e, f ) lies within the convex region with vertices (a, b), (c, d), (0, d), (0, 0), (a, 0),

including all boundaries except the line segment connecting (a, b) and (c, d), if and

only if there exist nonnegative integers α, β, γ, δ such that γ, δ are not both zero and

that

a b α c d β α+β

x y x y = xγ y δ xe y f .

Simply speaking, the above monomial equality holds if and only if (e, f ) is in the

following shaded region:

(c, d)

(0, d)

(a, b)

(0, 0) (a, 0)

0 ≤ f ≤ d and (e, f ) = (c, d), then xc y d is a proper multiple of xe y f , so we may

set α = 0, β = 1, γ = c − e, and δ = d − f to achieve the monomial equality.

Symmetrically, if 0 ≤ e ≤ a and 0 ≤ f ≤ b < d and (e, f ) = (a, b), we may take

α = 1, β = 0, γ = a − e, and δ = b − f . The remaining case is when (e, f ) lies

in the interior region of the triangle with vertices (a, b), (c, d), (c, b). The fact that

(e, f ) is on the left hand side of the line through (a, b) and (c, d) implies

f (a − c) < b(e − c) + d(a − e).

By setting α = e − c, β = a − e and δ = b(e − c) + d(a − e) − f (a − c), we have

(xa y b )α (xc y d )β = y δ (xe y f )α+β

in which α, β, δ are all positive integers for c < e < a.

Conversely, assume the existence of α, β, γ and δ. Then we have

(3.1) (a − e)α + (c − e)β = γ ≥ 0

(3.2) (b − f )α + (d − f )β = δ ≥ 0

and γ and δ are not both zero. This implies α and β are not both zero either. First

we claim that e ≤ a. Suppose not, i.e., e > a; this implies (a − e)α + (c − e)β < 0

20

8 C-Y. JEAN CHAN AND JUNG-CHEN LIU

since α and β are nonnegative and not both zero. This contradicts (3.1). Similarly,

one can show that f ≤ d. Therefore, to complete the proof, it suﬃces to show that

(e, f ) does not lie in the upper right triangular region (including the boundaries)

with vertices (a, b), (c, d) and (a, d). Suppose the contrary, then

c≤e≤a

b≤f ≤d

(3.3) af + bc + de − ad − be − cf ≥ 0.

First, if e = a, then (3.1) becomes (c − e)β = γ and this implies β = γ = 0 since

c − e = c − a < 0 and β, γ ≥ 0. Consequently, (3.2) becomes (b − f )α = δ and this

implies δ = 0. This contradicts to the condition that γ and δ are not both zero.

Therefore, e a. Suppose f = b. From (3.3) one conclude (a − e)(b − d) ≥ 0. But

this cannot be true because b < d and e < a. So f b. Symmetrically, f < d and

e > c. Therefore, c < e < a and b < f < d. Now, multiplying (3.2) by (a − e), we

have

(3.4) (a − e)(b − f )α + (a − e)(d − f )β = (a − e)δ.

Replacing (a − e)α in (3.4) using (3.1), (3.4) becomes

(3.5) (b − f )(e − c)β + (a − e)(d − f )β = (a − e)δ + (f − b)γ.

Since e < a and b < f and since δ and γ are nonnegative and not both zero, the

right hand side of (3.5) is positive. Thus, (b − f )(e − c) + (a − e)(d − f ) > 0

since β ≥ 0. This contradicts (3.3). Hence the point (e, f ) must be in the desired

region.

Lemma 3.6. Let (a, b), (c, d), (e, f ) ∈ Z2≥0 with a > c and b < d. If the point

(e, f ) lies within the triangular region bounded by the x-axis, the line x = a, and

the line through (c, d) and (a, b) excluding the vertical side and hypotenuse, i.e., the

shaded region in Figure 3.6.1,

(c, d) (c, d)

(a, b) (0, d)

(a, b)

a b α+β α c d β

x y = xγ xe y f x y .

Symmetrically, if the point (e, f ) is in the shaded region in Figure 3.6.2, then there

exist positive integers α, β, δ such that

c d α+β α e f β

x y = y δ xa y b x y .

A NOTE ON REDUCTIONS OF MONOMIAL IDEALS IN k[x, y](x,y) 21

9

Proof. Note that if (e, f ) is in the shaded region in Figure 3.6.1, then (a, b)

is on the right hand side of the line through (c, d) and (e, f ). This implies

the desired equality. Symmetrically, if (e, f ) is in the shaded region in Figure 3.6.2,

then (c, d) is on the right hand side of the line through (e, f ) and (a, b). We take

α = c − e, β = a − c, and δ = d(a − e) − b(c − e) − f (a − c) to obtain the desired

equality.

Now, we are ready to prove the main theorem of this section, Theorem 3.3.

n1

Proof. We express the generators of I as the following: f1 = j=1 η1j xa1j y b1j ,

n2 nm

f2 = j=1 η2j x

a2j b2j

y , . . . , fm = j=1 ηmj x

amj bmj

y with ηij = 0 in k. Then

∗ aij bij

by Remark 3.1 I is the ideal generated by x y for all i = 1, . . . , m and

j = 1, . .. , ni . Consider the polynomial ring R[Uij ] = R Uij | i = 1, . . . , m, j =

1, . . . , ni and the ring homomorphism

ϕ : R[Uij ] −→ R[I ∗ t]

Uij −→ xaij y bij t

= R[Uij ]/ ker ϕ and the ﬁber cone is

R[I ∗ t] ∼ R[Uij ]

(3.6) =

mR[I ∗ t] (mR[Uij ] + ker ϕ)

Let uij denote the homomorphic image of Uij in R[Uij ]/(mR[Uij ] + ker ϕ). In

order to show that I is a reduction of I ∗ , it suﬃces to show that the ﬁber cone

R[I ∗ t]/mR[I ∗ t] of I ∗ is integral over the ﬁber cone R[It]/mR[It] nof I. This is

j=1 1j u1j , · · · ,

1

equivalent to showing that the k-algebra k[uij ] is integral over k η

nm

j=1 ηmj umj (c.f. Section 2 and [SH, 8.2.4]). Therefore by Lemma 3.4, for each

β

uij , it is enough to prove that for all = j, uα ij ui = 0 for some positive integers

α and β . Note that Uij (resp. Ui ) corresponds to xaij y bij t (resp. xai y bi t)

in the isomorphism (3.6). Without loss of generality, we assume aij ≥ ai . If

aij > ai and bij ≥ bi , then xaij y bij t = xaij −ai y bij −bi (xai y bi t). This shows

Uij − xaij −ai y bij −bi Ui ∈ ker ϕ and so Uij ∈ mR[Uij ] + ker ϕ. That is uij = 0 and

so is true uij ui = 0. Similarly for aij = ai and bij < bi (resp. bij > bi ), one can

show ui = 0 (resp. uij = 0) and so uij ui = 0.

The last case is that aij > ai and bij < bi . By the assumption of the theorem,

there exists xahs y bhs ∈ Γ(fh ) such that (ahs , bhs ) lies on the left hand side of the

line through (aij , bij ) and (ai , bi ) as shown in the following shaded region:

22

10 C-Y. JEAN CHAN AND JUNG-CHEN LIU

(ai , bi )

(aij , bij )

(0, 0)

Figure 3.3.1.

(ai , bi )

(0, 0)

Figure 3.3.4.

If (ahs , bhs ) lies in the shaded region in Figure 3.3.2, then, by Lemma 3.5, there

exist nonnegative integers α, β, γ, δ with γ, δ not both zero such that

(xaij y bij t)α (xai y bi t)β = xγ y δ (xahs y bhs t)α+β .

α β α+β α β

Thus, we have Uij Ui − xγ y δ Uhs ∈ ker ϕ. That is Uij Ui ∈ mR[Uij ] + ker ϕ and

β

uα u

ij i = 0. If (a , b

hs hs ) lies in the shaded region in Figure 3.3.3, then, by Lemma 3.6,

there exist positive integers α, β, γ such that

a b α+β α a b β

x ij y ij = xγ xahs y bhs x i y i ,

and this implies uα+β

ij = 0 as above. Similarly, if (ahs , bhs ) lies in the shaded region

in Figure 3.3.4, we may apply Lemma 3.6 and get uα+β

i = 0 for somepositive inte-

n1 nm

gers α, β. These prove that uij is integral over k j=1 η1j u1j , · · · , j=1 ηmj umj

∗

for all i, j. Hence I is a reduction of I . The proof is completed.

A NOTE ON REDUCTIONS OF MONOMIAL IDEALS IN k[x, y](x,y) 23

11

a given monomial ideal I. Note that every monomial ideal has a unique minimal

monomial generating set. The monomials corresponding to the vertices of the

convex hull of the graph of I are part of the irredundant monomial generators of

I. Indeed, if we let H denote the ideal generated by the monomials corresponding

to the vertices of the convex hull of the graph of I, then all monomial generators

of I are integral over H and thus H is a reduction of I. In order to ﬁnd a minimal

reduction of I, it is enough to ﬁnd a minimal reduction of H. The ideal H is called

least monomial reduction in [Q] and minimal monomial reduction in [S], but it is

not necessarily a minimal reduction as pointed out in Introduction.

Note that every principal ideal is integrally closed and is its own minimal reduc-

tion. So we are interested in monomial ideals minimally generated by at least two

elements. Although the following corollary was mentioned in [Q] and [SH], it was

among the initial results of our project proved in 2001. We later extend the study

on the monomial ideals and obtain Theorem 3.3 in its current form. Corollary 3.7

and a special case of Lemma 3.4 were quoted and utilized in Lu’s master thesis ([L],

2003) under the second author Liu’s supervision.

Corollary 3.7. Let R = k[x, y](x,y) and |k| = ∞. Let I be a monomial

ideal minimally generated by at least two elements. Suppose the convex hull of the

graph of I has vertices (a1 , b1 ), (a2 , b2 ), . . ., (an , bn ) with a1 > a2 > · · · > an and

b1 < b2 < · · · < bn . Then

ai bi

K= x y , xai y bi

1≤i≤n 1≤i≤n

i is odd i is even

is a minimal reduction of I.

Proof. Notice that for any two odd (resp. even) indices j < k, there exists an

even (resp. odd) index i such that j < i < k. Since (a1 , b1 ), (a2 , b2 ), . . ., (an , bn )

are vertices of a convex graph, (ai , bi ) is on the left of the line through (aj , bj ) and

(ak , bk ). By Theorem 3.3, K is a reduction of K ∗ . Since K ∗ ⊆ I and since their

graphs have the same convex hull, K ∗ is a reduction of I. Thus, K is a reduction of

I. Furthermore, as pointed out in Introduction, since I is non-principal, a reduction

of I is minimal if it is generated by two elements. Hence K is indeed a minimal

reduction of I.

Independently, V. C. Quiñonez also obtains the result of Corollary 3.7 by prov-

ing a more general theorem on reductions of ideals. In Section 4, we recover

Quiñonez’s main theorem as an application of Lemma 3.4.

4.1. Examples. This section is mainly dedicated to discuss the conditions

that make I ∗ an integral extension of I.

Let R = k[x, y](x,y) and |k| = ∞. We ﬁrst give an example to illustrate Theo-

rem 3.3 and Corollary 3.7. Theorem 3.3 provides a suﬃcient condition under which

the ideal I ∗ is integral over I. Additional remarks are made here on the condition

in Theorem 3.3. Examples 4.2 and 4.3 show that this is not a necessary condition

for I to be a reduction of I ∗ . Example 4.3 indicates that a seemingly most intuitive

extension is still not necessary. In Example 4.4 we discuss another extension which

24

12 C-Y. JEAN CHAN AND JUNG-CHEN LIU

may likely make the condition necessary but we do not have neither a proof nor

enough evidence to make such conjecture.

y , x5 y 2 + xy 7 ). Note that the monomials occurring in the ﬁrst generator of I are

8

x11 , x10 y, x2 y 4 , xy 7 . From Figure 4.1.1, we see that for every line through two of

the above 4 monomials, either x5 y 2 or y 8 is on the left of the line; for example,

x5 y 2 is on the left of the line through x11 and x2 y 4 , and y 8 is on the left of the

line through x2 y 4 and xy 7 . Similarly, from Figure 4.1.2, we see that for each of the

three lines determined by the three monomials occurring in the second generator

of I, either x5 y 2 or x2 y 4 is on the left of the line. From Figure 4.1.3, x3 y 3 is on the

left of the line through those two monomials occurring in the third generator of I.

Hence, by Theorem 3.3, I ∗ = (x11 , x10 y, x5 y 2 , x3 y 3 , x2 y 4 , xy 7 , y 8 ) is integral over I.

y8

y8

xy 7

x2 y 4 x2 y 4

x3 y 3

x10 y 2

5 2

x y 10

x y

x5 y 2

x11

Figure 4.1.1. Figure 4.1.2.

xy 7

x3 y 3

x5 y 2

Figure 4.1.3.

On the other hand, from Figure 4.1.4, we see that the monomials corresponding

to the vertices of the convex hull of the graph of I ∗ are x11 , x5 y 2 , x3 y 3 , x2 y 4 , y 8 .

Hence, by Corollary 3.7, (x11 + x3 y 3 + y 8 , x5 y 2 + x2 y 4 ) is a minimal reduction of

I ∗.

A NOTE ON REDUCTIONS OF MONOMIAL IDEALS IN k[x, y](x,y) 25

13

y8

xy 7

x2 y 4

x3 y 3

x5 y 2

x10 y

x11

Figure 4.1.4.

not satisfy the assumption in Theorem 3.3, I is indeed a reduction of I ∗ . In fact,

because the convex hull of the graph of I ∗ has vertices (4, 0) and (0, 4), the ideal

K = (x4 , y 4 ) is a reduction of I ∗ . Thus, I ∗ is integral over I. This example tells us

that the hypothesis given in Theorem 3.3 is not a necessary condition for I being

a reduction of I ∗ .

Example 4.3. Consider two ideals J1 = (x3 + x2 y + xy 2 , y 3 ) and J2 = (x3 +

x y, xy 2 + y 3 ). Note that J1 ∗ = J2 ∗ = m3 and it is integrally closed. Because

2

R is a two-dimensional regular local ring, m3 has reduction number one (c.f. [H,

5.1]). So an ideal K is a reduction of m3 if and only if Km3 = m6 . One can

check that J1 m3 = m6 and J2 m3 m6 . Hence, J1 is a reduction of J1 ∗ but J2 is

not a reduction of J2 ∗ . Note that both J1 and J2 satisfy the following condition:

for all i = 1, 2, . . . , m and for any two distinct monomials xa y b and xc y d in Γ(fi )

with c < a and b < d, there exists xr y s ∈ Γ(fj ) for some j such that the point

(r, s) lies on the line through (a, b) and (c, d), where f1 , . . . , fm generate the ideal.

This example tells us that one should not expect to generalize the condition in

Theorem 3.3 to including the line connecting (a, b) and (c, d).

Example 4.4. Consider the ideal I = (x4 , x2 y + xy 2 , y 4 ). Then the ideal

I = (x4 , x2 y, xy 2 , y 4 ) and I ∗ has reduction number one, again since it is integrally

∗

closed in the two-dimensional regular local ring R (c.f. [H, 5.1]). It can be checked

directly t hat II ∗ (I ∗ )2 . Thus, I is not a reduction of I ∗ . On the other hand,

we know that K1 = (x4 + y 4 , x2 y + xy 2 ) is a reduction of I, also through a direct

computation: K1 I 2 = I 3 . We observe that x4 , y 4 are in Γ(x4 + y 4 ) and the term

x2 y +xy 2 is a combination of two monomials corresponding to two points on the left

hand side of the line through (4, 0) and (0, 4). It would be interesting to determine

whether or not Theorem 3.3 can be extended to state “if the left side of the line

contains points whose combination is in I, then K1 is a reduction of I.” However,

the authors are not able to verify this statement.

By Corollary 3.7, K2 = (x4 +xy 2 , x2 y+y 4 ) is a minimal reduction of I ∗ while K1

is not a reduction of I ∗ . Although the set consisting of (a1 : · · · : a4 : b1 : · · · : b4 ),

with the fact that a1 x4 + a2 x2 y + a3 xy 2 + a4 y 4 and b1 x4 + b2 x2 y + b3 xy 2 + b4 y 4

generate a minimal reduction of I ∗ , form a dense open set in P3 × P3 , this example

shows there are ample exceptions.

4.2. An application of Lemma 3.4. In [Q] Quiñonez discusses minimal

reductions of monomial ideals in k[[x, y]] and proves the following Theorem 4.5 on

the reduction of ideals in general. It states that if a nice partition on a generating

26

14 C-Y. JEAN CHAN AND JUNG-CHEN LIU

among the generators, then the partition provides a reduction. The existence of such

a partition may not be determined easily in general but in two-dimensional local

rings such as k[x, y](x,y) and k[[x, y]], the partition consisting of even indices and odd

indices as stated in Corollary 3.7 satisﬁes the conditions required in Theorem 4.5

and hence a minimal reduction of the ideal is obtained. In the following, we recover

Quiñonez’s main theorem as an application of Lemma 3.4 in the previous section.

Theorem 4.5 (Quiñonez, [Q, 3.3] ). Let I = (mi )0≤i≤r be an ideal in a

Noetherian local ring (R, m). Assume that there exists a partition on r elements:

{0, . . . , r} = 0≤α≤s Sα , where s ≤ r, such that if i, j ∈ Sα , i = j, then mli mlj ∈

I 2l m for some integer l. Let J = i∈Sα mi 0≤α≤s , then J is a reduction of I.

With the same strategy as proving Theorem 3.3, this theorem can be proved as

a corollary of Lemma 3.4. Precisely, consider the polynomial ring R[U0 , U1 , . . . , Ur ]

and the ring homomorphism

ϕ : R[U0 , U1 , . . . , Ur ] −→ R[It]

.

Ui −→ mi t

Then the Rees algebra of I is R[It] ∼ = R[U0 , . . . , Ur ]/ ker ϕ and the ﬁber cone of I

is

R[It] ∼ R[U0 , U1 , . . . , Ur ]

= .

mR[It] (mR[U0 , U1 , . . . , Ur ] + ker ϕ)

Let ui denote the homomorphic image of Ui in R[U0 , . . . , Ur ]/(mR[U0 , . . . , Ur ] +

ker ϕ). In order to show that J is a reduction of I, it suﬃces to show that

the ﬁber cone R[It]/mR[It] of I is integral over the ﬁber cone R[Jt]/mR[Jt] of

J.This is equivalent to showing that the k-algebra k[u0 , . . . , ur ] is integral over

k i∈Sα mi t | 0 ≤ α ≤ s , where k = R/m is the residue ﬁeld of R. Note that with

the assumption that if i, j ∈ Sα , i = j, then mli mlj ∈ I 2l m for some integer l, we

have (mi t)l (mj t)l ∈ m(It)2l and this implies uli ulj = 0. Now, apply Lemma 3.4 to

complete the proof.

5. Application to Multiplicities

In this section, we apply Theorem 3.3 to revisit the computations of Buchsbaum-

Rim Multiplicity in Jones [J]. We also present a formula that summarizes the seven

individual cases concluded in [J]. As before, R = k[x, y](x,y) with |k| = ∞. The

modules under consideration are ﬁnitely generated over R and arise from the fol-

lowing Setting 5.1. These are called monomial modules (c.f. [R1, Section 4]).

Setting 5.1. Let I = (xs , y t ) and J = (xs+i , y j+t , xd y e+t ) be monomials

in R. Let F be a free module of rank two with free basis e1 , e2 . Consider the

homomorphism φ : F −→ I deﬁned by φ(e1 ) = xs and φ(e2 ) = y t . Then φ induces

a short exact sequence

φ

(5.1) 0 −→ M −→ F −→ I/J −→ 0

where M is the kernel of the induced map. In this case, M can be identiﬁed with

the submodule of F generated by the columns of the matrix

i

x 0 0 −y t

.

0 y j xd y e xs

A NOTE ON REDUCTIONS OF MONOMIAL IDEALS IN k[x, y](x,y) 27

15

Clearly, F/M ∼ = I/J in Setting 5.1. We call the above matrix a presenting

matrix of M and denote it by M by abusing the notation since presenting matrices

of a module are not unique. However, the Fitting ideal of F/M , used most often

in the present discussion, does not depend on the choice of the presenting matrix

of M .

In [J], Jones computes the Buchsbaum-Rim multiplicity br(M ) of M as in

Setting 5.1 and compares br(M ) and e(J) − e(I). Applying reduction theory on

modules, Jones classiﬁes the module M into seven cases and gives graphical inter-

pretation of the relation between br(M ) and e(J) − e(I). However, the algebraic

meaning of some crucial graphs is lacking. In this section, we make use of the Fitting

ideals of modules to revisit Jones’s classiﬁcation and reinterpret the Buchsbaum-

Rim multiplication of M as the Hilbert-Samuel multiplicities of I, J, and certain

zeroth Fitting ideals of modules closely related to M .

The following result of Rees will be used frequently in our approach. This the-

orem enables us to transfer reduction relations between modules to those between

ideals and vice versa.

Theorem 5.2. (Rees, [R, 1.2]) Let N ⊆ M ⊆ F ∼ = Rr with (F/N ) < ∞. Then

N is a reduction of M if and only if Fitt0 (F/N ) is a reduction of Fitt0 (F/M ).

Recall that the zeroth Fitting ideal Fitt0 (F/M ) is the ideal generated by all

as in Setting 5.1, so

2 × 2-minors of the matrix M

compute using (1.1). Also, given a submodule N of M or a submodule L of F

containing M , Theorem 3.3 and Theorem 5.2 provide means to determine if N is a

reduction of M or if L is integral over M .

Setting 5.1 such that F/M ∼

= I/J. Then,

where N is the submodule of F lifted from either (xs+i , y t+j ) or (xs+i +y t+j , xd y t+e )

whichever is a minimal reduction of J.

mials and lattice points of Z2 in R2 . Recall that J is minimally generated by three

elements xs+i , y t+j and xd y t+e . By Corollary 3.7, depending on the relative posi-

tion of the point (d, e + t) and the line segment connecting (s + i, 0) and (0, j + t),

either (xs+i , y t+j ) or (xs+i + y t+j , xd y t+e ) is a minimal reduction of the monomial

ideal J.

Before we start the discussion, it should be pointed out that the four points

corresponding to the four monomials y t+j , xd y t+e , xd+i y e and xi y j form a paral-

lelogram in all cases in this proof. This parallelogram is applied to classify various

situations. We will show how the formula is achieved via several steps.

Step 1. We discuss the case where K1 = (xs+i , y j+t ) is a minimal reduction of

J. In other words, we have the following graph:

28

16 C-Y. JEAN CHAN AND JUNG-CHEN LIU

(0, t + j)

(d, e + t)

(s + i, 0)

Figure A.

Recall the map φ in Setting 5.1 and notice that the pre-image of K1 under φ is the

submodule N1 of F with the following presenting matrix

1 = xi 0 −y t

N .

0 yj xs

It is already clear that xd y e+t is integral over (xi+s , y j+t ) ⊆ Fitt0 (F/N1 ). Thus

whether or not N1 is a minimal reduction of M depends on whether or not xi+d y e

is integral over Fitt0 (F/N1 ) by Theorem 5.2.

Step 1.1. Depending on the location of the point (i, j), the shape of the convex

hull of the graph of Fitt0 (F/N1 ) is one of the following two:

P (0, t + j) P (0, t + j)

(d, e + t)

(i, j) (i, j)

(i + d, e)

Q(s + i, 0) Q(s + i, 0)

If it is the case of Figure A1, the entire parallelogram with vertices (i, j),

(0, t + j), (d, e + t), (i + d, e) is on the right hand side of the line segment P Q and so

xi+d y e is integral over Fitt0 (F/N1 ). We note that A1 also includes the case where

the positions of (i, j) and (d, e + t) are exchanged. In the case of Figure A2, there

are two possibilities depending on the point (i + d, e) being on the right or left of

the line segment connecting (i, j) and (s + i, 0):

A NOTE ON REDUCTIONS OF MONOMIAL IDEALS IN k[x, y](x,y) 29

17

(i, j)

(i + d, e)

(i, j)

(i + d, e)

Q(s + i, 0) Q(s + i, 0)

In the case of Figure A2.1, xi+d y e is also integral over Fitt0 (F/N1 ). If it is

the case of Figure A2.2, then xi+d y e is not integral over Fitt0 (F/N1 ) and thus N1

is not a reduction of M . We deal with this case in the next step. Therefore, we

conclude that in the cases of Figure A1 and Figure A2.1, N1 is a minimal reduction

of M and by (2.2)

= (R/K1 ) − (R/I)

= e(J) − e(I)

Step 1.2. For the case of Figure A2.2, the convex hull of Fitt0 (F/M ) is as in

Figure B.

P (0, t + j) (d, e + t)

(i + d, e)

(i, j)

Q(s + i, 0)

Figure B.

where the dark area refers to the triangular area in both Figures C1 and C2.

30

18 C-Y. JEAN CHAN AND JUNG-CHEN LIU

P (0, t + j) P (0, t + j)

X(d, e + t) X(d, e + t)

(0, t) T (s, t) T (s, t)

Y (i, j)

Z(i + d, e)

Figure C1 is an original graph in [J]. We add a few more points corresponding to the

generators of the convex hull of the graph of Fitt0 (F/M ) to obtain an alternative

graph as shown in C2. We utilize parallel lines in Figure C2 and observe that

P XT and Y ZQ have the same area. By (1.1), it is clear that

2(dark area) = e(xs+i , y t+j , xi y j ) − e(xs+i , y t+j , xi y j , xd+i y e )

(5.2)

= e(Fitt0 (F/N1 )) − e(Fitt0 (F/M )).

The second equality is straightforward since xd y e+t is integral over (xs+i , y t+j , xi y j ,

xd+i y e ) by the assumption. Thus, we have

(5.3) br(M ) = e(J) − e(I) − [e(Fitt0 (F/N1 )) − e(Fitt0 (F/M ))].

Note that (5.3) also holds for the cases in the previous step since N1 in Step 1.1 is

a minimal reduction of M .

Recall that K1 = (xs+i , y t+j ) is assumed to be a minimal reduction of J in

this current Step 1. We would like to emphasize that the module N1 in (5.3) is a

submodule in the rank two free module lifted by a minimal reduction (xs+i , y t+j )

of J. This observation is a key to the conclusion of the next step.

Step 2. We discuss the case where K2 = (xs+i + y j+t , xd y e+t ) is a minimal

reduction of J. In other words, we have the following graph:

P (0, t + j)

(d, e + t)

Q(s + i, 0)

Figure D.

matrix i

x 0 −y t

N2 =

y j xd y e xs

A NOTE ON REDUCTIONS OF MONOMIAL IDEALS IN k[x, y](x,y) 31

19

The zeroth Fitting ideal Fitt0 (F/N2 ) of F/N2 is (xi+d y e , xi+s + y j+t , xd y e+t ). No-

tice that the point xd y e+t is on the left hand side of the line P Q, so by Theorem 3.3,

the monomial ideal a = (xi+d y e , xi+s , y j+t , xd y e+t ) is integral over Fitt0 (F/N2 ).

Moreover, Fitt0 (F/M ) = a + (xi y j ). Thus, in order to determine if N2 is a minimal

reduction of M , i.e., Fitt0 (F/N2 ) is a reduction of Fitt0 (F/M ), it is equivalent to

determining if a is a reduction of Fitt0 (F/M ). And it suﬃces to check if xi y j is

integral over a. Depending on the location of the point (i + d, e), the shape of the

convex hull of the graph of a is one of the following three:

(i, j)

(d, e + t)

(i + d, e) (i + d, e)

(d, e + t)

(s + i, 0) (s + i, 0)

(0, t + j)

(d, e + t)

(i, j)

(i + d, e)

(s + i, 0)

Figure D3.

Step 2.1. Note that in the cases of Figures D1 and D2, the entire parallelogram

with vertices (i, j), (0, t + j), (d, e + t), (i + d, e) is inside the convex hull of the

graph of a, so xi y j is integral over a and hence N2 is a minimal reduction of M .

Therefore again by (2.2) and the fact that F/N2 ∼ = I/K2 ,

= (R/K2 ) − (R/I)

= e(K2 ) − e(I) = e(J) − e(I).

The last two equalities hold due to the fact that K2 is a minimal reduction of J.

This shows

br(M ) = e(J) − e(I).

Step 2.2. In the case of Figure D3, using the same parallelogram as above,

the point (i, j) is not in the convex hull of the graph of a. So N2 is not a minimal

reduction of M . As Step 1.2, we quote the result in [J] which shows br(M ) as

follows:

32

20 C-Y. JEAN CHAN AND JUNG-CHEN LIU

P (0, t + j) P (0, t + j)

Y (i, j)

X(d, e + t) X(d, e + t)

(0, t) T (s, t) T (s, t)

Z(i + d, e)

where the dark area is the area of P XT and the light area is that of P XQ in

both Figures E1 and E2. Similar to the discussion in Step 1.2, by moving P XT

to its similar triangle Y ZQ, we now have

(5.5)

br(M ) = e(J) − e(I) − [e(xs+i , y t+j , xi y j ) − e(Fitt0 (F/M ))] + [e(xs+i , y t+j ) − e(J)].

We would like to take a moment to look at (5.5) closer. Recall that in the

formula (5.2) in Step 1.2, (xs+i , y t+j , xi y j ) is the Fitting ideal of the submodule

N1 of F lifted from the ideal K1 = (xs+i , y t+j ) which is a minimal reduction of

J in the case of Step 1.2. However, in the present case, the ideals (xs+i , y t+j )

and J have no reduction relation. Formulas (5.3) and (5.5) together inspire us to

take a minimal reduction of J and take its lifting in F into consideration. More

precisely, in the right hand side of (5.5), we consider K2 in place of (xs+i , y t+j ) and

replace (xs+i , y t+j , xi y j ) by Fitt0 (F/N2 ). Then, we compare e(J) − e(I) − br(M )

and e(Fitt0 (F/N2 )) − e(Fitt0 (F/M )). Note that by (5.4), we have

e(J) − e(I) − br(M ) = 2(the area of P XT − the area of P XQ).

On the other hand, although the ideal Fitt0 (F/N2 ) is not monomial, we recall that

the monomial ideal a is integral over Fitt0 (F/N2 ); thus, e(Fitt0 (F/N2 )) = e(a).

Moreover, the diﬀerence between the convex hull of the graph of a and that of

Fitt0 (F/M ) is the triangular region P Y Z. Hence

e(Fitt0 (F/N2 )) − e(Fitt0 (F/M )) = e(a) − e(Fitt0 (F/M ))

= 2(the area of P Y Z).

Two quantities in comparison become 2(the area of P XT − the area of P XQ)

and 2(the area of P Y Z). By straightforward computation, we ﬁnd that both

quantities are equal to td − i(j − e) and we have

(5.6) br(M ) = e(J) − e(I) − [e(Fitt0 (F/N2 )) − e(Fitt0 (F/M ))] .

We note that (5.6) is also satisﬁed for the cases discussed in Step 2.1 where N2 is

indeed a minimal reduction of M .

Hence, the desired formula follows either Step 1 or Step 2 depending on which

minimal reduction J possesses.

A NOTE ON REDUCTIONS OF MONOMIAL IDEALS IN k[x, y](x,y) 33

21

as the Hilbert-Samuel multiplicities of certain ideals closely related to the module.

The graphical argument applied in the proof presented here is limited to the mono-

mial modules of rank two with small number of generators as in Setting 5.1. For

modules of higher rank or with bigger number of generators, although one can try

to do similar observation and work as done in [J], one has to discuss a lot more

cases and their classiﬁcation is much more complicated. For instance, in the case

where the module M ∼ = I/J has rank two as in Setting 5.1 but with J generated by

four monomials instead of three, there are more than 50 cases (see [L]). This also

shows a formulated result such as Theorem 5.3 is desirable in order to extend the

outcome to modules of higher ranks. One also notice that the terms involved in the

formula in Theorem 5.3 are deﬁned even if I and J are not monomial ideals. For

modules of higher rank, and not being restricted to monomial quotients, we refer

to [CLU, 2.4 and Section 3] where linkage theory of ideals are utilized.

References

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[BR] D. A. Buchsbaum and D. S. Rim, A generalized Koszul complex. II. Depth and multiplicity,

Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 111 (1963), 197-224.

[CLU] C-Y. J. Chan, J.-C. Liu, and B. Ulrich, Buchsbaum-Rim multiplicity as Hilbert-Samuel

multiplicity, J. Algebra, 319 (2008), 4413-4425.

[EHU] D. Eisenbud, C. Huneke and B. Ulrich, What is the Rees algebra of a module?

Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 131 (2002), 701-708.

[G] T. Gaffney, Multiplicities and equisingularity of ICIS germs, Invent. Math. 123 (1996),

209-220.

[H] C. Huneke, Complete ideals in two-dimensional regular local rings, in Commutative Algebra

(Berkeley, CA, 1987) Math. Sci. Res. Inst. Publ., 15, New York, Springer (1989), 325-338.

[J] E. Jones Computations of Buchsbaum-Rim multiplicities, J. Pure Appl. Algebra 162 (2001),

37-52.

[K] D. Katz, Reduction criteria for modules, Comm. Algebra 23 (1995), 4543-4548.

[KR] D. Kirby and D. Rees, Multiplicities in graded rings I: The general theory, Contemp.

Math. 159 (1994), 209-267.

[KT] S. Kleiman and A. Thorup, A geometric theory of the Buchsbaum-Rim multiplicity, J.

Algebra 167 (1994), 168-231.

[L] S.-Y. Lu, Computations of Samuel multiplicities and Buchsbaum-Rim multiplicities, Master

Thesis, National Taiwan Normal University, 2003.

[NR] D. G. Northcott and D. Rees, Reductions of ideals in local rings, Proc. Cambridge Philos.

Soc. 50 (1954), 145-158.

[Q] V. C. Quiñonez, Minimal reductions of monomial ideals, Research Reports in Mathemat-

ics, Number 10 (2004), Department of Mathematics, Stockholm University, available at

http://www.math.su.se/reports/2004/10/.

[R] D. Rees, Reduction of modules, Math. Proc. Cambridge Philos. Soc. 101 (1987), 431-450.

[RS] D. Rees and R. Y. Sharp, On a theorem of B. Teissier on multiplicities of ideals in local

rings, J. London Math. Soc. (2) 18 (1978), 449-463.

[R1] P. C. Roberts, Multiplicities and Chern classes, Contemporary Mathematics 159 (1994),

333-350.

[R2] P. C. Roberts, Multiplicities and Chern Classes in Local Algebra, Cambridge University

Press, Cambridge, 1998.

[S] P. Singla, Minimal monomial reductions and the reduced ﬁber ring of an extremal ideal,

Illinois J. Math. 51 (2007), 1085-1102.

[SH] I. Swanson and C. Huneke, Integral Closure of Ideals, Rings, and Modules, Cambridge

University Press, Cambridge, 2006.

[SUV1] A. Simis, B. Ulrich and W.V. Vasconcelos, Codimension, multiplicity and integral

extensions, Math. Proc. Cambridge Philos. Soc. 130 (2001), 237-257.

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22 C-Y. JEAN CHAN AND JUNG-CHEN LIU

[SUV2] A. Simis, B. Ulrich and W.V. Vasconcelos, Rees algebras of modules, Proc. London

Math. Soc. 87 (2003), 610-646.

U.S.A.

E-mail address: chan1cj@cmich.edu

E-mail address: liujc@math.ntnu.edu.tw

Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

complex, projective surface of degree d. Let δS be the number of double

pointsof ageneral projection of S to P4 . In the present paper we prove that

δS ≤ d−22

, with equality if and only if S is a rational scroll. Extensions to

higher dimensions are discussed.

1. Introduction

Let X be a nondegenerate, irreducible, smooth, projective variety of dimension

n ≥ 1 in the complex projective space Pr with r ≥ 2n + 1. A general projection

to Ps , with 2n + 1 ≤ s ≤ r, induces an isomorphism of X with its image. A

general projection to P2n induces an isomorphism of X with its image, except for

a ﬁnite set of points of X, which correspond to a certain number δX of improper

double points of the image, i.e. double points with tangent cone formed by two

linear spaces of dimension n spanning P2n . The double point formula (see [7], pg.

166) expresses δX in terms of invariants of X. When X is a curve of genus g and

degree d, the double point formula says that δX = d−1 − g. This is the classical

d−1 2

Plücker–Clebsch formula. In particular δX ≤ 2 and equality holds if and only

if X is a rational curve.

In §2 of this paper we prove a similar result for surfaces:

Theorem 1.1. Let S ⊂ Pr , with r ≥ 5, be a nondegenerate, irreducible, smooth,

projective surface of degree d. Then

d−2

(1.1) δS ≤

2

with equality if and only if S is a rational scroll.

In § 3 we examine the higher dimensional case, in the attempt of proving a

similar theorem, but we obtain only partial results (see Proposition 3.4 and Remark

3.5, (iii) and (iv)). In this

context

there is some evidence supporting a conjecture

to the eﬀect that δS ≤ d−2 2 − g, where g is the sectional genus of the surface S.

We are able to prove this only in some cases, e.g. when the Kodaira dimension

Key words and phrases. Projective surface, Double point formula, Rational normal scroll.

1

35

36

2 CIRO CILIBERTO AND VINCENZO DI GENNARO

κ(S) of S is not positive (see Remark

intermediate inequality δS ≤ d−2 2 − 2 (see Theorem 4.1).

Remark 2.1. (i) We say that S ⊂ Pr is a scroll if it is a P1 –bundle over a

smooth curve C, and the restriction of OS (1) to a ﬁbre is OP1 (1). If C ∼ = P1 , the

scroll is said to be rational. In this case S is isomorphic, via projection, to a rational

normal scroll S ⊂ Pr with r = deg(S) + 1 (see [6]).

(ii) Let HS be the general hyperplane section of a smooth surface S ⊂ Pr . The

line bundle OS (KS + HS ) is spanned, unless S is either a scroll, or S ∼ = P2 and

∼

OS (HS ) = OP2 (i), with 1 ≤ i ≤ 2, in which cases OS (KS + HS ) is not eﬀective (see

[10], Theorem (0.1)).

(iii) Assume S ⊂ Pr , with r ≥ 5, is a smooth, irreducible, nondegenerate

surface. The double point formula says that

d(d − 5)

δS = − 5(g − 1) + 6χ(OS ) − KS2 ,

2

where g and KS denote the sectional genus and a canonical divisor of S, and

χ(OS ) = 1 + pa (S), where pa (S) is the arithmetic genus of S. Hence

d−2

(2.1) δS − = 6χ(OS ) − KS2 − 5(g − 1) − 3.

2

Note that δS = 0 if and only if S is secant defective, i.e. dim(Sec(S)) < 5, where

Sec(X) denotes the secant variety of a variety X, i.e. the Zariski closure of the

union of all lines spanned by distinct points of X. A theorem of Severi’s implies

that a smooth surface is secant defective if and only if it is the Veronese surface of

degree 4 in P5 (see [2, 11]).

Proposition 2.2. In the above setting, if OS (KS + HS ) is not spanned, then

(1.1) holds, with equality if and only if S is a rational scroll.

Proof. If S is the Veronese surface of degree 4 in P5 , we have δS = 0 and

the assertion holds. Otherwise S isa scroll,

hence χ(OS ) = 1 − g, KS2 = 8(1 − g).

Plugging into (2.1) we obtain δS − 2 = −3g and the assertion follows.

d−2

In order to prove Theorem 1.1, it suﬃces to prove the following:

Proposition 2.3. Assume that OS (KS + HS ) is spanned. Then (1.1) holds

with strict inequality.

We collect some preliminaries in the following lemma.

Lemma 2.4. Let S ⊂ Pr (r ≥ 5) be a nondegenerate, irreducible, smooth,

projective surface of degree d and sectional genus g. Denote by e the index of

speciality of the general hyperplane section HS of S, i.e. e := max {t ∈ Z :

H 1 (HS , OHS (t)) = 0}.

(i) If g > d − 2 then (1.1) holds with strict inequality.

(ii) If pa (S) ≤ 0 then (1.1) holds, with equality if and only if S is a rational

scroll.

(iii) If e = 1 then (1.1) holds, with equality if and only if S is a rational scroll.

(iv) If e = 1 then pa (S) ≤ g − d2 .

PLÜCKER–CLEBSCH FORMULA IN HIGHER DIMENSION 37

3

(2.2) c2 (NS,Pr (−1)) = 2(KS2 − 6χ(OS )) + 4KS HS + 6HS2 ≥ 0

the last inequality holding because NS,Pr (−1) is spanned. Then 6χ(OS ) − KS2 ≤

4(g − 1) + d. Plugging into (2.1) we obtain

d−2

(2.3) δS − ≤d−g−2

2

and the assertion follows.

(ii) By Proposition 2.2 it suﬃces to prove that: if pa (S) ≤ 0 and OS (KS + HS )

is spanned then (1.1) holds with strict inequality. If OS (KS + HS ) is spanned then

(KS + HS )2 ≥ 0, therefore KS2 ≥ d − 4(g − 1). Plugging into (2.1) we get

d−2

(2.4) δS − ≤ 6pa (S) − g − d + 4.

2

If pa (S) ≤ 0 then δS − d−2

2 ≤ −g − d + 4, which is negative unless d = 4, in which

case (ii) is trivial.

(iii) From the Poincaré residue sequence tensored with OS (i − 1)

0 → ωS (i − 1) → ωS (i) → ωHS (i − 1) → 0

we get

+∞

(2.5) pg (S) ≤ h1 (HS , OHS (i)),

i=1

0

i.e. g ≥ d + 1, and by (i) we have (1.1) with strict inequality. When δS = d−2 2

the previous argument yields e ≤ 0, so pa (S) ≤ 0, and S is a rational scroll by (ii).

(iv) If e = 1, from (2.5) we deduce pa (S) ≤ h1 (HS , OHS (1)). By Cliﬀord

Theorem we have h0 (HS , OHS (1)) ≤ 1 + d2 . Therefore pa (S) ≤ h1 (HS , OHS (1)) =

h0 (HS , OHS (1)) − (1 − g + d) ≤ g − d2 .

We are now in position to prove Proposition 2.3.

Proof of Proposition 2.3. Consider the adjunction map φ : S → PR de-

ﬁned by |KS + HS |. By [10], Theorem (0.2) and [1], Lemma 1.1.3, Lemma 10.1.1

and Theorem 10.1.3, we know that if dim(φ(S)) ≤ 1 then S is birationally ruled.

Hence pa (S) ≤ 0, and Proposition 2.3 follows by Lemma 2.4, (ii).

Suppose dim(φ(S)) = 2. By Lemma 2.4, (ii), we may assume pa (S) > 0. Hence

κ(S) ≥ 0, so we may apply [1], Lemma 10.1.2, which ensures that (KS + HS )2 ≥

2(pa (S) + g − 2), i.e. KS2 ≥ 2χ(OS ) − 2(g − 1) + d − 4. Hence by (2.1) it suﬃces to

prove that 2χ(OS ) − 2(g − 1) + d − 4 > 6χ(OS ) − 5(g − 1) − 3, i.e. that

(2.6) 4pa (S) < 3g + d − 8.

To prove this, note that by Lemma 2.4, (i), (iii) and (iv), we may assume g ≤ d−2,

e = 1 and pa (S) ≤ g − d2 . So we have

4pa (S) ≤ 4g − 2d < 3g + d − 8.

This proves (2.6), concluding the proof of Proposition 2.3 and of Theorem 1.1.

38

4 CIRO CILIBERTO AND VINCENZO DI GENNARO

surface of degree d with only δS improper double points as singularities. Again (1.1)

holds, with equality if and only if S is the projection in P4 of a smooth rational

normal scroll in Pd+1 . There is no diﬃculty in adapting the above argument, hence

we will not dwell on this.

Let X ⊂ Pr be a nondegenerate, irreducible, smooth, projective variety of

dimension n and degree d, with r ≥ 2n + 1. In view of Plücker–Clebsch formula

in the 1–dimensional case and of Theorem 1.1 for n = 2, one may ask whether in

general

d−n

(3.1) δX ≤ ,

2

with equality if and only if X is a rational scroll, i.e. the projection of a rational

normal scroll in Pd+n−1 (see [6]).

Remark 3.1. When X is a scroll, i.e. when X is a Pn−1 –bundle over a smooth

curve of genus g and the restriction

of OX(1) to a ﬁbre is OPn−1 (1), then the double

n+1

point formula gives δX − d−n 2 = − 2 g.

vX := cn (NX,Pr (−1))

where NX,Pr is the normal bundle of X in Pr . Note that vX ≥ 0 because NX,Pr (−1)

is spanned.

Let Tan(X) be the tangential variety of X, i.e. the Zariski closure of the

union of all tangent spaces to X at smooth points, which makes sense even if X is

singular. Denote by tX the degree of Tan(X). One has dim(Tan(X)) ≤ 2n and, if

strict inequality holds, X is called tangentially defective, whereas X is called secant

defective if dim(Sec(X)) < 2n + 1.

Note that Tan(X) is contained in Sec(X). If X is smooth, then it is secant

defective if and only if Tan(X) = Sec(X) (see [11]). Hence, if X is smooth and

tangentially defective, then it is also secant defective, but the converse does not

hold in general.

If X is not tangentially defective, there are ﬁnitely many tangent spaces to X

containing a general point of Tan(X). Let wX be their number. It is a question,

on which we will not dwell here, whether wX = 1 if X is smooth and not secant

defective. However, one may have wX > 1 when X is either secant defective or

singular: e.g., consider the cases X is the Veronese surface of degree 4 in P5 , where

wX = 2, and X is a surface lying on a 3–dimensional, nondegenerate cone with

vertex a line in P5 , where wX can be as large as we want.

The following lemma is known to the experts. We give a proof for completeness.

Lemma 3.2. If X ⊂ Pr , with r ≥ 2n, is a smooth, irreducible, nondegenerate

variety of dimension n, then vX = 0 if and only if X is tangentially defective,

whereas vX = tX wX ≥ tX if X is not tangentially defective.

Proof. Consider a general projection φ : X → P2n−1 and let Z be the rami-

ﬁcation scheme of φ on X. By the generality assumption about φ, Z is reduced of

PLÜCKER–CLEBSCH FORMULA IN HIGHER DIMENSION 39

5

Z = tX wX otherwise. Look at the exact sequence

(3.2) 0→ OX → NX,Pr (−1) → Nφ (−1) → 0

r−2n+1

where Nφ is the normal sheaf to the morphism φ (see [3], p. 358, sequence (2.2)).

This is locally free of rank n − 1 oﬀ Z, where there is torsion, with lenght equal to

Z . Taking Chern classes of the sheaves in (3.2), the assertion follows.

generate of dimension n. Then δX = 0 if and only if X is secant defective. If HX

is a general hyperplane section of X, then X is tangentially defective if and only if

HX is secant defective, i.e. vX = 0 if and only if δHX = 0. This is a consequence

of Terracini’s Lemma (see [11]).

Going back to the question about the validity of (3.1), the arguments in the

proof of Theorem 1.1, based on Surface Theory, do not apply for n ≥ 3. However,

comparing δX with the analogous number for a general hyperplane section of X,

we may prove the following:

Proposition 3.4. Let X ⊂ Pr be a nondegenerate, irreducible, smooth, projec-

tive variety, of dimension n ≥ 2 and degree d, with r ≥ 2n+1. Let Y := HX ⊂ Pr−1

be a general hyperplane section of X and C ⊂ Pr−n+1 a general curve section of

X. Let g and e be the genus and the index of speciality of C. Then:

(i) 2(δY − δX ) = vX ;

d−(n−1)

(ii) δX − d−n2 − δ Y − 2 = d − n − 12 vX ;

(iv) δX − d−n 2 − δY − d−(n−1)

2 ≤ d − n, with equality as in (iii);

d−n n−2

(v) δX − 2 ≤ (n − 2)(d − n) + 2 with equality only if n = 2 and X is a

rational scroll;

(vi) δX − d−n 2 < −g + (n − 1)(d − n) + n−12 .

d−n

In particular, if either g > (n − 1)(d − n) + n−1 2 , or e ≥ 2(n − 1), then δX < 2 .

by c(TX )−1 = 1 + s1 + · · · + sn the inverse total Chern class of X, with si ∈ Ai (X)

(we abuse notation and denote in the same way elements of An (X) and their degree:

we did this already a few times above). By the double point formula ([7], p. 166),

2(δY − δX ) is equal to

n

∗

2n

(3.3) c(ϕ TP2n )c(TX )−1 n − c(ψ ∗ TP2(n−1) )c(TY )−1 n−1 = HXi

sn−i .

i=0

i

n

n−i r − n − i n−i

(3.4) cn (NX,Pr (−1)) = (−1) HX ci (NX,Pr )

i=0

n − i

40

6 CIRO CILIBERTO AND VINCENZO DI GENNARO

⎡ ⎤

n i

r − n − i n−i ⎣ r + 1

= (−1)n−i HX HX sj ⎦

i−j

i=0

n − i j=0

i − j

i

n

i−h r − 2n + i − h r+1 i

= (−1) HX sn−i .

i=0

i − h h

h=0

For any i ∈ {0, . . . , n} and any r ≥ 2n + 1 one has

i

2n i−h r − 2n + i − h r+1

= (−1) .

i i−h h

h=0

Property (ii) follows from (i). Properties (iii) and (iv) follow from (i) and (ii)

and Remark 3.3.

Iterating n − 2 times (iv), and denoting by S the general surface section of X,

to which we apply Theorem 1.1, we obtain

(3.5)

d−n d−2 n−2 n−2

δX − ≤ δS − +(n−2)(d−n)+ ≤ (n−2)(d−n)+ .

2 2 2 2

If n = 2, equality between the extremes holds only if X is a rational scroll by

Theorem 1.1. If n > 2 the equality cannot hold. Otherwise S is a rational scroll,

therefore also X is a rational scroll (see [6]), hence the leftmost term in (3.5) is zero

(see Remark 3.1), whereas the rightmost term is not.

Property (vi) follows

by applying (ii) to S in the middle term of (3.5), by

recalling that g = d−12 − δC and noting that vS > 0 because S, being smooth, is

not tangentially defective (see Lemma 3.2 and (5.37) of [8]).

For the ﬁnal assertion

n−1notice

that if e ≥ 2(n − 1) then g ≥ (n − 1)d + 1, hence

−g + (n − 1)(d − n) + 2 < 0.

Remark 3.5. (i) In the setting of Proposition 3.4, assume X is not tangentially

defective. Then none of its general linear section is tangentially defective. In view

of Proposition 3.4, (ii), one may ask whether

(3.6) vX ≥ 2(d − n)

or, rather

(3.7) tX ≥ 2(d − n).

If so, applying (3.6) to the successive general linear sections of X one would deduce

d−n

(3.8) δX ≤ − g.

2

Note that, if X is tangentially defective, then

d−n

case, since Castelnuovo’s bound implies g < 2 .

In conclusion one is lead to the following:

Question. Let X ⊂ Pr be a nondegenerate, irreducible, smooth, projective

variety of dimension n and degree d, with r ≥ 2n + 1. Is it true that (3.8) holds,

with equality if and only if g = 0, hence X is a rational scroll?

When n = 1 the inequalities (3.6), (3.7) and (3.8) are obvious. In fact in this

case wX = 1 and therefore tX = vX . Moreover c1 (NX,Pr (−1)) = KX + 2HX , hence

PLÜCKER–CLEBSCH FORMULA IN HIGHER DIMENSION 41

7

vX = tX = 2g − 2 + 2d ≥ 2(d − 1), and d−1 2 − δX = g is the Plücker–Clebsch

formula.

In case n = 2, in view of Proposition 3.4, (ii), one has vX > 0 because X, being

smooth, is never tangentially defective and, by (2.2), (3.6) reads KX 2

− 6χ(OX ) +

4g − 2 ≥ 0.

If X is smooth and nondegenerate in P4 then (3.8) becomes g ≤ d−2 2 , which

holds by Castelnuovo’s bound. On the contrary, if X ⊂ P3 then g = d−1 2 > d−2

2

for d ≥ 3, so in this case (3.8) is false.

(ii) In case n = 2, if pa (X) ≤ 0, e.g. if κ(X) ≤ 0, then (3.8) holds. In fact,

taking into account the proof of Proposition 2.2, in order to prove (3.8) one may

assume that OX (KX + HX ) is spanned. In this case, by (2.4), one has

d−2

δX − ≤ 6pa (X) − g − d + 4 ≤ −g − d + 4 < −g

2

as soon as d ≥ 5 (the case d = 4 is obvious). Further cases in which we are

able to prove (3.8) are the following (we omit the proof): complete intersections;

surfaces contained in a threefold of minimal degree; surfaces contained in a smooth

hypersurface of P5 of degree t with d ≥ t3 (in order to prove (3.8), one may assume

X ⊂ P5 , and any smooth surface in P5 is contained in some smooth hypersurface);

surfaces for which 3χ(OX ) ≥ d2 ; arithmetically Cohen-Macaulay surfaces contained

in a threefold

d−2 of degree s, with d s. Actually in the ﬁrst three cases we ﬁnd

δX − 2 ≤ −2g, and in a smooth threefold of minimal degree in P5 there are

surfaces X for which δX − d−22 = −2g with g > 0, and surfaces X with δX − d−2 2 >

−3g.

(iii) By Proposition 3.4, for varieties X (if any) for which (3.1) fails, one has

g ≤ (n − 1)d and e ≤ 2(n − 1) − 1. On the other hand, using a similar argument as

in the proof of (2.5), one may prove that

+∞

i−1 1

(3.9) pg (X) ≤ h (C, OC (i)).

i=n−1

n−2

2(n−1)−1

i−1 2(n − 1)

(3.10) pg (X) ≤ g≤ (n − 1)d = O(d).

i=n−1

n−2 n−1

(iv) As a consequence we can prove that if X ⊂ Pr is arithmetically Cohen–

Macaulay and d r then (3.1) holds with strict inequality. In fact, when X is

arithmetically Cohen-Macaulay, equality holds in (3.9), and for any i ≥ 0 one has

+∞

h1 (C, OC (i)) = j=i+1 (d − hΓ (j)) (Γ is the general 0-dimensional linear section of

X and hZ is, as usual, the Hilbert function of a projective scheme Z). We deduce

+∞

i−1

pg (X) = (d − hΓ (i)).

i=n

n−1

When δX ≥ d−n 2 , (3.10) says that pg (X) ≤ O(d), so we have

+∞

i−1

(d − hΓ (i)) ≤ O(d).

i=n

n−1

One sees that this is impossible if d r.

42

8 CIRO CILIBERTO AND VINCENZO DI GENNARO

d−(n−1)

2 ≤ −g and pg (X) > 0, then (3.1) holds with strict inequality. In fact

(3.9) yields e ≥ 2, thus g > d − n. Hence from Proposition 3.4, (iv), we get

δX − d−n2 ≤ δY − d−(n−1)

2 + d − n ≤ −g + d − n < 0.

4. A stronger inequality

In this section we improve Theorem 1.1 as follows:

Theorem 4.1. With the same notation as in Theorem 1.1, denote by g the

sectional genus of S. Then one has

d−2 g

(4.1) δS − ≤− ,

2 2

and equality holds if and only if S is a rational scroll in Pr .

Remark 4.2. (i) By Theorem 1.1, it suﬃces to prove the assertion when g > 0.

By (2.1) this is equivalent to prove that: when g > 0, then

9

(4.2) KS2 > 6pa (S) − g + 8.

2

(ii) By the proof of Proposition 2.2 and Remark 3.5, (ii), we may assume that

OS (KS + HS ) is spanned and pa (S) > 0. In particular g > d+1 2 ≥ 3, otherwise

e ≤ 0, hence pa (S) ≤ 0 by (2.5). Moreover by (2.3) we see that if g > 2(d − 2) then

(4.1) holds with strict inequality. So we may also assume g ≤ 2(d − 2).

Lemma 4.3. If g > 0 and 3pa (S) < 5

2g + d − 9 then (4.1) holds with strict

inequality.

Proof. Consider the adjunction map φ : S → PR . By Riemann–Roch one has

(4.3) R = h0 (S, OS (KS + HS )) − 1 = pa (S) + g − 1

since hi (S, OS (KS + HS )) = 0, 1 ≤ i ≤ 2, by Kodaira vanishing theorem. Let Σ

be the image of S via φ and let σ be its degree. Except for a few cases in which

pa (S) ≤ 0 ([10], pg. 593-594), one knows that Σ is a smooth surface, birational to

S via φ. In particular we have σ ≥ R − 1, i.e.

(4.4) σ = (KS + HS )2 = KS2 + 4g − 4 − d ≥ R − 1.

Set

σ − 1 = m(R − 2) + , with 0 ≤ ≤ R − 3.

By (4.4) we see that m ≥ 1. The case m = 1 is not possible. In fact, by

Castelnuovo Theory [5, 9] (see Remark 3.5, (iii) and (iv) above), we know that

+∞

(4.5) pg (Σ) ≤ (i − 1)(σ − hΓ (i)),

i=1

where Γ is the general 0-dimensional linear section of Σ. Moreover

(4.6) σ ≥ hΓ (i) ≥ min {σ, i(R − 2) + 1} for any i ≥ 1.

If m = 1 then σ ≤ 2(R − 2), and from (4.5) and (4.6) we get pg (Σ) = 0, against our

assumption pg (Σ) = pg (S) ≥ pa (S) > 0 (compare also with ([1], Lemma 10.1.2)).

When m = 2, by (4.5) and (4.6), we get

pa (S) ≤ pg (S) = pg (Σ) ≤ σ − hΓ (2) ≤ σ − (2(R − 2) + 1)

PLÜCKER–CLEBSCH FORMULA IN HIGHER DIMENSION 43

9

which implies KS2 ≥ 3pa (S) − 2g + d − 1 (use (4.3) and (4.4)). Since 3pa (S) <

2 g + d − 9, we deduce (4.2), hence the assertion holds.

5

KS2 ≥ mpa (S) + (m − 4)g + d + 5 − 3m ≥ 3pa (S) − 2g + d − 1 because pa (S) > 0

and g ≥ 3 (see Remark 4.2, (ii)). We conclude as in the case m = 2.

variety of dimension n which is neither tangentially defective, nor secant defective.

Then

(4.7) tX ≥ 2(r − 2n + 1).

Proof. The main remark is that Tan(X) is singular along X, as a local com-

putation shows.

First we examine the case r = 2n + 1. Let be a general secant line of X. Then

contains two distinct points of X, which are singular points of Tan(X). Moreover

is not contained in Tan(X), otherwise X would be secant defective against the

assumption. It follows that tX ≥ 4.

Next assume r > 2n + 1 and argue by induction on r. Fix a general point

x ∈ X, and denote by X ⊂ Pr−1 the image of X via the projection φ from x. By

the Trisecant Lemma ([2], Proposition 2.6, pg. 158), φ induces a birational map

of X to X . It also induces a generically ﬁnite map, of a certain degree ν, from

Tan(X) to its image V . Otherwise Tan(X) would be a cone of vertex x for a general

x ∈ X, and this would imply that X is degenerate, for the set of vertices of a cone

is a linear space. In particular we have dim(V ) = dim(Tan(X)) = 2n. Since the

general tangent space to X projects to the general tangent space to X , one has

V = Tan(X ), thus X is not tangentially defective. The same argument says that

φ induces a generically ﬁnite map of Sec(X) to Sec(X ), thus X , as well as X is

not secant defective. By induction, we have tX ≥ 2(r − 2n). Since x is a point of

Tan(X) of multiplicity μ ≥ 2 we deduce tX = μ + νtX ≥ 2 + tX ≥ 2 + 2(r − 2n) =

2(r − 2n + 1).

X, which are neither tangentially defective, nor secant defective, for which equality

holds in (4.7). If X is smooth and one believes that (3.8), or rather (3.7), holds

(see the discussion in Remark 3.5, (i)), then X should conjecturally be a rational

normal scroll. There are however singular varieties X reaching the bound (4.7),

which are not rational normal scrolls.

Corollary 4.5. Let S ⊂ Pr (r ≥ 5) be a nondegenerate, irreducible, smooth,

projective surface of degree d and sectional genus g. Let C be a general hyperplane

section of S. Then

+∞

d−2

δS − ≤ −pa (S) + h1 (C, OC (i)).

2 i=2

the other hand, from Proposition 3.4, (ii), we see that

d−2 1

δS − = −g + d − 2 − vS .

2 2

44

10 CIRO CILIBERTO AND VINCENZO DI GENNARO

vS ≥ tS ≥ 2(r − 3) = 2(h0 (S, OS (1)) − 4).

Hence

d−2

(4.8) δS − ≤ −g + d − 2 − (h0 (S, OS (1)) − 4).

2

Since χ(OS (1)) = χ(OS ) + χ(OC (1)), we also have

h0 (S, OS (1)) − 4 = h1 (S, OS (1)) − h2 (S, OS (1)) + (pa (S) + d − 2 − g).

From (4.8) we deduce

d−2

δS − ≤ −pa (S) + h2 (S, OS (1)) − h1 (S, OS (1)).

2

With an argument similar to the one used to prove (2.5), one sees that h2 (S, OS (1))

+∞

= h0 (S, ωS (−1)) ≤ i=2 h1 (C, OC (i)). The assertion follows.

We are now in position to prove Theorem 4.1.

Proof of Theorem 4.1. By Remark 4.2, (ii), we may assume d+1 2 < g ≤

2(d − 2).

2 < g ≤ d. In this case e ≤ 1. Put gm := |OC (1)|,

First we examine the range d+1 s

and set

2g − 2 = (k − 1)m + h, with 0 ≤ h ≤ m − 1.

By Comessatti’s bound [4] one knows that

2k(m − 1) − 2g

(4.9) s≤ + 1.

k(k + 1)

In our case s = h0 (C, OC (1)) − 1, m = d and k = 2. So h0 (C, OC (1)) − 1 ≤

3 d − 3 g + 3 . By Riemann-Roch Theorem we deduce h (C, OC (1)) ≤ 3 g − 3 d + 3 .

2 1 1 1 2 1 1

5

3pa (S) ≤ 2g − d + 1 < g+d−9

2

(the second inequality holds since we may assume d ≥ 5). This proves Theorem 4.1

2 < g ≤ d by Lemma 4.3.

in the range d+1

Next, assume d < g ≤ 3d+1 2 . Then e ≤ 2. By applying (4.9) to |OC (i)|, with

1 ≤ i ≤ 2, we prove that h1 (C, OC (1)) ≤ 56 g− 12 d+ 12 and h1 (C, OC (2)) ≤ 23 g− 23 d+ 13 .

From (2.5) we get

9 7 5 5

3pa (S) ≤ g − d + < g + d − 9.

2 2 2 2

The second inequality holds when d > 8 because g ≤ 3d+1 2 and when d ≤ 8 by

Castelnuovo’s bound. This proves Theorem 4.1 in the range d < g ≤ 3d+1 2 by

Lemma 4.3.

Finally assume 3d+12 < g ≤ 2(d − 2). Then e ≤ 3. Using again (4.9) one sees

that h1 (C, OC (2)) ≤ 23 g − 23 d + 13 and h1 (C, OC (3)) ≤ 23 g − d + 13 . By Remark 4.2,

(i), and Corollary 4.5, we may assume

1

pa (S) ≤ g + h1 (C, OC (2)) + h1 (C, OC (3)).

2

PLÜCKER–CLEBSCH FORMULA IN HIGHER DIMENSION 45

11

So

11 5

g − 5d + 2 < g + d − 9

3pa (S) ≤

2 2

(the second inequality holds because g ≤ 2(d − 2)). This concludes the proof of

Theorem 4.1.

References

[1] Beltrametti, M.C., Sommese, A.J.: The adjunction theory of complex projective varieties, de

Gruyter Expositions in Mathematics, 1995.

[2] Chiantini, L. Ciliberto, C.: Weakly defective varieties, Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 354, No. 1,

151-178 (2002).

[3] Ciliberto, C.: On the Hilbert scheme of curves of maximal genus in a projective space, Math.

Z. 194, 351–363 (1987).

[4] Comessatti, A.: Limiti di variabilità della dimensione e dell’ordine d’una gnr sopra una curva

di dato genere, Atti R. Ist. Veneto Sci. Lett. Arti 74 (1914/1915), 1685-1709.

[5] Eisenbud, D., Harris, J.: Curves in projective space, Presse de l’Université de Montreal, 1982.

[6] Eisenbud, D., Harris, J.: On varieties of minimal degree (a centennial account), in “Algebraic

geometry”, Bowdoin, 1985 (Brunswick, Maine, 1985), 3–13, Proc. Sympos. Pure Math., 46,

Part 1, Amer. Math. Soc., Providence, RI, 1987.

[7] Fulton, W.: Intersection theory, Ergebnisse der Mathematik und ihrer Grenzgebiete; 3.Folge,

Bd. 2, Springer-Verlag, 1984.

[8] Griﬃths, P., Harris, J.: Algebraic geometry and local diﬀerential geometry, Ann. Scient. Éc.

Norm. Sup. 4e série, 12, no 3 (1979), 355-452.

[9] Harris, J.: A bound on the geometric genus of projective varities, Ann. Scuola Norm. Sup.

Pisa Cl. Sci. (4), 8, 35-68 (1981).

[10] Sommese, A.J. - Van de Ven, A.: On the Adjunction Mapping, Math. Ann., 278, 593-603

(1987).

[11] Zak, F. L.: Tangents and secants of algebraic varieties, Translated from the Russian manu-

script by the author, Translations of Mathematical Monographs, 127, American Mathematical

Society, Providence, RI, 1993, viii+164.

Scientifica, 00133 Roma, Italy.

E-mail address: cilibert@axp.mat.uniroma2.it

Scientifica, 00133 Roma, Italy.

E-mail address: digennar@axp.mat.uniroma2.it

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Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

bra and algebraic geometry, as well as in combinatorics. In this article we

compute multiplicity and Castelnuovo-Mumford regularity of pfaﬃan ideals of

ladders. We give explicit formulas for some families of ideals, and indicate

a procedure that allows to recursively compute the invariants of any pfaﬃan

ideal of ladder. Our approach makes an essential use of liaison theory.

Introduction

Pfaﬃans are the natural analogue of minors when working with skew-symmetric

matrices. Ideals generated by pfaﬃans are studied in the context of commutative

algebra and algebraic geometry, as well as in combinatorics. Many are the reasons

for such an interest, e.g., many ideals generated by pfaﬃans are Gorenstein (see,

e.g., [KL] and [D]). Conversely, due to a famous result ([BE]) of Buchsbaum and

Eisenbud, any Gorenstein ideal of height 3 of a polynomial ring over a ﬁeld is gener-

ated by the maximal pfaﬃans of a suitable skew-symmetric matrix of homogeneous

forms. Ideals generated by pfaﬃans arise naturally in algebraic geometry as, e.g.,

ideals of pfaﬃans in a generic skew-symmetric matrix deﬁne Schubert cells in or-

thogonal Grassmannians. Moreover, some Grassmannians are deﬁned by pfaﬃans,

as well as some of their secant varieties.

In this article, we compute numerical invariants of pfaﬃan ideals of ladders.

Pfaﬃan ideals of ladders are, informally speaking, ideals generated by pfaﬃans

which only involve indeterminates in a ladder of a skew-symmetric matrix of in-

determinates. The size of the pfaﬃans is allowed to vary in diﬀerent regions of

the ladder. This family was introduced by the authors in [DGo], and contains the

classically studied ideals of 2t-pfaﬃans of a matrix or of a ladder. It is a very large

family, and a natural one to study from the point of view of liaison theory, since all

the ideals in this family arise from ideals of 2t-pfaﬃans in a ladder while performing

The second author was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation under grant

no. 123393. Part of this work was done while the authors were attending the conference “PASI

2009 in Commutative Algebra and its Connections to Geometry, honoring Wolmer Vasconcelos”,

which took place in Olinda (Brazil) in August 2009. The authors wish to thank the organizers,

the speakers and the participants to the conference for the stimulating working environment that

they created.

c 0000

2011

c De(copyright

Negri andholder)

Gorla

1

47

48

2 EMANUELA DE NEGRI AND ELISA GORLA

elementary G-biliaisons. In [DGo] we proved that these ideals are prime, normal

and Cohen-Macaulay. The main result of the paper was a proof that any pfaﬃan

ideal of ladder can be obtained from an ideal generated by indeterminates via a

ﬁnite sequence of ascending G-biliaisons. In particular they are glicci, i.e., they

belong to the G-liaison class of a complete intersection. The G-biliaison steps were

described very explicitly. Therefore, as a biproduct, it is possible to recursively

compute numerical invariants of pfaﬃan ideals of ladders such as the multiplicity,

the Hilbert function, the h-vector, as well as a graded free resolution. In some cases

it is also possible to compute the graded Betti numbers and in particular the Castel-

nuovo Mumford regularity. Although it is possible to perform these computations

in any speciﬁc example, it is in general hard to produce explicit formulas. In this

paper, we derive explicit formulas for some classes of pfaﬃan ideals of ladders.

The paper is organized as follows. In Section 1 we ﬁx the notation and deﬁne

the classes that we study. We also recall the main result of [DGo] on which our

approach is based. In Section 2 we give explicit or recursive formulas for the

multiplicity of the ideals that we study. In Theorem 2.5 we give a simple numerical

condition which forces the multiplicity of a pfaﬃan ideal of ladder to decompose

as the product of the multiplicities of two pfaﬃan ideals relative to subladders. In

Section 3 we compute Castelnuovo-Mumford regularities. In Section 4 we show

how to use our approach to compute the graded Betti numbers of ideals of pfaﬃans

of maximal size of a generic skew-symmetric matrix. We also give a simple proof

that the h-vectors of these ideals are of decreasing type. The ideals generated by

pfaﬃans of maximal size of a generic skew-symmetric matrix are Gorenstein ideals

of height 3, so the results are well-known. However, we are able to give a very

simple, self-contained proof.

Let X = (xij ) be an n × n skew-symmetric matrix of indeterminates. In other

words, the entries xij with i < j are indeterminates, xij = −xji for i > j, and

xii = 0 for all i = 1, ..., n. Let R = K[X] = K[xij | 1 ≤ i < j ≤ n] be the

polynomial ring associated to X.

Definition 1.1. A ladder Y of X is a subset of the set {(i, j) ∈ N2 | 1 ≤ i, j ≤

n} with the following properties :

(1) if (i, j) ∈ Y then (j, i) ∈ Y,

(2) if i < h, j > k and (i, j), (h, k) belong to Y, then (i, k), (i, h), (h, j), (j, k)

belong to Y.

We do not assume that a ladder Y is connected, nor that X is the smallest skew-

symmetric matrix having Y as ladder. We can assume without loss of generality

that the ladder Y is symmetric.

It is easy to see that any ladder can be decomposed as a union of square

subladders

(1.1) Y = X1 ∪ . . . ∪ Xs

where

Xk = {(i, j) | ak ≤ i, j ≤ bk },

for some integers 1 ≤ a1 ≤ . . . ≤ as ≤ n and 1 ≤ b1 ≤ . . . ≤ bs ≤ n such that

ak < bk for all k. We say that Y is the ladder with upper corners (a1 , b1 ), . . . , (as , bs ),

INVARIANTS OF IDEALS GENERATED BY PFAFFIANS 49

3

and that Xk is the square subladder of Y with upper outside corner (ak , bk ). We

allow two upper corners to have the same ﬁrst or second coordinate, but we assume

that no two upper corners coincide. Notice that with this convention a ladder does

not have a unique decomposition of the form (1.1). In other words, a ladder does

not correspond uniquely to a set of upper corners (a1 , b1 ), . . . , (as , bs ). However,

the upper corners determine the subladders Xk , hence the ladder Y according to

(1.1).

Let t be a positive integer. A 2t-pfaﬃan is the pfaﬃan of a 2t × 2t submatrix

of X. Given a ladder Y we set Y = {xij ∈ X | (i, j) ∈ Y, i < j}. We let I2t (Y )

denote the ideal generated by the set of the 2t-pfaﬃans of X which involve only

indeterminates of Y . In particular I2t (X) is the ideal generated by the 2t-pfaﬃans

of X. We regard all the ideals as ideals in K[X].

Whenever we consider a ladder Y, we assume that it comes with its set of upper

corners and the corresponding decomposition as a union of square subladders as in

(1.1).

The following family of ideals has been introduced and studied in [DGo]:

Definition 1.2. Let Y = X1 ∪ . . . ∪ Xs be a ladder as in Deﬁnition 1.1.

Let Xk = {xij | (i, j) ∈ Xk , i < j} for k = 1, . . . , s. Fix a vector t = (t1 , . . . , ts ),

t ∈ {1, . . . , n2 }s . The pfaﬃan ideal I2t (Y ) is by deﬁnition the sum of pfaﬃan

ideals I2t1 (X1 ) + . . . + I2ts (Xs ) ⊆ K[X]. We refer to these ideals as pfaﬃan ideals

of ladders.

Remarks 1.3 (Remarks 1.5, [DGo]). We can assume without loss of generality

that

2tk ≤ bk − ak + 1, for 1 ≤ k ≤ s.

Moreover, we can assume that

ak − ak−1 > tk−1 − tk and bk − bk−1 > tk − tk−1

for 2 ≤ k ≤ s.

In [DGo], pfaﬃan ideals of ladders are proved to be prime, normal, and Cohen-

Macaulay. A formula for their height is given.

Notation 1.4. For a ladder Y with upper corners (a1 , b1 ), . . . , (as , bs ) and

t = (t1 , . . . , ts ), we denote by Ỹ the ladder with upper corners (a1 + t1 − 1, b1 − t1 +

1), . . . , (as + ts − 1, bs − ts + 1).

Proposition 1.5 (Proposition 1.10, [DGo]). Let Y be the ladder with upper

corners (a1 , b1 ), . . . , (as , bs ) and t = (t1 , . . . , ts ). Let Ỹ be as in Notation 1.4. Then

the height of I2t (Y ) equals the cardinality of {(i, j) ∈ Ỹ | i < j}.

We now recall the deﬁnition of biliaison.

Definition 1.6. Let I, I , J be homogeneous, unmixed ideals in K[X], with

ht(I) = ht(I ) = ht(J) + 1. Assume that R/J is Cohen-Macaulay and generically

Gorenstein, i.e., (R/J)P is Gorenstein for any minimal associated prime P of J.

We say that I is obtained from I by a G-biliaison of height on J if I/J and

I /J() represent the same element in the ideal class group of K[X]/J.

50

4 EMANUELA DE NEGRI AND ELISA GORLA

there exist homogeneous polynomials f, g ∈ R with deg(g) = deg(f ) + , such that

f I + J = gI + J as ideals of R.

The main result of [DGo] is that ladder pfaﬃan ideals belong to the G-biliaison

class of a complete intersection. In particular, they are glicci. We brieﬂy recall the

single G-biliaison step which is described in the proof of [DGo, Theorem 2.3]. With

the notation of Deﬁnition 1.2, let Y be the subladder of Y with upper corners

(a1 , b1 ), . . . , (ak−1 , bk−1 ), (ak + 1, bk − 1), (ak+1 , bk+1 ), . . . , (as , bs ),

and let t = (t1 , . . . , tk−1 , tk − 1, tk+1 , . . . , ts ). Let Z be the subladder of Y obtained

by removing the entry (ak , bk ) and its symmetric. Equivalently, Z is the ladder with

upper corners

(a1 , b1 ), . . . , (ak−1 , bk−1 ), (ak , bk − 1), (ak + 1, bk ), (ak+1 , bk+1 ), . . . , (as , bs ).

Let u = (t1 , . . . , tk−1 , tk , tk , tk+1 , . . . , ts ). One has:

Theorem 1.7 (Theorem 2.3, [DGo]). Let I = I2t (Y ), I = I2t (Y ) and J =

I2u (Z) be ideals of K[X]. Then I is obtained from I via an elementary G-biliaison

of height 1 on J.

More precisely, with the above notation we have

f I + J = gI + J

where f ∈ I is a 2(tk − 1)-pfaﬃan, g ∈ I is a 2tk -pfaﬃan, and f, g ∈ J.

When discussing biliaison, we will refer without distinction to the ideals and

to the varieties associated to them.

In this paper we deal with special classes of pfaﬃan ideals of ladders, and we

compute some of their numerical invariants using the biliaison step described in

Theorem 1.7. The same technique gives a recursive procedure to determine such

invariants for any pfaﬃan ideal of ladder. However, it is in general hard to deduce

explicit formulas.

We now introduce the classes we are going to study. First we consider the ideal

Lnt = I2t (Y ) where Y is the ladder with upper corners (1, n − 1) an (2, n) and

t = (t, t). Clearly Lnt is generated by the 2t-pfaﬃans of the ladder obtained from

X by deleting the entries (1, n) and (n, 1).

(1, n − 1)

• (2, n)

•

2t-pfaﬃans

Lnt :

Then we restrict our attention to some ideals generated by pfaﬃans whose size

is maximal or submaximal, in a sense that we are going to specify. In particular, we

consider the ideals generated by maximal and by submaximal pfaﬃans of a skew-

symmetric matrix of indeterminates. More precisely, we denote by Mt the ideal

INVARIANTS OF IDEALS GENERATED BY PFAFFIANS 51

5

generated by the 2t-Pfaﬃans of a (2t + 1) × (2t + 1) matrix and by SMt the ideal

generated by the 2t-pfaﬃans of a (2t + 2) × (2t + 2) matrix.

Moreover we consider ideals generated by pfaﬃans of two diﬀerent sizes in

diﬀerent regions of a matrix. Here we regard nested matrices as a ladder. In

particular, we consider Nt = I2t (Y ) where Y is the ladder with upper corners

(1, 2t − 1) and (1, 2t + 1), and t = (t − 1, t). So Nt is the ideal generated by the

2t-pfaﬃans of a skew-symmetric matrix of size 2t + 1 and the (2t − 2)-pfaﬃans of

its ﬁrst 2t − 1 rows and columns. We denote by SNt the ideal I2t (Y ) where Y is

the ladder with upper corners (1, 2t − 1) and (1, 2t + 2), and t = (t − 1, t). This

is the ideal generated by the 2t-pfaﬃans of a skew-symmetric matrix of size 2t + 2

and the (2t − 2)-pfaﬃans of its ﬁrst 2t − 1 rows and columns.

• • • • (1, 2t + 2)

Nt :

SNt :

2t-pfaﬀ.

2t-pfaﬀ.

We let Lt (k) = I2t (Y ), where Y is the ladder with upper corners (1, 2t +

1), (2, 2t + 2), (3, 2t + 3), . . . , (k, 2t + k), and t = (t, . . . , t). Notice that Lt (1) = Mt ,

and Lt (2) = L2t+2t .

(1, 2t + 1) (1, 2t + 1)

• (2, 2t + 2) • (2, 2t + 2)

• • ..

• .

• (k, 2t + k)

•

2t-pfaﬃans 2t-pfaﬃans

Lt (2) : Lt (k):

Moreover, given two integers j and k we let Yjk be the ladder with the j + k

upper outside corners (1, 2t − 1), (2, 2t), (3, 2t + 1), . . . , (j, 2t + j − 2), (j, 2t + j), (j +

1, 2t + j + 1), . . . , (j + k − 1, 2t + j + k − 1). We consider the ideal

Lt (j, k) := I2t (Yjk ), where t = (t − 1, . . . , t − 1, t, . . . , t).

j k

Notice that Lt (0, k) = Lt+1 (k, 0). Moreover, this class contains most of the classes

that we have already introduced. More precisely: Lt (k) = Lt (0, k), Mt = Lt (0, 1),

SMt = Lt (1, 0), and Nt = Lt (1, 1).

52

6 EMANUELA DE NEGRI AND ELISA GORLA

(1, 2t − 1)

•

(2, 2t)

•

(3, 2t + 1) (3, 2t + 3)

• •

(4, 2t + 4)

(2t − 2)-pfaﬀ. •

• (5, 2t + 5)

(6, 2t + 6)

•

Lt (j, k) :

j = 3, k = 4 2t-pfaﬃans

Given two integers j and k, we let Zjk be the ladder with the j +k upper outside

corners (1, 2t − 1), (2, 2t), (3, 2t + 1), . . . , (j, 2t + j − 2), (j + 1, 2t + j + 1), . . . , (j +

k, 2t + j + k). We consider the ideal

j k

(1, 2t − 1)

•

(2, 2t)

•

(3, 2t + 1)

•

(4, 2t + 4)

(2t − 2)-pfaﬀ. •

• (5, 2t + 5)

(6, 2t + 6)

•

Ht (j, k) :

j = 3, k = 3 2t-pfaﬃans

INVARIANTS OF IDEALS GENERATED BY PFAFFIANS 53

7

In this section we give some formulas for the multiplicity of the ideals introduced

in the previous section. Throughout the section, we denote by e(I) the multiplicity

of R/I for any ideal I ⊂ R = K[X]. All the formulas that we produce are obtained

as a ﬁnite sum of positive contributions. Therefore they are well suited to give lower

bounds for the multiplicity. In the sequel we will need the following well know fact,

which we prove for completeness.

Proposition 2.1. Let H, I, J ⊂ K[X] be homogeneous, unmixed ideals. As-

sume that H is Cohen-Macaulay and that I is obtained from J via an elementary

G-biliaison of height ∈ Z on H. Then

e(I) = e(J) + e(H).

Proof. Let U, S, T be the schemes associated to H, I, J, respectively. Under

our assumptions, U is arithmetically Cohen-Macaulay and S, T are generalized

divisors on U . Moreover, S is linearly equivalent to T + h as generalized divisors

on U , where h denotes the hyperplane section class on U . In particular

e(I) = deg(S) = deg(T ) + deg(U ) = e(J) + e(H).

symmetric matrix of indeterminates. In [K, Theorem 7] Krattenthaler proved that

2(t − 1) + i + j

(2.1) e(Itn ) = .

i+j

1≤i≤j≤n−2t+1

2(t − 1) + i + j 2(t − 1) + i + j

e(Mt ) = , e(SMt ) = .

i+j i+j

1≤i≤j≤2 1≤i≤j≤3

From the results in [DGo] one can easily deduce a formula for the multiplicity

of the ideal Lnt .

Proposition 2.2.

2(t − 1) + i + j

(n−2t+2)!

e(Lnt ) = (2n−4t+4)!

(2n−2t+2)!

n!

− (n−1)!

(2t−3)! i+j

1≤i≤j≤n−2t+2

n−1

via an elemen-

n

tary G-biliaison of height 1 on Lt . Hence by Proposition 2.1

e(Lnt ) = e(Itn+1 ) − e(It−1

n−1

).

Substituting (2.1) we obtain e(Lnt ) =

1

(2t − 2 + i + j) − (2t − 4 + i + j) .

i+j

1≤i≤j≤n−2t+2 1≤i≤j≤n−2t+2 1≤i≤j≤n−2t+2

Since

(2t − 4 + i + j) = (2t − 2 + i + j)

1≤i≤j≤n−2t+2 0≤i≤j≤n−2t+1

54

8 EMANUELA DE NEGRI AND ELISA GORLA

(2t − 2 + i + j) − (2t − 4 + i + j) =

1≤i≤j≤n−2t+2

1≤i≤j≤n−2t+2

.

(2(t − 1) + i + j) (n + i) − (2t − 2 + j)

1≤i≤j≤n−2t+1 1≤i≤n−2t+2 0≤j≤n−2t+1

1

(2(t − 1) + i + j) =

i+j

1≤i≤j≤n−2t+2 1≤i≤j≤n−2t+1

(2(t − 1) + i + j) 1

.

i+j n − 2t + 2 + i

1≤i≤j≤n−2t+1 1≤i≤n−2t+2

The case of ideals generated by maximal pfaﬃans of a matrix has been exten-

sively studied. In particular it is well known that

(2.2) e(Lt (1)) = e(Mt ) = 1 + 22 + 32 + · · · + t2

(see [HTV, Section 6], and [HT, Theorem 5.6 and the following example]).

We deduce the following formulas from Theorem 1.7.

Proposition 2.3.

t

e(Lt (2)) = 1 + [2s(1 + 22 + · · · + s2 ) − s3 ]

s=2

and

t−1

e(Nt ) = 1 + [2s(1 + 22 + · · · + s2 ) − s3 ] + t(1 + 22 + · · · + (t − 1)2 ).

s=2

Proof. By Theorem 1.7 the ideal Lt (2) is obtained from Nt via an elementary

G-biliaison of height 1 on Mt + (f ), where f is a 2t-pfaﬃan which is regular modulo

Mt . Thus by Proposition 2.1 one has

(2.3) e(Lt (2)) = e(Nt ) + e(Mt + (f )) = e(Nt ) + te(Mt ).

Moreover the ideal Nt is obtained from Lt−1 (2) via an elementary G-biliaison of

height 1 on Mt−1 + (g), where g is a 2t-pfaﬃan which is regular modulo Mt−1 .

Therefore

(2.4) e(Nt ) = e(Lt−1 (2)) + te(Mt−1 )

and combining (2.3) and (2.4) one gets

(2.5) e(Lt (2)) = e(Lt−1 (2)) + te(Mt−1 ) + te(Mt ).

Finally by (2.5) and (2.2), after solving the recursion one obtains

t

t

e(Lt (2)) = 1 + [s(e(Ms−1 ) + e(Ms ))] = 1 + [2s(1 + 22 + · · · + s2 ) − s3 ].

s=2 s=2

The formula for e(Nt ) follows from substituting the formula for e(Lt (2)) and (2.2)

in (2.4).

We now deduce a formula for the multiplicity of ideals generated by submaximal

pfaﬃans.

INVARIANTS OF IDEALS GENERATED BY PFAFFIANS 55

9

Corollary 2.4.

t

r

e(SMt ) = t + [2s(1 + 22 + · · · + s2 ) − s3 ].

r=2 s=2

height 1 on Lt (2), one has e(SMt ) = e(SMt−1 ) + e(Lt (2)). By solving the recursion

and using Proposition 2.3, one obtains the result.

I1 = I2t1 (Y1 ) and I2 = I2t2 (Y2 ) be pfaﬃan ideals associated to the ladders Y1 and

Y2 , and let the upper corners of Y be the union of the upper corners of Y1 and Y2 .

Let t = t1 ⊕ t2 be the vector obtained by appending the vector t2 to the vector

t1 and let I = I2t (Y ) = I1 + I2 be the pfaﬃan ideal associated to the ladder Y. If

Y1 ∩ Y2 = ∅, one can easily show that

(2.6) e(I) = e(I1 )e(I2 ).

The following theorem gives a suﬃcient condition on the ladder so that (2.6) holds.

Theorem 2.5. Let Y, Y1 , Y2 be ladders, Y = Y1 ∪ Y2 . Let I1 = I2t1 (Y1 ) and

I2 = I2t2 (Y2 ) be pfaﬃan ideals of ladders associated to Y1 and Y2 . Let t = t1 ⊕ t2

and let I = I2t (Y ) = I1 + I2 be the corresponding pfaﬃan ideal of ladder. Let

Ỹ, Y˜1 , Y˜2 be deﬁned as in Notation 1.4, and let Ỹ , Y˜1 , Y˜2 be the corresponding sets

of indeterminates. If Y˜1 ∩ Y˜2 = ∅, then

e(I) = e(I1 )e(I2 ).

Proof. Let Z = Y1 ∩ Y2 , R1 = K[Y1 ]/I1 , and R2 = K[Y2 ]/I2 . We have

K[Y ]/I ∼

= R1 ⊗K R2 /J

where J is generated by |Z| linear forms (which identify the corresponding indeter-

minates in Y1 and Y2 ). If Y˜1 ∩ Y˜2 = ∅, then

ht I = ht I1 + ht I2

hence

ht J = dim R1 ⊗ R2 − dim K[Y ]/I = |Y1 | − ht I1 + |Y2 | − ht I2 − |Y | + ht I = |Z|.

Since R1 ⊗ R2 is a Cohen-Macaulay ring, J is generated by a regular sequence and

e(I) = e(R1 ⊗K R2 /J) = e(I1 )e(I2 ).

plicity can be computed directly from Theorem 2.5.

Proposition 2.6.

e(Ht (j, k)) = e(Lt−1 (j))e(Lt (k)).

Proof. Let Y = Zjk be the ladder with the j + k upper corners (1, 2t −

1), (2, 2t), . . . , (j, 2t + j − 2), (j + 1, 2t + j + 1), . . . , (j + k, 2t + j + k). Let Y1 be

the ladder with the j upper corners (1, 2t − 1), . . . , (j, 2t + j − 2) and let Y2 be the

56

10 EMANUELA DE NEGRI AND ELISA GORLA

Y = Y1 ∪ Y2 . Let

t1 = (t − 1, . . . , t − 1), t2 = (t, . . . , t), t = t1 ⊕ t2 = (t − 1, . . . , t − 1, t, . . . , t).

j k j k

Then Y˜1 is the ladder with upper outside corners (t − 1, t + 1), (t, t + 2), . . . , (t + j −

2, t + j) and Y˜2 is the ladder with upper outside corners (t + j, t + j + 2), . . . , (t +

j + k − 1, t + j + k + 1). Hence Y˜1 ∩ Y˜2 = {(t + j, t + j)} and Y1 ∩ Y2 = ∅. By

Theorem 2.5 it follows that

e(Ht (j, k)) = e(I1 )e(I2 )

where I1 = I2t1 (Y1 ) and I2 = I2t2 (Y2 ). The thesis follows from the observation

that I1 = Lt−1 (j) and I2 = Lt (k).

Combining Proposition 2.6 and Proposition 2.8, we obtain a formula for the

multiplicity of the ideals Lt (j, k).

Proposition 2.7. For j, k ≥ 1 we have

k−1

e(Lt (j, k)) = e(Lt−1 (j + k)) + te(Lt−1 (j + k − 1)) + e(Lt−1 (j + k − 1 − l))e(Lt (l)).

l=1

tained from Lt−1 (j + 1) via an elementary G-biliaison on Lt−1 (j) + (f ), where f is

a 2t-pfaﬃan which does not belong to Lt−1 (j). Hence by Proposition 2.1

e(Lt (j, 1)) = e(Lt−1 (j + 1)) + te(Lt−1 (j)).

This proves the thesis for k = 1. To establish the formula for k ≥ 2, observe that

Lt (j, k) is obtained from Lt (j + 1, k − 1) via an elementary G-biliaison of height 1

on Ht (j, k − 1). Hence by Proposition 2.1 and Proposition 2.6

(2.7) e(Lt (j, k)) = e(Lt (j + 1, k − 1)) + e(Lt−1 (j))e(Lt (k − 1)).

By induction hypothesis e(Lt (j + 1, k − 1)) =

k−2

e(Lt−1 (j + k)) + te(Lt−1 (j + k − 1)) + e(Lt−1 (j + k − 1 − l))e(Lt (l))

l=1

and the thesis follows.

Explicit formulas for e(Lt (1)) and e(Lt (2)) were given in (2.2) and in Proposi-

tion 2.3. Since L1 (k) is generated by indeterminates, e(L1 (k)) = 1 for any k. The

following formula allows us to calculate e(Lt (k)) recursively, for t ≥ 2 and k ≥ 3.

Proposition 2.8. For t, k ≥ 2 we have e(Lt (k)) =

k−2

e(Lt−1 (k)) + t[e(Lt (k − 1)) + e(Lt−1 (k − 1))] + e(Lt−1 (k − 1 − l))e(Lt (l)).

l=1

G-biliaison of height 1 on Lt (k − 1) + (f ), where f is a 2t-pfaﬃan which does not

belong to Lt (k − 1). Hence by Proposition 2.1 and Proposition 2.7

e(Lt (k)) = Lt (1, k − 1) + te(Lt (k − 1)) =

INVARIANTS OF IDEALS GENERATED BY PFAFFIANS 57

11

k−2

e(Lt−1 (k)) + t[e(Lt (k − 1)) + e(Lt−1 (k − 1))] + e(Lt−1 (k − 1 − l))e(Lt (l)).

l=1

Remarks 2.9. (1) Proposition 2.8 allows us to compute the multiplicity

of the ideals Lt (k) for any values of t and k. This can in fact be done

recursively, using as a starting point that e(L1 (k)) = 1 for any k, and

the explicit formulas for the multiplicities of Lt (1) = Mt and Lt (2) which

appear in (2.2) and in Proposition 2.3, respectively.

(2) Proposition 2.7 allows us to compute the multiplicity of the ideals Lt (j, k)

for any values of t, j, k. One can in fact use Proposition 2.8 to compute

the multiplicities of Lt (1), . . . , Lt (k − 1) and Lt−1 (j), . . . , Lt−1 (j + k).

(3) Since Lt (k) = Lt (0, k), the multiplicity of Lt (j, k) for j = 0 is computed

in Proposition 2.8. In fact, the formula obtained in Proposition 2.8 corre-

sponds to the formula computed in Proposition 2.7 for j = 0, taken “cum

grano salis”.

(4) The formula given in Proposition 2.7 is false for k = 0.

Finally, we express the multiplicity of SNt in terms of the multiplicities of SMt

and Lt (1, 2). The latter two can be computed by Proposition 2.4 and Proposi-

tion 2.7.

Proposition 2.10. For t ≥ 1 we have

t

t−1

e(SNt ) = e(Ls (1, 2)) + s e(SMs ) + 1.

s=2 s=2

indeterminates and e(SN1 ) = 1.

Let Y denote the ladder with upper corners (1, 2t − 1) and (2, 2t + 1). Then

I2(t−1) (Y ) is the ideal generated by the 2(t−1)-pfaﬃans of Y. By Theorem 1.7, SNt

is obtained from I2(t−1) (Y ) via an elementary G-biliaison of height 1 on Lt (1, 2).

In turn, I2(t−1) (Y ) is obtained from SNt−1 via an elementary G-biliaison of height

1 on SMt−1 + (f ), where f is a 2(t − 1)-pfaﬃan which does not belong to SMt−1 .

Therefore, by Proposition 2.1

e(SNt ) = e(Lt (1, 2)) + (t − 1)e(SMt−1 ) + e(SNt−1 )

and the thesis follows by induction hypothesis.

Remark 2.11. From the proof of Proposition 2.10 it also follows that

t−1

e(I2(t−1) (Y )) = e(SNt ) − e(Lt (1, 2)) = [e(Ls (1, 2) + se(Ms )] + 1.

s=2

3. Castelnuovo-Mumford regularity

In this section we use biliaison to compute the Castelnuovo-Mumford regularity

of some of the ideals considered in the previous section. For an ideal I of R = K[X],

we denote by βi,j (I) the (i, j)−th graded Betti number of I, regarded as an R-

module. The Castelnuovo-Mumford regularity of a Cohen-Macaulay ideal I of

height h = ht(I) is

reg(I) = max{j | βh−1,j (I) = 0} − h + 1.

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12 EMANUELA DE NEGRI AND ELISA GORLA

The following result allows us to recursively compute the Castelnuovo Mumford

regularities of ideals obtained one from the other by biliaison.

Theorem 3.1. Let H, I, J ⊂ R be homogeneous, Cohen-Macaulay ideals. As-

sume that I is obtained from J via an elementary G-biliaison of height ∈ Z on

H. If reg(J) < reg(H), then

reg(I) = reg(H) + − 1.

Proof. Since I is obtained from J via an elementary G-biliaison of height

∈ Z on H, there are homogeneous polynomials f, g with deg(f ) + = deg(g) =: t

such that

f I + H = gJ + H ⊂ R.

Let h = ht I = ht J = ht H + 1. Applying the Mapping Cone construction to the

short exact sequence

0 −→ H[−t] −→ H ⊕ J[−t] −→ gJ + H −→ 0

we have that

reg(gJ + H) = max{j | βh−1,j (gJ + H) = 0} − h + 1 =

max{reg(H) + h − 2, reg(J) + h − 1} + t − h + 1 = reg(H) + t − 1.

The last equality follows from the assumption that reg(J) < reg(H). The previous

equality follows from the observation that, since J and H are Cohen-Macaulay

ideals,

max{j | βh−2,j (H) = 0} = reg(H) + h − 2 ≥

reg(J) + h − 1 > max{j | βh−2,j (J) = 0}

therefore no cancellation involving a direct summand R[−reg(H) + h − 2] can take

place in the free resolution of gJ + H.

In an analogous fashion, we can produce a free resolution for gJ + H = f I + H

by applying the Mapping Cone construction to the short exact sequence

0 −→ H[−t + ] −→ H ⊕ I[−t + ] −→ f I + H −→ 0.

Since

max{j | βh−1,j (f I + H) = 0} = reg(H) + t + h − 2 >

reg(H) + h − 2 + t − = max{j | βh−2,j (H[−t + ]) = 0},

it must be

reg(H) + t + h − 2 = max{j | βh−1,j (I[−t + ]) = 0} = reg(I) + h − 1 + t − ,

hence

reg(I) = reg(H) + − 1.

We now derive formulas for the Castelnuovo-Mumford regularity of some pfaf-

ﬁan ideals of ladders. They are all easy consequences of Theorem 3.1.

Proposition 3.2. For t ≥ 1 we have

reg(Lt (2)) = 3t − 2

and for t ≥ 2

reg(Nt ) = 3t − 4.

INVARIANTS OF IDEALS GENERATED BY PFAFFIANS 59

13

by induction on t ≥ 2. If t = 2, L1 (2) is generated by indeterminates, hence

reg(L1 (2)) = 1. By Theorem 1.7, N2 is obtained from L1 (2) via an ascending G-

biliaison of height 1 on M1 + (p), where p is a 4-pfaﬃan which is regular modulo

M1 . Since reg(L1 (2)) = 1 < 2 = reg(H), by Theorem 3.1 we have

reg(N2 ) = 2.

We now assume by induction hypothesis that reg(Lt−2 (2)) = 3t−8 and reg(Nt−1 ) =

3t − 7, and compute the regularity of Lt−1 (2) and Nt . By Theorem 1.7, the

ideal Lt−1 (2) is obtained from Nt−1 via an elementary G-biliaison of height 1 on

Mt−1 + (f ), where f is a 2(t − 1)-pfaﬃan which is regular modulo Mt−1 . Since

reg(Nt−1 ) = 3t − 7 < 3t − 5 = reg(Mt−1 + (f )), by Theorem 3.1

reg(Lt−1 (2)) = 3t − 5.

By Theorem 1.7, the ideal Nt is obtained from Lt−1 (2) via an elementary G-biliaison

of height 1 on Mt−1 + (g), where g is a 2t-pfaﬃan which is regular modulo Mt−1 .

Since reg(Lt−1 (2)) = 3t − 5 < 3t − 4 = reg(Mt−1 + g), by Theorem 3.1 we have

reg(Nt ) = 3t − 4.

Proposition 3.3. For t ≥ 1 we have

reg(SMt ) = 3t − 2.

Proof. We proceed by induction on t ≥ 1. If t = 1, SM1 is generated by

indeterminates, hence reg(SM1 ) = 1. By Theorem 1.7 the ideal SMt is obtained

from SMt−1 via an elementary G-biliaison of height 1 on Lt (2). By induction

hypothesis and Proposition 3.2

reg(SMt−1 ) = 3t − 5 < 3t − 2 = reg Lt (2).

Therefore, by Theorem 3.1

reg(SMt ) = reg(Lt (2)) = 3t − 2.

The ideal Mt generated by the 2t-pfaﬃans of a generic skew-symmetric matrix

of size 2t + 1 is a Gorenstein ideal of height 3. A classical result due to Buchsbaum

and Eisenbud [BE] states that any Gorenstein ideal of height 3 is obtained by spe-

cialization from Mt , for some t. An alternative proof for many classically known

results on Gorenstein ideals of height 3 can therefore be given by combining spe-

cialization with a liaison approach analogous to what we have done in the previous

sections.

In this section we wish to give a taste of what can be obtained following such an

approach. In particular, we use G-biliaison to compute the graded Betti numbers

of the ideal Mt and to prove that its h-vector is of decreasing type. We start by

recalling some deﬁnitions and ﬁxing the notation.

Let I be a homogeneous ideal of R = K[X]. The Hilbert function of R/I is

deﬁned as

HI (m) = dimK (R/I)m

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14 EMANUELA DE NEGRI AND ELISA GORLA

for every integer m. Clearly HI (m) = 0 for m < 0. The formal power series

HSI (z) = HI (m)z m

m∈Z

is called the Hilbert series of R/I. It is well known that the Hilbert series of R/I

is of the form

hI (0) + hI (1)z + . . . + hI (s)z s

HSI (z) = ,

(1 − z)d

where d = dim(R/I) and hi ∈ Z for every i. The vector

hI = (hI (0), . . . , hI (s)) ∈ Zs

is called h-vector of I. Moreover we denote by ΔHI the ﬁrst diﬀerence of HI , that

is

ΔHI (m) = HI (m) − HI (m − 1).

Definition 4.1. Let h = (h0 , h1 , . . . , hs ) ∈ Zs

a) h is unimodal if there exists t ∈ {1, . . . s} such that h1 ≤ h2 ≤ · · · ≤ ht ≥ ht+1 ≥

· · · ≥ hs .

b) h is of decreasing type if whenever ht > ht+1 , then hj > hj+1 for every j > t.

Notice that every h-vector of decreasing type is unimodal.

Proposition 4.2. The h-vector of Mt is of decreasing type.

Proof. Let X be a (2t+1)×(2t+1) skew-symmetric matrix of indeterminates

and let R = K[X] be the corresponding polynomial ring. Denote by h(t,t) (m) the

m-th entry of the h-vector of a complete intersection generated by two forms of

degree t.

We follow the notation of Section 1 and consider the ideals Mt , Mt−1 and

L2t+1

t =: I. It is clear that I is generated by two 2t-pfaﬃans which form a complete

intersection. By Theorem 1.7, Mt−1 is obtained from Mt via an elementary G-

biliaison of height 1 on I. In other words, there are homogeneous polynomials f, g

of degree t − 1 and t respectively, such that

f Mt + I = gMt−1 + I ⊂ R.

By the additivity of the Hilbert function on the two short exact sequences

0 −→ I[−t + 1] −→ I ⊕ Mt [−t + 1] −→ f Mt + I −→ 0

0 −→ I[−t] −→ I ⊕ Mt−1 [−t] −→ gMt−1 + I −→ 0

one obtains that HMt (d − t + 1) − HI (d − t + 1) = HMt−1 (d − t) − HI (d − t) for any

d ∈ Z. By setting m = d − t + 1, we get

HMt (m) = HMt−1 (m − 1) + ΔHI (m).

Since dim R/I − 1 = dim R/Mt−1 = dim R/Mt , one has

hMt (m) = hMt−1 (m − 1) + h(t,t) (m).

Solving the recursion one obtains

t

hMt (m) = hM1 (m − t + 1) + h(j,j) (m − t + j).

j=2

This proves that the h-vector of Mt is obtained by summing the h-vectors of suitable

complete intersections. Notice that the h-vectors involved in the summation are

INVARIANTS OF IDEALS GENERATED BY PFAFFIANS 61

15

shifted in such a way, that the maximum is always attained at the same point.

Therefore, their sum hMt is of decreasing type.

0 −→ R[−2t − 1] −→ R[−t − 1]2t+1 −→ R[−t]2t+1 −→ Mt −→ 0.

is generated by three distinct indeterminates, hence a minimal free resolution has

the form

0 −→ R[−3] −→ R[−2]3 −→ R[−1]3 −→ M1 −→ 0.

Assume now that t ≥ 2 and consider the ideals Mt , Mt−1 and L2t+1 t . We denote

L2t+1

t by I for brevity. It is clear that I is generated by two 2t-pfaﬃans which

form a complete intersection. By Theorem 1.7, Mt−1 is obtained from Mt via

an elementary G-biliaison of height 1 on I. Moreover, there are homogeneous

polynomials f, g of degree t − 1 and t respectively, such that

f Mt + I = gMt−1 + I ⊂ R.

By induction hypothesis Mt−1 has a minimal free resolution of the form

0 −→ R[−2t + 1] −→ R[−t]2t−1 −→ R[−t + 1]2t−1 −→ Mt−1 −→ 0.

Let

0 −→ F3 −→ F2 −→ F1 −→ Mt −→ 0

be a minimal free resolution of Mt . Applying the Mapping Cone to the two short

exact sequences

0 −→ I[−t + 1] −→ I ⊕ Mt [−t + 1] −→ f Mt + I −→ 0

one obtains free resolutions for the ideal J = f Mt + I = gMt−1 + I of the form

R[−3t + 1] R[−t]2

0 −→ ⊕ −→ R[−2t] 2t+2

−→ ⊕ −→ J −→ 0

R[−3t] R[−2t + 1]2t−1

and

R[−3t + 1] R[−2t] ⊕ R[−2t + 1]2 R[−t]2

0→ ⊕ → ⊕ → ⊕ → J → 0.

F3 [−t + 1] F2 [−t + 1] F1 [−t + 1]

The ﬁrst free resolution must be minimal, hence

(4.1) F3 ⊇ R[−2t − 1], F2 ⊇ R[−2t]2t+1 , and F1 ⊇ R[−t]2t+1 .

Since no cancellation is possible among F1 [−t + 1], F2 [−t + 1] and F3 [−t + 1] in the

second free resolution of J, we deduce that all the containments in (4.1) must be

equalities.

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16 EMANUELA DE NEGRI AND ELISA GORLA

References

A. L. Avramov. “A class of factorial domains”, Serdica 5 (1979), 378–379.

BE. D. Buchsbaum, D. Eisenbud. “Algebra structures for ﬁnite free resolutions, and some

structure theorems for ideals of codimension 3”, Amer. J. Math. 99 (1977), no. 3,

447–485.

BCG. N. Budur, M. Casanellas, E. Gorla. “Hilbert functions of irreducible arithmetically

Gorenstein schemes”, J. Algebra 272 (2004), no. 1, 292–310.

C. A. Conca, “Gröbner bases of ideals of minors of a symmetric matrix”, J. Algebra 166

(1994), no. 2, 406–421.

CN. A. Corso, U. Nagel. “Monomial and toric ideals associated to Ferrers graphs”, Trans.

Amer. Math. Soc. 361 (2009), no. 3, 1371–1395.

D. E. De Negri. “Pfaﬃan ideals of ladders”, J. Pure Appl. Alg.125 (1998), 141–153.

D1. E. De Negri. “Some results on Hilbert series and a-invariant of Pfaﬃan ideals”, Math.

J. Toyama Univ. 24 (2001), 93–106.

DGo. E. De Negri, E. Gorla. “G-Biliaison of ladder Pfaﬃan varieties”, J. Algebra 321 (2009),

no. 9, 2637–2649.

K. C. Krattenthaler, “The major counting of nonintersecting lattice paths and generating

functions for tableaux”, Mem. Amer. Math. Soc. 115 (1995).

HT. J. Herzog, N. V. Trung. “Gröbner bases and multiplicity of determinantal and Pfaﬃan

ideals”, Adv. Math. 96 (1992), 1–37.

HTV. J. Herzog, N. V. Trung, G. Valla. “On hyperplane sections of reduced irreducible vari-

eties of low codimension”, J. Math. Kyoto Univ. 34 (1994), no. 1, 47–72.

KL. H. Kleppe, D. Laksov. “The algebraic structure and deformation of Pfaﬃan schemes”,

J. Algebra 64 (1980), 167–189.

Genova, Italia.

E-mail address: denegri@dima.unige.it

land.

E-mail address: elisa.gorla@unibas.ch

Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

and the tangent cone deﬁned by them satisfy some condition, then we have a

full control of the Hilbert coeﬃcients of I ∩J in terms of the Hilbert coeﬃcients

of I, J and I + J. As a corollary we provide a purely algebraic proof of the

Sally’s conjecture on the monotony of the Hilbert function, extending to the

non-equicharacteristic case the previous proof given by the ﬁrst author.

Introduction

It is well known that in the local case the Hilbert polynomial behaves bad

with respect the intersection of ideals; see Example 1.6. Moreover, given I, J two

ideals geometrically linked in a Cohen-Macaulay ring R, what can be said about the

Hilbert polynomial of R/I∩J with respect the Hilbert polynomials of R/I and R/J?

In view of the well known formula about their multiplicities e0 (I∩J) = e0 (I)+e0 (J),

there exists similar formulae for the higher Hilbert coeﬃcients ei ?

In this paper we show that, under a good condition on the tangent cones, there

is an easy link between the Hilbert coeﬃcients of I, J, I +J and I ∩J, Corollary 1.3.

In particular, if I, J are geometrically linked then we get the Hilbert coeﬃcients of

I ∩ J in terms of the Hilbert coeﬃcients of I, J and I + J, Proposition 1.5. See [3],

and [4], for the corresponding result in the graded case.

In the section two we carefully analyze the one-dimensional case giving a purely

algebraic proof, avoiding the use of inﬁnitely near points, of some previous results

of [2]. As corollary we give in Theorem 2.8 a short proof of Sally’s conjecture, [8],

already settled by the author in [2]. See also the contribution of M. E. Rossi in this

volume, [7]

Notations. Let R be a d-dimensional Noetherian local ring with maximal ideal

m. We assume that the residue ﬁeld k = R/m is inﬁnite. For an ideal I ⊂ R we

Key words and phrases. Hilbert polynomial, liaison.

The ﬁrst author is partially supported by MTM2010-20279-C02-01.

1

63

64

2 JUAN ELIAS AND JORDI MARTÍNEZ-BORRUEL

0 mn + I

HR/I (n) = dimk ,

mn+1 + I

and the ﬁrst iterated Hilbert function by

n

1 0 R

HR/I (n) = HR/I (i) = dimk .

i=0

mn+1 + I

By a well known result of Hilbert there exist integers ej (I) ∈ Z such that the

polynomial

d

z+d−j

h1R/I (z) = (−1)j ej (I) ,

j=0

d−j

known as the Hilbert polynomial of R/I, satisﬁes

h1R/I (n) = HR/I

1

(n)

for all n 0. The numbers e0 (I), e1 (I), . . . , ed (I) are the Hilbert coeﬃcients of

R/I, e0 (I) is the multiplicity of R/I.

We denote by grm (R) = ⊕n≥0 mn /mn+1 the associated graded ring to R. Then

we deﬁne I ∗ , the ideal of initial forms of I, to be the graded ideal of grm (R) such

that grm (R/I) = grm (R)/I ∗ . From the exact sequence

mn ∩ (mn+1 + I) mn mn + I

0 −→ In∗ := −→ −→ −→ 0

mn+1 mn+1 mn+1 + I

we get I ∗ = ∗

n≥0 In . The tangent cone of X = Spec (R/I) is the projective

sub-scheme of Proj (grm (R)) deﬁned by Con (X) = Proj (grm (R/I)).

Let I, J, K be ideals of R such that K ⊆ I ∩ J. For all n ∈ N we consider the

ﬁnite length R-module

(I + mn+1 ) ∩ (J + mn+1 )

Tn = .

K + mn+1

n ≥ 0 it holds

1

λk (Tn ) = HR/K 1

(n) + HR/I+J (n) − HR/I

1

(n) − HR/J

1

(n).

In particular λk (Tn ) is an asymptotically polynomial function on n for all n 0.

The following conditions conditions are equivalent:

(i) Tn = 0, for n 0,

(ii) h1R/K = h1R/I + h1R/J − h1R/I+J .

If we write X = Spec (R/I), Y = Spec (R/J) and Z = Spec (R/K) then the above

conditions imply the following equivalent conditions:

(iii) In∗ ∩ Jn∗ = Kn∗ , for n 0,

(iv) Con (X) ∪ Con (Y ) = Con (Z).

If depth (R/K) > 0 then the above four conditions are equivalent.

HILBERT POLYNOMIAL AND THE INTERSECTION OF IDEALS 65

3

R R R R

0 −→ Tn −→ −→ ⊕ −→ −→ 0

K + mn+1 I + mn+1 J + mn+1 I + J + mn+1

we get

1 1 1 1

HR/K (n) + HR/I+J (n) = HR/I (n) + HR/J (n) + λk (Tn ).

From this identity we get the ﬁrst part of the claim and that (i) is equivalent to

(ii).

For all n ≥ 0 let us consider the exact sequence of R-modules

In∗ ∩ Jn∗ mn + [(I + mn+1 ) ∩ (J + mn+1 )]

0 −→ −→ T n −→ −→ 0.

Kn∗ K + mn

If Tn = 0 for n 0 the from the above exact sequence we get (iii). From the

deﬁnition of the tangent cone it is easy to deduce the equivalence between (iii) and

(iv).

Now, if In∗ ∩ Jn∗ = Kn∗ for n 0 then, from last exact sequence again, we have

mn + [(I + mn+1 ) ∩ (J + mn+1 )] (I + mn ) ∩ (J + mn )

0 −→ Tn = → = Tn−1 .

K + mn K + mn

Hence we get a decreasing sequence of ﬁnite length R-modules

Tn−1 ⊇ Tn ⊇ Tn+1 ⊇ . . . ,

so we have Tn+1 = Tn for n ≥ n0 .

Since k is inﬁnite and depth (R/K) > 0, there exists a superﬁcial element x no

zero-divisor in R/K. So, for n ≥ n1 we have that the multiplication by x deﬁnes

the monomorphism:

·x

0 −−−−→ R

K+mn −−−−→ R

K+mn+1

that induces a monomorphism

·x

0 −−−−→ Tn−1 −−−−→ Tn .

Since the R-modules Tn have bounded length modules for n ≥ n0 . Then for all

n ≥ Max{n0 , n1 }

Tn = xTn−1 = xTn

and by Nakayama’s lemma, Tn = 0 for n ≥ Max{n0 , n1 }.

Proposition we have showed that if we have the asymptotic equality of the graded

pieces of these ideals then we can control the variation of the Hilbert polynomials.

On the other hand, there are two cases where the tangent cone can be computed or

controlled easily, this is the case of hypersurfaces and the case of one-dimensional

Cohen-Macaulay local rings. We will study the one-dimensional case in the second

section of this paper, see Example 1.7 for the case of hypersurfaces. On the other

hand is not diﬃcult to prove that the condition depth (R/K) > 0 is necessary in

Proposition 1.1.

Corollary 1.3. Let K ⊂ I ∩ J be ideals of R such that depth (R/K) > 0. Let

us suppose

(i) dim(R/I) = dim(R/J) = dim(R/K) = d, dim(R/I + J) = t, and

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4 JUAN ELIAS AND JORDI MARTÍNEZ-BORRUEL

Then it holds

(a) ei (K) = ei (I) + ei (J), for ≤ i < d − t,

(b) ei (K) = ei (I) + ei (J) + (−1)t−d+1 ei+t−d (I + J), for d − t ≤ i ≤ d:

Proof. From last theorem we have h1K (n) + h1I+J (n) = h1I (n) + h1J (n) and

writing this equality in terms of the Hilbert coeﬃcients, we get the claim.

Definition 1.4. Let us assume that R is regular. Two perfect ideals of the

same height I, J ⊂ R, without common minimal primes, are geometrically linked

by a Gorenstein ideal K if and only if I ∩ J = K.

the last corollary we obtain:

Gorenstein ideal K. If Con (X) ∪ Con (Y ) = Con (Z) then

(i) e0 (K) = e0 (I) + e0 (J),

(ii) ei (K) = ei (I) + ei (J) + ei−1 (I + J), for all i ≥ 1.

In the next example we prove that Con (X) ∪ Con (Y ) = Con (Z) is a necessary

condition in the two last results.

Example 1.6. Consider R = k[x, y](x,y) , I = (y − x2 ), J = (y). Then K =

I ∩ J = (y 2 − yx2 ). Then, we have Con (R/I) ∪ Con (R/J) Con (R/K) and

e1 (K) = 1
= 2 = e1 (I) + e1 (J) + e0 (I + J).

Remark 1.7. Let us consider now R = k[X1 , · · · , Xd ](X1 ,··· ,Xd ) , I = (F ), and

J = (G), where F, G ∈ S = k[X1 , · · · , Xd ] are coprimes polynomials of order d1

and d2 respectively. Then I ∩ J = (F.G), I ∗ = (F ∗ ), J ∗ = (G∗ ), (I ∩ J)∗ = (F ∗ G∗ ),

and I ∗ ∩ J ∗ = (mcm (F ∗ , G∗ )). If we take K = I ∩ J then

In∗ ∩ Jn∗ ∼ S

=

Kn∗ H n−(d1 d2 −t)

where H = F ∗ G∗ /mcm (F ∗ , G∗ ) is a degree t homogenous polynomial. Hence

In∗ ∩ Jn∗ = (I ∗ ∩ J ∗ )n for n 0 if and only if t = 0 or, equivalently, gcd(F ∗ , G∗ ) = 1.

Notice that under these hypotheses, I, J are geometrically linked by K.

2. 1-dimensional rings

Although the condition Con (R/I) ∪ Con (R/J) = Con (R/I ∩ J) of Proposi-

tion 1.1 is necessary in order to control the behavior of the Hilbert coeﬃcients, as

we saw in the Example 1.6, that condition is diﬃcult to check or to impose by di-

mension restrictions. In the one-dimensional case we can easily control the relative

position of Con (X) and Con (Y ), as we will see in this section. See [6] for the

computation of the tangent cone of the codimension two monomial curves.

In this section we assume that R is a regular local ring of dimension d, and we

denote by X1 , · · · , Xd a regular system of parameters of R. Then the associated

HILBERT POLYNOMIAL AND THE INTERSECTION OF IDEALS 67

5

graded ideal L ⊂ S we denote by HS/L0

the Hilbert function of the quotient S/I,

i.e.

0

HS/L = dimk ((S/L)n ) = dimk (Sn /Ln ).

for all n ≥ 0.

The ﬁrst part of the following result is well known but we insert it here for the

sake of completeness.

Proposition 2.1. (i) Given ideals I, J of R such that depth (R/I) ≥ 1 and

depth (R/J) ≥ 1, then

depth (R/I ∩ J) ≥ 1.

In particular, if I, J are perfect ideals of height d − 1 then I ∩ J is also a perfect

ideal of height d − 1.

(ii) Given ideals I, J ⊂ R of non-maximal height, let us consider the schemes

X = Spec (R/I), Y = Spec (R/J) deﬁned by them. If Con (X) ∩ Con (Y ) = ∅

then I, J do not share minimal primes.

Proof. (i) This is a straight depth counting in the standard exact sequence

R R R R

0 −→ −→ ⊕ −→ −→ 0.

I ∩J I J I +J

(ii) Let us assume that p is a common minimal prime of I and J. The minimal

primes of I, J have no maximal height, so we have that the height of p is also non-

maximal. Since dim(grk (R/p)) = dim(R/p) > 0 we get that In∗ ∩ Jn∗ ⊂ p∗n Sn for

all n ≥ 0. Hence ∅ Con (R/p) ⊂ Con (X) ∩ Con (Y ).

Remark 2.2. Notice that (i) of the last result cannot be generalized to higher

depths as the the following classical example shows: R = k[X, Y, Z, T ](X,Y,Z,T ) , and

the height two perfect ideals I = (X, Y ), and J = (Z, T ). It is well known that

R/I ∩ J has exactly depth one.

Spec (R/I), Y = Spec (R/J) the one-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay schemes deﬁned

by the ideals I, J, respectively. If Con (X) ∩ Con (Y ) = ∅ then

Con (R/I) ∪ Con (R/J) = Con (R/I ∩ J).

Proof. From the deﬁnition of the tangent cone we get that the condition

Con (X) ∩ Con (Y ) = ∅ is equivalent to

In∗ + Jn∗ = Sn

for all n 0. From this identity we get

0 0 0 0 0 0

HR/I (n) + HR/J (n) =HS/I ∗ (n) + HS/J ∗ (n) = HS/I ∗ ∩J ∗ (n) + HS/I ∗ +J ∗ (n)

0

=HS/I ∗ ∩J ∗ (n)

∗ ∩J ∗ (n) ≤ HS/(I∩J)∗ (n)

0 0 0 0

(1) HR/I (n) + HR/J (n) = HS/I

for all n 0.

68

6 JUAN ELIAS AND JORDI MARTÍNEZ-BORRUEL

On the other hand, since I, J be height d−1 perfect ideals of R without common

minimal primes, Proposition 2.1 (ii), from the additivity of the multiplicity we get

e0 (I ∩ J) = e0 (I) + e0 (J).

From this identity and the inequality (1) we deduce

∗ ∩J ∗ (n) = HS/(I∩J)∗ (n) = e0 (I ∩ J)

0 0 0 0

e0 (I) + e0 (J) = HR/I (n) + HR/J (n) = HS/I

for all n 0. Hence

In∗ ∩ Jn∗ = (I ∩ J)∗n

for all n 0, so

Con (R/I) ∪ Con (R/J) = Con (R/I ∩ J).

Corollary 2.4. Let I, J be height d−1 perfect ideals of R. Let X = Spec (R/I),

Y = Spec (R/J) the one-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay schemes deﬁned by the ideals

I, J, respectively. If Con (X) ∩ Con (Y ) = ∅ then

(i) e0 (I ∩ J) = e0 (I) + e0 (J),

(ii) e1 (I ∩ J) = e1 (I) + e1 (J) + e0 (I + J).

Remark 2.5. Notice that the condition Con (X)red ∩ Con (Y )red = ∅ is equi-

valent to Con (X) ∩ Con (Y ) = ∅. In the one-dimensional case the ﬁrst condition is

easy to check or impose as we will see in the next result.

s(I) = Max{n | I ⊂ mn }.

Notice that s(I) is also the least integer n such that In∗ = 0.

Given a nonzero vector a = (a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ) ∈ kd we denote by L(a1 , a2 , · · · , ad )

the height d − 1 perfect ideal deﬁned by the 2 × 2-minors of the matrix

a1 · · · a d

X1 · · · Xd

Notice that if ad = 0 then the ideal L(a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ) is generated by the linear

regular sequence of forms ad X1 − a1 Xd , · · · , ad Xd−1 − ad−1 Xd ; and L∗ is the homo-

geneous ideal of S generated by the above linear forms. In a geometric framework,

i.e. R = [X1 , · · · , Xd ](X1 ,··· ,Xd ) , R/L is the local ring of regular functions at the

origin of the straight line Y = {(a1 , a2 , · · · , ad )t | t ∈ k} ⊂ kd .

In the next result we study the variation of the Hilbert polynomial of R/I by

”adding a line”, i.e. the variation of the Hilbert polynomial by intersecting I with

L(a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ). See [2], Lemma 2.1, by a geometric proof of this result by using

the device of inﬁnitely near points.

HILBERT POLYNOMIAL AND THE INTERSECTION OF IDEALS 69

7

be an homogeneous form of degree s = s(I). Let L = L(a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ) be the ideal

deﬁned by a nonzero vector a = (a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ) ∈ kd . If H(a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ) = 0 then

0 0 n+d−1

HI∩L (n) = Max HI (n) + 1,

d−1

for all n ≥ 0.

Proof. Let us assume that ad = 0. Then HXdn−s ∈ In∗ but HXdn−s ∈ L∗n .

Hence

(I ∩ L)n ⊂ In∗ ∩ L∗n In∗

for all n ≥ s. From this we get that for all n ≥ s

(2) 0

HI∩L (n) ≥ HI0 (n) + 1.

Let X = Spec (R/I), Y = Spec (R/L) the one-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay

schemes deﬁned by the ideals I, L, respectively. Since Con (X) is a subscheme of

the hypersurface deﬁned by H and H(a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ) = 0 we get that Con (X)red ∩

Con (Y )red = ∅, so Con (X) ∩ Con (Y ) = ∅. Since H(a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ) = 0 and H is

an hypersurface of degree s = s(I) we deduce that e0 (I + J) = s. By Corollary 2.4

we obtain e0 (I ∩ J) = e0 (I) + 1, and

e1 (I ∩ L) = e1 (I) + s.

From these identities and (2) we get that

0

HI∩L (n) = HI0 (n) + 1

for all n ≥ s. From this it is easy to deduce the claim.

In the next result we prove Sally’s conjecture, [8], let’s recall that in [2] we

proved that conjecture in the equicharacteristic case, here we extend the proof to

the general case. See [2] for some historical hints on Sally’s conjecture.

local ring of embedding dimension three. Then the Hilbert function of A is non-

decreasing, i.e.

HA0

(n + 1) ≥ HA0

(n)

for all n ≥ 0.

Proof. Let us assume that HI0 (t) > HI0 (t + 1) for some t ∈ N. Since the

residue ﬁeld is inﬁnite, by the last result there exist ﬁnitely many ideals Li =

L(ai1 , ai2 , ai3 ) ∈ k3 \ {0}, i = 1, · · · , r = t+2

2 − H 0

I (t), such that t + 1 = s(K),

K = I ∩ L1 ∩ · · · ∩ Lr , and

0 t+2

HK (t + 1) < .

2

∗

In particular dimk (Kt+1 ) ≥ t + 3, so the minimal number of generators if K is at

least t + 3. Notice that K is a height two perfect ideal, Proposition 2.1. Then by

Burch’s result, [1], we know that the minimal number of generators of K is less

or equal that its initial degree plus one, i.e. t + 2. Hence we get a contradiction

0

on the number of generators of K, so there is not an integer t such that HA (t) >

0

HA (t + 1).

70

8 JUAN ELIAS AND JORDI MARTÍNEZ-BORRUEL

References

[1] L. Burch, On ideals of ﬁnite homological dimension in local rings, Math. Proc. Camb. Phil.

Soc. 64 (1968), 941–946.

[2] J. Elias, The conjecture of Sally on the Hilbert function for curve singularities, J. Algebra

160 (1993), no. 1, 42–49.

[3] R. M. Miró-Roig, Determinantal ideals, Progress in Mathematics, vol. 264, Birkhäuser Verlag,

Basel, 2008.

[4] U. Nagel, On Hilbert function under liaison, Matematiche (Catania) 46 (1991), no. 2, 547–558

(1993).

[5] C. Peskine and L. Szpiro, Liaison des varietes algébriques I, Inv. Math. 26 (1974), no. 271-302,

271–302.

[6] L. Robbiano and G. Valla , On the equations deﬁning tangent cones, Math. Proc. Camb. Phil.

Soc. 88 (1980).

[7] M.E. Rossi, Hilbert functions of local rings, Contemporary Math., This volume.

[8] J. Sally, Number of generators of ideals in local rings, Lec. Notes in Pure and Appl. Math.

New York. 35 (1978).

`

Departament d’Algebra i Geometria, Universitat de Barcelona. Gran Via 585,

08007 Barcelona, Spain

E-mail address: elias@ub.edu

EESA/CPD, Institut del Teatre, Plaça Margarida Xirgu s/n, 08004 Barcelona,

Spain

E-mail address: jordimab@gmail.com

Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

of degree ≥ 2 in the complex projective plane has no algebraic leaf. We give

formulas for the degrees of the subvarieties of the parameter space of one-

dimensional foliations in complex projective spaces that correspond to folia-

tions endowed with some invariant subvariety of degree 1 or 2 and dimension

≥ 1.

Introduction

Holomorphic foliations are an oﬀspring of the geometric theory of polynomial

diﬀerential equations. Following the trend of many branches in Mathematics, in-

terest has migrated to global aspects. Instead of focusing on just one curve, or

surface, or metric, or diﬀerential equation, try and study their family in a suitable

parameter space. The geometry within the parameter space of the family acquires

relevance. For instance, the family of hypersurfaces of a given degree correspond

to points in a suitable projective space; geometric conditions imposed on hyper-

surfaces, e.g., to be singular, usually correspond to interesting subvarieties in the

parameter space, e.g., the discriminant. Hilbert schemes have their counterpart in

the theory of polynomial diﬀerential equations, to wit, the spaces of foliations.

Let us recall that, while a general surface of degree d ≥ 4 in P3 contains no line

–in fact, only complete intersection curves are allowed, those that do contain some

line correspond to a subvariety of codimension d − 3 and degree d+1 4

4 (3d + 6d +

3

2 N

of degree d ≥ 2 has no algebraic leaf, those that do have, say an invariant line,

correspond to a subvariety of codimension d − 1 and degree 3 d+3 4 in a suitable

P .

N

Our goal is to give similar closed formulas for the degrees of the subvarieties

of the parameter space of one-dimensional foliations of degree d on the complex

projective space of dimension n that correspond to foliations endowed with some

invariant subvariety of degree 1 or 2 and dimension ≥ 1. Imposing a linear invariant

subvariety is easy, essentially due to the absence of degenerations. The classical

Key words and phrases. holomorphic foliation, invariant subvarieties, enumerative geometry.

The authors were partially supported by CNPQ.

1

71

72

2 VIVIANA FERRER AND ISRAEL VAINSENCHER

spaces of complete quadrics help us handle the quadratic case. For higher degree,

we don’t know the answer.

.

The main reference for this material is Jouanolou [7]. We call a vector ﬁeld of

degree d in Pn a global section of T Pn ⊗ OPn (d − 1), for some d ≥ 0.

Denote by Sd the space Symd (Cn+1 )∨ of homogeneous polynomials of degree d

in the variables z0 , . . . , zn . We write ∂i = ∂/∂zi , thought of as a vector ﬁeld basis

for Cn+1 = S1∨ . Recalling Euler sequence

0 → OPn (d − 1) −→ OPn (d) × Cn+1 −→ T Pn (d − 1) → 0

and taking global sections we get the exact sequence

ι

(1.1)

Here ι(H) = HR, with R = zi ∂i the radial vector ﬁeld. Any degree d vector

ﬁeld X ∈ Vdn can be written in homogeneous coordinates as

(1.2) X = F0 ∂0 + · · · + Fn ∂n ,

where the Fi ’s denote homogeneous polynomials of degree d, modulo multiples of

the radial vector ﬁeld. A vector ﬁeld X induces a distribution of directions in T Pn .

Any nonzero multiple of X yields the same distribution.

The space of foliations of degree d in Pn is the projective space

(1.3) PN = P(Vdn )

of dimension d+n d+n−1

N = (n + 1) n − n − 1.

We shall often abuse notation and denote by the same symbol X both the foliation

and a vector ﬁeld. The singular scheme of X is the scheme of zeros of the section

X : OPn → T Pn (d − 1). With X as in (1.2), the singular scheme is given by the

2×2 minors of the matrix

F0 F 1 · · · F n

.

z0 z1 · · · zn

subvariety Z ⊂ Pn is said to be invariant by X if

X (p) ∈ Tp Z

for all p ∈ Z \ (Sing(Z) ∪ Sing(X )). If Z is reducible, it is invariant by X if and

only if each irreducible component of Z is invariant by X . If Z is deﬁned by a

saturated ideal IZ := G1 , . . . , Gr , invariance means

dGi (X ) = X (Gi ) ∈ IZ

for all i = 1, . . . , r. The hypothesis of saturation is necessary, see [3, p. 5]. It can

be easily checked that the condition above does not depend on the representative

of X in Sd ⊗ S1∨ .

POLYNOMIAL VECTOR FIELDS WITH ALGEBRAIC TRAJECTORIES 73

3

We show that the locus in PN corresponding to foliations with an invariant k-

plane is the birational image of a natural projective bundle over the Grassmannian

of k-planes in Pn .

2.1. Consider the tautological exact sequence of vector bundles over the

Grassmannian G := G(k, n) of projective k-planes in Pn ,

(2.1) 0 → T → G × Cn+1 → Q → 0

where T is of rank k + 1. The projectivization

P(T ) = {(W, p) ∈ G × Pn | p ∈ W }

is the universal k-plane. Write the projection maps

P(T ) ⊂ G × Pn

q NNN

p1 qqq NNpN2

qq q NNN

q NN'

x qq

q

G Pn .

We denote by N the normal bundle to P(T ) in G × Pn . We have the exact sequence

over P(T ),

(2.2) 0 → TP(T )/G → p∗2 T Pn → N → 0.

It is easy to see that

N = p∗1 Q ⊗ OT (1).

Proposition 2.1. Notation as in (1.1) and (2.1), there exists a vector subbundle

E ⊂ G × Vdn

such that

(i) P(E) = {(W, X ) ∈ G × PN | W is invariant by X }.

Set Y := q2 (P(E)), where q2 : P(E) → PN is theprojection. Then

(ii) the codimension of Y in PN is (n − k)( k+dd − (k + 1)) and

(iii) the degree of Y is given by the top-dimensional Chern class,

cg (Q ⊗ Symd (T ∨ ))

where g := dim G.

Proof. Consider the following diagram of maps of vector bundles over P(T ),

TP(T )/G (d − 1)

Vdn = H 0 (Pn , T Pn (d − 1))

ev / p∗2 T Pn (d − 1)

UUUU

UUUU

UU

ϕ UUUUU

U*

p∗1 Q ⊗ OT (d).

The map of evaluation yields a surjective map of vector bundles

ϕ : Vdn p∗1 Q ⊗ OT (d).

74

4 VIVIANA FERRER AND ISRAEL VAINSENCHER

kerϕ = {(W, p, X ) | X (p) ∈ Tp W }.

Observe that a k-plane W is invariant by X if and only if (W, p, X ) ∈ kerϕ for

all p ∈ W = p−1

1 (W ). Put in other words, we ask ϕ to vanish along the ﬁbers of

p1 : P(T ) → G. It follows from [1, p. 16] that there exists a map of vector bundles

over G,

(♥) ϕ : Vdn / / p1∗ (p∗1 Q ⊗ OT (d)) = Q ⊗ Symd (T ∨ )

such that

E := ker(ϕ ) = {(W, X ) | X (p) ∈ Tp W ∀p ∈ W }.

The projectivization P(E) ⊂ G × PN is clearly as stated in (i). Let q1 : P(E) → G

and q2 : P(E) → PN be the maps induced by projection. It can be shown that q2 :

P(E) → PN is generically injective: the general vector ﬁeld of degree d ≥ 2 with an

invariant k-plane has exactly one invariant k-plane, see Lemma 2.3 and Lemma 2.4

below. Write H for the hyperplane class of PN . Set u = dim Y = dim P(E). We

have q2∗ H = c1 OE (1) =: h. We may compute

deg Y = Hu ∩ Y = hu = q1∗ (hu ) = sg (E).

PN P(E) G G

The assertions (ii) and (iii) follow noticing that the Segre class satisﬁes

sg (E) = cg (Q ⊗ Symd (T ∨ ))

in view of the exact sequence arising from (♥),

E / / Vdn / / Q ⊗ Symd (T ∨ ).

Theorem 2.2. The degree of the subvariety Y of the space of foliations in Pn that

admit an invariant hyperplane is given by

d+n

deg Y = n .

n

Proof. We have the following exact sequence over G(n − 1, n) = P̌n ,

0 → Sd−1 ⊗ Q∨ → Sd = Symd (Cn+1 )∨ → Symd (T ∨ ) → 0.

Twisting by Q = OP̌n (1) we obtain:

0 → Sd−1 → Sd ⊗ Q → Symd (T ∨ ) ⊗ Q → 0.

From this we can compute cn (Symd (T ∨ ) ⊗ Q) = cn (Sd ⊗ Q). Setting H = c1 (Q),

the hyperplane class in P̌n , the sought-for degree is just the coeﬃcient of H n in

d+n

(1 + H)( n ) .

Lemma 2.3. In the situation of the previous proposition, in order to prove that q2

is generically one to one, it suﬃces to ﬁnd a point y ∈ Y such that the ﬁber q2−1 (y)

consists of one reduced point.

POLYNOMIAL VECTOR FIELDS WITH ALGEBRAIC TRAJECTORIES 75

5

Proof. If we prove the existence of such point y there exists a non empty

open set U in Y such that the ﬁber over each point in U has dimension zero.

Therefore q2 is generically ﬁnite. Shrinking U we may assume (i) U is aﬃne, say

with coordinate ring A and (ii) the restriction of q2 over q2 −1 U is ﬁnite. It follows

that q2 −1 U is aﬃne, with coordinate ring B which is an A-module of ﬁnite type.

Now for each point u ∈ U with corresponding maximal ideal mu ⊂ A, the ﬁber

q2 −1 u = Spec(B/mu B) is ﬁnite and consists of dimC (B/mu B) points counted with

multiplicity. By semicontinuity, this vector space dimension attains a minimum

over an open subset. Since the ﬁber over y consists of one reduced point, that

mininum is precisely one and we are done.

Lemma 2.4. Notation as in Proposition 2.1, for d > 1, the projection q2 : P(E) →

PN is generically injective.

Proof. It’s suﬃcient to prove that there exists an open set U1 ⊂ Y such that

for each point y ∈ U1 , q2−1 (y) consists of just one point. Indeed, in this case we

deduce that dim P(E) = dim Y. Since P(E) (resp. Y) are smooth (resp. generically

smooth) varieties we have that

dq2 : T P(E) −→ T Y

is generically of maximal rank, i.e., there exists an open set U2 ⊂ Y such that

if y ∈ U2 , and x ∈ q2−1 (y), then dx q2 is surjective, equivalently dx q2 is injective.

Summarizing we ﬁnd an open set U := U1 ∩U2 such that if y ∈ U then q2−1 (y) = {x},

and x is a reduced point in the ﬁber. It follows by Lemma 2.3, that q2 is generically

injective.

Let’s prove the existence of U1 above. Deﬁne

Y2 := {X ∈ Y | X leaves invariant two subspaces W
= W }.

It is suﬃcient to prove that dim Y2 < dim Y. Indeed, in this case we deﬁne

U1 := Y \ Y2 .

Now, for each 1 ≤ s ≤ min{k, n − k} set

G2s := {(W, W ) ∈ G × G | cod(W ∩ W ) = n − k + s},

2s = {(X , (W, W )) | X leaves invariant W and W , (W, W ) ∈ G2s }.

Y

2s → Y ⊂ PN denote the projection and deﬁne Y2s := p(Y

Let p : Y 2s ). Then

we have, for each s

2s

Y

{ @@

{ @@p

{{{ @@

{ @@

}{{

G2s Y

and Y2 = ∪s Y2s . Also denote YW ⊂ Y the set of foliations which leave W invariant,

and for each (W, W ) ∈ G2s , deﬁne YW W := YW ∩ YW .

With this notation it is easy to prove that for each s, Y 2s → G2s is a ﬁbration

with ﬁber dimension equal to the dimension of YW W .

We claim that

k+d

dim YW W ≤ dim YW − s

.

d

76

6 VIVIANA FERRER AND ISRAEL VAINSENCHER

degree d,

∂ ∂

X = F0 + · · · + Fn

∂Z0 ∂Zn

if and only if

(2.3) F0 , . . . , Fn−k−1 ∈ Z0 , . . . , Zn−k−1 .

Take W such that cod(W ∩ W ) = n − k + s. Acting with the stabilizer of

W in P GLn+1 we can suppose that W = Z(Z0 , . . . , Zn−k−1−s , Zi1 . . . , Zis ), where

i1 , . . . , is ∈ {0, . . . , n−k −1}. Now the condition of W to be invariant by X implies

that, for each j = 1, . . . , s we have

Fij ∈ Z0 , . . . , Zn−k−1−s , Zi1 , . . . , Zis .

These conditions are independent of the others in (2.3). On the other hand it is easy

to count the new conditions imposed by Fij ∈ Z0 , . . . , Zn−k−1−s , Zi1 , . . . , Zis : this

k+d

number is k+dd . So we have that codYW YW W ≥ s d . This proves the claim.

Using the claim it is easy to prove that for each s, dim Y2s < dim Y. Therefore

dim Y2 < dim Y as claimed.

We construct a compactiﬁcation of the space of foliations that leave invariant

a smooth conic. This compactiﬁcation is obtained as the birational image of a

projective bundle over the variety of complete conics.

3.1. The incidence variety. The parameter space for the family of conics is

P5 = P(S2 ). We have the natural trilinear map

S2 ⊗ Sd ⊗ S1∨ → Sd+1

G ⊗ F ⊗ ∂i → (∂i G)F.

It induces the map of vector bundles over P5 ,

∨

ϕ : O

P5 (−1) ⊗ Sd ⊗ S1 → Sd+1

given by ϕ(G, X ) := X (G) = Fi ∂i G, where G is the equation of the conic and

X = Fi ∂i , Fi ∈ Sd .

Notice that ϕ(G, HR) = 2GH, for all H ∈ Sd−1 . Recalling (1.1),

Vdn = Sd ⊗ S1∨ Sd−1 R

we see that ϕ induces a map

Sd+1

ψ : OP5 (−1) ⊗ Vdn −→ ·

OP5 (−1) ⊗ Sd−1

This ﬁts into the commutative diagram,

/ kerψ

(3.1) kerϕ

OP5 (−1) ⊗ Sd−1 · R / / OP5 (−1) ⊗ Sd ⊗ S1∨ / / OP5 (−1) ⊗ V n

d

ϕ ψ

OP5 (−1) ⊗ Sd−1 / / Sd+1 // Sd+1

OP5 (−1)⊗Sd−1 ·

POLYNOMIAL VECTOR FIELDS WITH ALGEBRAIC TRAJECTORIES 77

7

/M

(3.2) M

Sd−1 · R / / Sd ⊗ S ∨

1

/ / Vdn

θ θ

Sd−1 / / OP5 (1) ⊗ Sd+1 // OP5 (1)⊗Sd+1

Sd−1 ,

where

:= ker θ.

M := ker θ M

The map θ : Sd ⊗ S1∨ → OP5 (1) ⊗ Sd+1 appearing in (3.2) is surjective only

over the open subset consisting of smooth conics. In fact, for G ∈ P5 the rank of

the image of θG depends on the singularities of the conic:

⎧ d+3

⎨ total, 2 , if G is smooth;

rank θG = d+3

− 1, if G is a line pair;

d+2

⎩ 2

rank Symd = 2 , if G is a double line.

d+2

The minimal rank, r = 2 , is achieved along

V := ν2 (P(S1 )) ⊂ P(S2 ),

the Veronese variety of double lines. It turns out that over the open subset

U ⊂ P5 \ V

of smooth conics, the restriction M

U is a vector subbundle of the trivial bundle

n

{(C, X ) | C is invariant by X } ⊂ U × PN .

Let us denote by Y the closure of its image in PN . We see that Y consists of (limits

of) foliations that admit an invariant smooth conic. Our strategy to ﬁnd its degree

is summarized in the following.

Theorem 3.1. Let π : B → P5 be the blowup of P5 along the Veronese V. There

exists a subbundle

E ⊂ B × Vdn

U (cf. 3.2). In particular, the

such that the restriction Eπ−1 U coincides with π ∗ M

image of P(E) in P = P(Vd ) is equal to Y.

N n

ϕB : π ∗ (OP5 (−1) ⊗ Sd ⊗ S1∨ ) → π ∗ Sd+1 ,

Sd+1

5 (−1)

)·

P

By Lemma 3.2 below it’s enough to prove that the ideals generated by the k × k

minors of ϕB are locally principal for all k ≥ 1. Indeed, in this case J := ImϕB is

locally free. Therefore we obtain a factorization of ϕB ,

78

8 VIVIANA FERRER AND ISRAEL VAINSENCHER

ϕB

/ π ∗ Sd+1

SSS O

SSS

SSS

SSS ?

ϕ SSS

SS) )

J,

and π ∗ (OP5 (−1) ⊗ Sd−1 ) = ϕB (π ∗ (OP5 (−1) ⊗ Sd−1 · R)) ⊂ J . This factorization

induces a factorization of ψB

ψB

/ π∗( S d+1

SSS OP5 (−1)⊗Sd−1 )

SSS O

SSS

SSS ι

SSS

ψ SSS

S) )

J,

where

J

J :=

π ∗ (OP5 (−1) ⊗ Sd−1 )

is a vector bundle. Deﬁne

(3.3)

E := π ∗ OP5 (1) ⊗ kerψ.

over the

It follows that E is a subbundle of B × Vdn that coincides with π ∗ M

open set π −1 (U ), where U ⊂ P5 is the open set of smooth conics. Indeed, over

π −1 (U ) = U the map

∗ Sd+1

ι:J →π

OP5 (−1) ⊗ Sd−1

is an isomorphism. Therefore kerψ = kerψB over U .

To prove that the ideals generated by the k × k minors of a local matrix rep-

resentation of ϕB are principal for all k ≥ 1, consider

ϕ0 : OP5 (−1) ⊗ S1∨ → S1 ,

the universal symmetric map that gives the matrix of the conic. We are blowing-

up the Veronese, which is the scheme of zeros of the ideal of 2 × 2-minors of ϕ0 .

Therefore, up on B, we have that the ideal of 2×2 minors of ϕ0B is locally principal,

say generated

by t. Thus we can write the matrix of ϕ0 locally in the form A =

10 0

0 t 0 (cf. [10, Lemma 1]). Let C = Z(z02 + tz12 + tsz22 ) be the associated conic.

0 0 ts

Choosing an appropriate ordering of the basis of Sd ⊗S1∨ and of Sd+1 the matrix

of ϕC can be put in the following form:

⎛ ⎞

2In(d) 0 0 B1 B 3

Ad = ⎝ 0 2tId+1 0 0 B4 ⎠ ,

0 0 2ts 0 0

where all the entries of B1 are multiples of t, and the entries of B3 , B

4 are

multiples

of ts. Here Im stands for the identity matrix of size m, and n(d) = d+2 2 . It follows

that the ideals Ji of⎧i × i-minors of Ad are:

⎨ Ji = 1 for i = 1, . . . , n(d);

Jn(d)+j = tj for j = 1, . . . , d + 1;

⎩

Jn(d+1) = td+2 s .

In particular these ideals of minors are principal as claimed.

POLYNOMIAL VECTOR FIELDS WITH ALGEBRAIC TRAJECTORIES 79

9

momorphism of free, ﬁnitely generated R-modules. Suppose that the ideals k ×

k minors of ϕ are principal for all k. Then J := Imϕ is free.

Proof. Let a11 ... a1n

A= .. . . ..

. . .

am1 ... amn

be the m × n matrix associated to ϕ, i.e. the columns of A generate J . By

hypotheses for k = 1, the ideal of coeﬃcients of A is principal:

a11 , . . . , aij , . . . , amn = b

We may assume b = 0. Let bij := bij . We may suppose a11 = b. Let J be the

a

1 ... b1n

B= .. . . .. .

. . .

bm1 ... bmn

J is isomorphic to the submodule gen-

0

erated by the columns of 0 B , where for each k, the ideal generated by the

(k − 1) × (k − 1) minors of B coincides with the ideal generated by the k × k minors

of B.

Applying the inductive hypotheses, we have that ImB is free. Thus J is free.

Since R is a domain we have J = bJ J and we conclude that J is free.

Remark 3.3. The variety B is the well-known variety of complete conics (see [9],

[11]). It is constructed to solve the indeterminacies of the map

e1 : P5 Pˇ5

2

sending a conic to the envelope of its tangent lines. Equivalently e1 (A) =∧ A, where

A is the symmetric matrix of the conic. We have that B is equal to the closure of

the graph of e1 in P5 × Pˇ5 .

3.2. A parameter space for foliations with invariant smooth conic.

Consider the projective bundle associated to E cf. (3.1, p. 7), and let q2 : P(E) → PN

denote the projection. Then

Y = q2 (P(E)) ⊂ PN

is a compactiﬁcation for the parameter space of foliations with an invariant smooth

conic. It’s not diﬃcult to show that q2 is generically injective (cf. Lemma 3.5

below), so the degree of Y is given by the top dimensional Segre class s5 (E). It will

be computed using Bott’s formula.

Theorem 3.4. Notation as above, let Y be the compactiﬁcation for the parameter

space of 1-dimensional foliations of degree d on P2 with an invariant smooth conic.

Then the degree of Y is given by

1

(d − 1)d(d + 1)(d7 + 25d6 + 231d5 + 795d4 + 1856d3 + 2468d2 + 2256d + 768)

25 5!

and its codimension is equal to 2(d − 1).

Proof. From the deﬁnition of E (cf. 3.1) we see that rank(E) = d(d + 2). As

q2 is generically injective it is easy to see that cod Y = 2(d − 1).

80

10 VIVIANA FERRER AND ISRAEL VAINSENCHER

sT (Ep ) ∩ [p]

(3.4) s5 (E) ∩ [B] = 5

T

cT5 (Tp B)

p∈B

∗

(cf. [2]) where the torus T := C acts on B with isolated ﬁxed points. We recall

that each T -equivariant Chern class cTi appearing on the right hand-side is simply

the i-th symmetric function on the weights of the action of T on the ﬁber of the

vector bundle at the ﬁxed point. The action of T on B is induced by the action of

T on S1 , given by

t · zi = twi zi

for a suitable choice of weights w0 , w1 , w2 ∈ Z. This action induces actions on

2 5

P(S1 ), on P(S2 ) = P5 and on P(Sym2 ∧ S1 ) = P̌ in such a way that the map

e1 : P5 Pˇ5 (see 3.3) is T -equivariant. Thus we obtain an action of T on B =

closure of Graph e1 ⊂ P5 × P̌5 .

It is easy to see that if we choose the weights in such a way that all sums

wi + wj with 0 ≤ i ≤ j ≤ 2

are pairwise distinct, we obtain the following six isolated ﬁxed points in P5 :

z02 , z0 z1 , z0 z2 , z12 , z1 z2 , z22 .

It remains to ﬁnd the ﬁxed point on the ﬁber of π : B → P5 over each ﬁxed

point in P5 . If A ∈ {z0 z1 , z0 z2 , z1 z2 }, then π −1 (A) has just one point. For example,

π −1 (z0 z1 ) = (z0 z1 , ž22 ). Here we put ži for the dual basis.

Take A ∈ {z02 , z12 , z22 }, say A = z02 . Recall that the exceptional divisor of the

blowup is E := P(N ) where N = NV P5 stands for the normal bundle. We have an

explicit description for N see [11, Proposition 4.4.]. Notation as in (2.1, p. 3) with

k = 1, n = 2, we have

NV P5 = OP̌2 (2) ⊗ Sym2 (T ∨ ).

The ﬁber of OP̌2 (2) (resp. Sym2 (T ∨ )) over z0 is the dual space ž02 (resp. z12 , z1 z2 ,

z22 ). Thus we get

π −1 (z02 ) = Ez02 = P(ž02 ⊗ z12 , z1 z2 , z22 ).

We see there are three ﬁxed points in the ﬁber of each ﬁxed point A ∈ V. For

A = z02 these points are

ž02 ⊗ z12 , ž02 ⊗ z1 z2 , ž02 ⊗ z22 .

Summarizing, we have twelve ﬁxed points in B:

(1) (zi zj , žk2 ) with 0 ≤ i < j ≤ 2; k
= i, j; these three lie oﬀ E;

(2) (zi2 , ži2 ⊗ zj zk ) with j, k
= i; j < k;

(3) (zi2 , ži2 ⊗ zj2 ) with i
= j.

Next we compute the ﬁbers of E over each type of ﬁxed point. Suppose that

B ∈ B is a ﬁxed point. The strategy is to take a curve B(t) ∈ B such that

lim B(t) = B

t→0

and such that A(t) := π(B(t)) ∈ P5 is a curve of smooth conics for t
= 0. Therefore

A(t) ,

EB will be obtained as the limit of EB(t) = M

A(t) = EB .

lim M

t→0

POLYNOMIAL VECTOR FIELDS WITH ALGEBRAIC TRAJECTORIES 81

11

This enables us to use the well-known space of vector ﬁelds of degree d that

leave invariant a smooth conic C = Z(G) (see [3]). This space is

(♠) {Fij ( ∂z

∂G

i

∂j − ∂G

∂zj ∂i ) | Fij ∈ Sd−1 },

modulo multiples of the radial vector ﬁeld.

We will adopt the following notation: for each subset J := {v0 , . . . , vk } ⊂

{z0 , z1 , z2 } we set Mm (J) = {v0m , v0m−1 v1 , . . . , vkm }, the canonical monomial basis

of Symm (J). We write simply Mm for Mm ({z0 , z1 , z2 }).

Set Xi,j := zi ∂i − zj ∂j . Notice this is a vector of weight 0, since t · zi = twi zi

whereas t · ∂i = t−wi ∂i .

We now describe suitable 1-parameter families of smooth conics abutting each

type of ﬁxed point.

(1) B1 = z0 z1 . We take A(t) = z0 z1 + tz22 ∈ P5 . Using the characterization (♠) we

obtain that the space M

A(t) of vector ﬁelds leaving A(t) invariant is given by

{F10 (z1 ∂0 − z0 ∂1 ), F20 (z1 ∂2 − 2tz2 ∂0 ), F21 (z0 ∂2 − 2tz2 ∂1 ) | Fij ∈ Sd−1 }.

Taking limit as t → 0, we ﬁnd a basis for EB1 :

{F1 X0,1 , F2 ∂2 | F1 ∈ Md−1 , F2 ∈ Md \ {z2d }},

Clearly this basis consists of T -eigenvectors.

(2) B2 = (z02 , ž02 ⊗ z1 z2 ). In this case, we take A(t) = z02 + tz1 z2 . With the same

procedure as above, we obtain the following basis (of eigenvectors) for EB2 :

{F1 z0 ∂1 , F2 z0 ∂2 , F3 X1,2 | F1 , F2 ∈ Md−1 , F3 ∈ Md−1 ({z1 , z2 })}.

(3) B3 = (z02 , ž02 ⊗ z12 ). In this case a curve of smooth conics that approximates B3

is A(t) = z02 + tz12 + t2 z22 . As before, we obtain the following basis of eigenvectors

for EB3 :

{F1 z0 ∂z∂ 1 , F2 ∂2 | F1 ∈ Md−1 , F2 ∈ Md \ {z2d }}.

In order to handle the denominator in Bott’s formula (3.4) we need, for each ﬁxed

point B, a base consisting of eigenvectors of TB B.

If B
∈ E then TB B Tπ(B) P(S2 ). For example, for B1 = z0 z1 we have

TB1 B z0 z1 ∨ ⊗ z02 , z0 z2 , z12 , z1 z2 , z22 .

If B ∈ E, then B = (A, [v]) with A ∈ V and v ∈ NA , v
= 0. Now

NA

TB B = TA V ⊕ Hom(v , ) ⊕ v

v

as C -modules. For B2 = (z02 , ž02 ⊗ z1 z2 ) we have:

TB2 B = Tz02 V ⊕ ž02 ⊗ z1 z2 ∨ ⊗ ž02 ⊗ z12 , ž02 ⊗ z22 ⊕ ž02 ⊗ z1 z2

where Tz02 V = z02 ∨ ⊗ z0 z1 , z0 z2 . Similarly, for B3 = (z02 , ž02 ⊗ z12 ) we have

TB3 B = Tz02 V ⊕ ž02 ⊗ z12 ∨ ⊗ ž02 ⊗ z1 z2 , ž02 ⊗ z22 ⊕ ž02 ⊗ z12 .

The explicit calculation in Bott’s formula is better left for a script (see § 5).

Finally we use Lemma 3.6 below which enables us to restrict the computation

just for the ﬁrst sixteen values of d = 2, . . . , 17 and then interpolate the answers

obtained.

82

12 VIVIANA FERRER AND ISRAEL VAINSENCHER

Lemma 3.5. Notation as in Theorem 3.4, for d > 1, the projection q2 : P(E) → PN

is generically injective.

Proof. By Lemma 2.3 it is suﬃcient to ﬁnd, for d ≥ 2, a degree d vector ﬁeld

X with a single invariant conic C and such that C is a reduced point in the ﬁber

q2−1 (X ) (equivalently, such that d(C,X ) q2 is injective).

For each degree d, it is possible to ﬁnd such a vector ﬁeld. For d = 2, it is not

diﬃcult to see that the ﬁeld

X = (Z2 Z0 − Z12 )∂Z0 − (Z0 Z1 − Z22 )∂Z1 + (Z1 Z2 − Z02 )∂Z2

and the conic C = Z(P ) with P = Z02 − Z12 + Z22 have the required properties.

For d = 3 the pair

X = (Z22 Z0 − Z13 )∂Z0 + (Z0 Z12 − Z23 )∂Z1 + (Z1 Z22 − Z02 Z2 )∂Z2

and C = Z(Z02 + Z12 + Z12 ) does the job.

For d ≥ 4 we will construct, using the example of Jouanolou, a ﬁeld of degree

d with a unique invariant conic.

Jouanolou proves in [7, p. 157] that the ﬁeld

Y := Z2e ∂Z0 + Z0e ∂Z1 + Z1e ∂Z2

has no invariant algebraic subset if e ≥ 2 .

Let P be an irreducible polynomial of degree 2. Setting X := P · Y we produce

a ﬁeld of degree d ≥ 4 that has C = Z(P ) as unique invariant conic (in fact C is in

the singular set of X , but this is suﬃcient for us). It is not diﬃcult to verify this

and the fact that d(C,X ) q2 is injective.

sT (EB ) ∩ [B]

s5 (E) ∩ [B] = 5

,

T

cT5 (TB B)

B∈B

Proof. For each ﬁxed point B let {ξ1 (d), . . . , ξm(d) (d)} denote the set of

weights of the action of T on EB . Since sT5 (EB ) is a polynomial in {cTk (EB ) |

k = 1, . . . , 5} it’s enough to prove that each

cTk (EB ) = σk (ξ1 (d), . . . , ξm(d) (d))

is a combination of wi s with polynomial coeﬃcients in d of degree ≤ 3k.

Recalling Newton’s identities

kσk = ki=1 (−1)i+1 σk−i pi

where m(d)

pk (ξ1 (d), . . . , ξm(d) (d)) := i=1 ξi (d)k

we see that it suﬃces to prove that pk (ξ1 (d), . . . , ξm(d) (d)) is a combination of wi s

with polynomial coeﬃcients in d of degree ≤ k + 2.

On the other hand, a careful analysis of the weights appearing in the basis of

EB at each ﬁxed point shows that these weights can be separated into sets of the

form

{weights of Me (J)} or {weights of Me (J)} + w

POLYNOMIAL VECTOR FIELDS WITH ALGEBRAIC TRAJECTORIES 83

13

J = zi , zj , i = j. From this the reader may convince her(him)self that it’s enough

to prove the following

Claim: Let m = m(d, n) := d+n n and {ξn,1 (d), . . . , ξn,m (d)} be the weights

associated to the basis Md ({z0 , . . . , zn }) of Symd (z0 , . . . , zn ). Then

m

pnk (d) := ξn,i (d)k

i=1

is a combination of wi s with polynomial coeﬃcients in d of degree ≤ k +n.

To prove the claim we proceed by induction on n ≥ 1 and on k ≥ 0.

For n = 1,

Md ({z0 , z1 }) = {z0d , z0d−1 z1 , . . . , z0 z1d−1 , z1d }

so that m(d, 1) = d + 1. We have

d+1

d

p1k (d) = ξ1,i (d)k = (iw0 + (d − i)w1 )k

i=1 i=0

d d k

k

= (i(w0 − w1 ) + dw1 ) = k

(i(w0 − w1 ))j (dw1 )k−j

i=0 i=0 j=1

j

k d

k

= (dw1 )k−j (w0 − w1 )j ij .

j=1

j i=0

d

The sum i=0 ij is polynomial in d of degree j +1, therefore p1k (d) is a combination

of wi s with polynomial coeﬃcients in d of degree ≤ k + 1.

For k = 0, we have pn0 (d) = m(d, n), a polynomial in d of degree n.

For the general case, decompose the basis Md ({z0 , . . . , zn }) as the union

z0 Md−1 ({z0 , . . . , zn }) ∪ z1 Md−1 ({z1 , . . . , zn }) ∪ z2 Md−1 ({z2 , . . . , zn }) ∪ · · · ∪ {znd }.

Then the weights are:

w0 + {ξn,i (d − 1)} ∪ w1 + {ξn−1,i (d − 1)} ∪ w2 + {ξn−2,i (d − 1)} ∪ · · · ∪ {dwn }.

Hence we can write

m(d,n)

m(d−1,n)

pnk (d) = (ξn,i (d))k = (w0 + ξn,i (d − 1))k +

i=1 i=1

m(d−1,n−1)

m(d−1,n−2)

(w1 + ξn−1,i (d − 1))k + (w2 + ξn−2,i (d − 1))k + · · · + (dwn )k

i=1 i=1

k

k

k k

= w0j pnk−j (d − 1) + w1j pn−1

k−j (d − 1) +

j=0

j j=0

j

k

k

w2j pn−2

k−j (d − 1) + · · · + (dwn ) .

k

j=0

j

polynomial coeﬃcients in d of degree ≤ k + n − 1, and this implies that pnk (d) is a

combination of wi s with polynomial coeﬃcients in d of degree ≤ k + n.

84

14 VIVIANA FERRER AND ISRAEL VAINSENCHER

4. Higher dimension

The varieties of complete quadrics can also be employed to construct a com-

pactiﬁcation of the space of 1-dimensional foliations in Pn that leave invariant a

smooth quadric of arbitrary dimension. For example, in the case of conics and

quadrics in P3 we obtain the following.

Theorem 4.1. Let Y1 (resp.Y2 ) denote the closure in PN of the variety of 1-

dimensional foliations in P3 that have an invariant smooth conic (resp. quadric

surface). Then we have the formulas for the degrees and codimensions,

4

(i) deg Y1 = 2

(d − 1)d 207d14 + 2763d13 + 15447d12 + 54395d11 + 114847d10

8!3

+207891d9 + 256737d8 + 225801d7 + 164937d6 + 182101d5 + 38993d4 +

316221d3 + 248856d2 − 118908d − 332640 ;

codimY1 = 4(d − 1);

1

(ii) deg Y2 = 9

(d−1)d(d+1) d24 + 81d23 + 3151d22 + 77949d21 + 1369333d20

9!(3!)

+18084843d19 + 185031133d18 + 1481854743d17 + 9251138050d16 +

44737976160d15 + 168507293704d14 + 503603726976d13 + 1212870415960d12 +

2353394912904d11 + 3628929239056d10 + 4249158105672d9 + 3232639214668d8 +

413912636928d7 − 2874493287072d6 − 3885321416832d5 − 1115680433472d4 +

4477695012864d3 + 8264265366528d2 + 8139069775872d + 4334215495680

codim Y2 = (d − 1)(d + 5).

5. Scripts

The formula for invariant k-planes is computed using schubert/maple, [8].

The calculations for Bott’s formula uses Singular [6]. The scripts can be found in

[4].

References

[1] A. Altman, S. Kleiman. Foundations of the Theory of Fano Schemes. Compositio Math. 34

(1977), 3–47.

[2] M. Brion. Equivariant cohomology and equivariant intersection theory, Notes by Alvaro Ritta-

tore. NATO Adv. Sci. Inst. Ser. C Math. Phys. Sci., 514, Representation theories and algebraic

geometry (Montreal, PQ, 1997), 1–37, Kluwer Acad. Publ., Dordrecht, 1998; arxiv 9802063.

[3] E. Esteves. The Castelnuovo-Mumford regularity of an integral variety of a vector ﬁeld on

projective space, Math. Res. Lett. 9, no. 1, ( 2002), 1–15.

[4] V. Ferrer, I. Vainsencher. Polynomial vector ﬁelds with algebraic trajectories.

http://www.mat.ufmg.br/israel/Publicacoes/Vivis, or arxiv/1003.3997, (2010).

[5] W. Fulton. Intersection Theory. Springer-Verlag. New York. (1985).

[6] G.-M. Greuel, G. Pﬁster, H. Schönemann. Singular 3-1-1 – A Computer Algebra System for

Polynomial Computations. http://www.singular.uni-kl.de, (2010).

[7] J.P. Jouanolou. Equations de Pfaﬀ algébriques. Lecture Notes in Math., 708. Springer-Verlag,

(1979).

[8] S.Katz, S.A Strømme.schubert. A Maple package for Intersection The-

ory.http://linus.mi.uib.no, (2001).

[9] S. Kleiman, A. Thorup. Complete bilinear forms. Algebraic geometry (Sundance, UT, 1986),

253–320, Lecture Notes in Math., 1311, Springer, Berlin, (1988).

[10] D. Laksov The geometry of complete linear maps. Ark. Mat. 26, no. 2, 231–263, (1988).

POLYNOMIAL VECTOR FIELDS WITH ALGEBRAIC TRAJECTORIES 85

15

[11] I. Vainsencher. Schubert calculus for complete quadrics. Enumerative geometry and classical

algebraic geometry (Nice, 1981), pp. 199–235, Progr. Math.,24, Birkhäuser, Boston, Mass.

(1982).

GAN. Departamento de Matemática, UFF, Rua Mário Santos Braga, s/n, 4 andar,

CEP 24020-140, Niterói, RJ - Brazil.

E-mail address: vivisferrer@gmail.com

31270-901, Belo Horizonte Brazil.

E-mail address: israel@mat.ufmg.br

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Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

integers m0 < . . . < mn , we consider the aﬃne monomial curve in An+1 k

parameterized by X0 = tm0 , . . . , Xn = tmn . In this paper, we conjecture

that the Betti numbers of its coordinate ring are completely determined by

n and the value of m0 modulo n. We ﬁrst show that the deﬁning ideal of

the monomial curve can be written as a sum of two determinantal ideals.

Using this fact, we describe the minimal free resolution of the coordinate ring

in the following three cases: when m0 ≡ 1 mod n (determinantal), when

m0 ≡ n mod n (almost determinantal), and when m0 ≡ 2 mod n and n = 4

(Gorenstein of codimension 4).

Introduction

Let k denote an arbitrary ﬁeld and R be the polynomial ring k[X0 , . . . , Xn ].

Consider the k-algebra homomorphism ϕ : R → k[t] given by ϕ(Xi ) = tmi , i =

0, . . . , n. Then the ideal P := ker ϕ ⊂ R is the deﬁning ideal of the monomial curve

in An+1k given by the parametrization X0 = tm0 , . . . , Xn = tmn . The k-algebra of

the semigroup Γ ⊂ N generated by m0 , . . . , mn is k[Γ] := k[tm0 , . . . , tmn ] R/P,

which is one-dimensional and P is a perfect ideal of codimension n. It is well known

that P is minimally generated by binomials. Moreover, P is a homogeneous ideal

and k[Γ] is the homogeneous coordinate ring if we give weight mi to the variables

Xi . Henceforth, homogeneous and graded would mean homogeneous and graded

with respect to this weighted graduation.

Assume now that the positive integers m0 , . . . , mn satisfy the following prop-

erties:

Key words and phrases. Monomial curves, arithmetic sequences, determinantal ideals, Betti

numbers, minimal free resolutions.

The ﬁrst author is partially supported by MTM2010-20279-C02-02, Ministerio de Educación

y Ciencia, Spain.

The second author thanks DST, Government of India for ﬁnancial support for the

project “Computational Commutative Algebra”, reference no. SR/S4/MS: 614/09, and for the

BOYSCAST 2003 Fellowship. This collaboration is the outcome of the second author’s visits to

the University of Missouri, Columbia, USA during Fall 2007 and to the University of Valladolid,

SPAIN for two months in 2009. He thanks both the institutions for their support.

1 2011

c American Mathematical Society

87

88

2 PHILIPPE GIMENEZ, INDRANATH SENGUPTA, AND HEMA SRINIVASAN

(ii) 0 < m0 < · · · < mn and mi = m0 + id for every i ∈ [1, n], i.e., the integers

form an arithmetic progression with common diﬀerence d;

(iii) m0 , . . . , mn generate the semigroup Γ := Nmi minimally, where

0≤i≤n

N = {0, 1, 2, . . .}, i.e., mj ∈

/ Nmi for every i ∈ [0, n].

0≤i≤n; i=j

arithmetic sequence if it satisﬁes the conditions (i),(ii) and (iii) above.

Let us write m0 = an + b such that a, b are positive integers and b ∈ [1, n].

Note that b ∈ [1, n] and condition (iii) on m0 , . . . , mn ensures that a ≥ 1; otherwise

m0 = b and mb = m0 + bd = (1 + d)b contradicts minimally condition (iii).

Let (m) = m0 , . . . , mn be an arithmetic sequence. We say that the monomial

curve in An+1

k parameterized by X0 = tm0 , . . . , Xn = tmn is the monomial curve

associated to the arithmetic sequence (m) and denote it by C(m). A minimal

binomial generating set for the deﬁning ideal P of C(m) was given in [P], and it

was rewritten in [MS] to prove that P is not a complete intersection if n ≥ 3. An

explicit formula for the type of k[Γ] is given in [PS, Corollary 6.2] under a more

general assumption of almost arithmetic sequence on the integers (m) = m0 , . . . , mn

and it follows from this result that if (m) = m0 , . . . , mn is an arithmetic sequence

then k[Γ] is Gorenstein if and only if b = 2. In this paper, we prove in Theorem 1.1

that ideal P has the special structure that it can be written as a sum of two

determinantal ideals, one of them being the deﬁning ideal of the rational normal

curve. We exploit this structure to construct an explicit minimal free resolution of

the graded ideal P, in the cases when m0 ≡ 1 or n modulo n, and when m0 ≡ 2

modulo n and n ≤ 4. Note that a minimal free resolution for P had already been

constructed for n = 3 in [S1] using a Gröbner basis for P. In [S2] the following

question was posed : do the total Betti numbers of P depend only on the integer

m0 modulo n ? In this article, we answer this question in aﬃrmative for the above

cases. This question will be addressed in general in our work in progress [GSS].

By [P] and [MS], one knows that the number of elements in a minimal set of

generators of the ideal P depends only on m0 modulo n. Our ﬁrst result shows

that P has an additional structure that will be helpful in the sequel.

Theorem 1.1. Let (m) = m0 , . . . mn be an arithmetic sequence and P be the

deﬁning ideal of the monomial curve C(m) associated to m. Then

⎛ ⎞ ⎛ ⎞

X0 X1 ··· Xn−1 a

Xn X0 ··· Xn−b

P = I2 (⎝ ⎠)+I2 (⎝ ⎠).

X1 X2 ··· Xn X0a+d Xb ··· Xn

Proof. It is known from [P] and [MS], that P is minimally generated by the

following set of binomials

{δij | 0 ≤ i < j ≤ n − 1} ∪ {Δ1, j | j = 2, . . . , n + 2 − b},

such that

δi, j := Xi Xj+1 − Xj Xi+1 , 0≤i<j ≤n−1

MINIMAL FREE RESOLUTIONS FOR CERTAIN AFFINE MONOMIAL CURVES 89

3

and

Δ1, j := Xb+j−2 Xna − Xj−2 X0a+d , j = 2, . . . , n + 2 − b.

The binomials δij are precisely the n2 generators of the ideal of 2 × 2 minors of

the matrix

X0 X1 ··· Xn−1

A= .

X1 X2 ··· Xn

On the other hand, the binomials Δ1,j are the 2 × 2 minors from the ﬁrst and the

jth column of the matrix

Xna X0 ··· Xn−b

B= .

X0a+d Xb ··· Xn

Since the rest of the 2 × 2 minors of B are already in the ideal I2 (A), one gets

that P = P1 + P2 , where P1 and P2 are the determinatal ideals generated by the

maximal minors of the matrices A and B respectively.

The actual generators also depend only on the ﬁrst term m0 , the common

diﬀerence d and the length n of the arithmetic sequence (m). This is no surprise as

these three numbers do determine the arithmetic sequence. However, we also have

that the number of minimal generators of the ideal P is n2 + n − b + 1 and hence

only depends on n and b. We conjecture that the following statement is true:

Conjecture 1.2. Let (m) = m0 , . . . , mn be an arithmetic sequence. Then all

the Betti numbers of the homogeneous coordinate ring k[Γ] of the aﬃne monomial

curve C(m) in An+1

k associated to (m) are determined by n and the value of m0

modulo n.

In the next section, we discuss the conjecture in cases b = 1, 2 and n and

construct a minimal resolution when b = 1 or n using the aforesaid determinantal

structures. In the ﬁrst special case, b = 1, we have that P is a determinantal ideal.

The second special case is b = n, that is when

Xna X0

B := ,

X0a+d Xn

and therefore the ideal P2 is the principal ideal generated by X0a+d+1 − Xna+1 . The

third special case is b = 2, that is when k[Γ] is Gorenstein. In this case, we wiil

give the Betti numbers when the codimension n is 4.

2.1. First case: determinantal (m0 ≡ 1 modulo n). Assume that b = 1.

In this case,

Xna X0 ··· Xn−1

B :=

X0a+d X1 ··· Xn

and hence I2 (A) ⊂ I2 (B). Thus, P = P2 is a determinantal ideal of codimension

n generated by the maximal minors of the 2 × (n + 1) matrix B. Therefore, the

homogeneous coordinate ring k[Γ] is minimally resolved by the Eagon-Northcott

complex. The resolution is given by

0 → ∧n+1 Rn+1 ⊗ Dn−1 (R2 ) → · · · → ∧3 Rn+1 ⊗ D1 (R2 ) → ∧2 Rn+1 → ∧2 R2 → k[Γ] → 0

90

4 PHILIPPE GIMENEZ, INDRANATH SENGUPTA, AND HEMA SRINIVASAN

such that Ds−1 (R2 ) = (Ss−1 (R2 ))∗ denotes the R-module which is the dual of the

symmetric algebra of R2 and the module Ss−1 (R2 ) is free of rank s, with a basis

the set of monomials of total degree (s − 1) in λ0 , λ1 (symbols representing basis

elements of R2 ). Therefore, up to an identiﬁcation, Ds−1 (R2 ) = (Ss−1 (R2 ))∗ is a

free R-module of rank s, with a basis {λv00 λv11 | v0 , v1 ∈ N , v0 + v1 = s − 1}. For

every s = 1, . . . , n, let Gs denote ∧s+1 Rn+1 ⊗ Ds−1 (R2 ), which is a R-free module

s+1 generated by the basis elements (ei1 ∧ · · · ∧ eis+1 ) ⊗ λ0 λ1 , for every

of rank s n+1 v0 v1

ds : Gs → Gs−1 are given by the following formulae:

s+1

v0 −1 v1

ds ((ei1 ∧ · · · ∧ eis+1 ) ⊗ λv00 λv11 ) = (−1)j+1 Xij −1 ((ei1 ∧ · · · ∧ e

ij ∧ · · · eis+1 ) ⊗ λ0 λ1 )

j=1

s+1

v0 v1 −1

+ (−1)j+1 Xij ((ei1 ∧ · · · ∧ e

ij ∧ · · · eis+1 ) ⊗ λ0 λ1 )

j=1

such that summands on the right hand side involve only non-negative powers of

λ0 and λ1 .

Theorem 2.1. The minimal free resolution of the homogeneous coordinate ring

k[Γ] of the aﬃne monomial curve C(m) in An+1 k associated to the arithmetic se-

quence of integers (m) = m0 , . . . , mn with the property m0 ≡ 1 modulo n is

0 → Rn −→

n

R(n−1)(

d

n ) d−→

n−1

· · · −→ Rs( s+1 ) −→

ds

· · · −→ R( 2 ) −→

d1 ϕ

R −→ k[Γ] → 0.

n+1

In particular, the Betti numbers are β0 = 1 and βs = s s+1 for every s ∈ [1, n].

maximal embedding dimension, i.e., those semigroups such that the inequality

m(Γ) ≥ e(Γ) is an equality, being m(Γ) := m0 = an + b and e(Γ) := n + 1

the multiplicity and the embedding dimension respectively.

Note that the above argument gives indeed the graded resolution (with respect

to the grading given by deg(Xi ) = mi = m0 + id):

Corollary 2.3. Under the hypothesis of Theorem 2.1, the minimal graded free

resolution of k[Γ] is given by

MINIMAL FREE RESOLUTIONS FOR CERTAIN AFFINE MONOMIAL CURVES 91

5

n

n+1

0 −→ R(−(a + n + d)m0 + kd − d)

2

k=1

n−1

d

n+1

−→

n

R(−nm0 + kd − d)

2

k=1

⎛ n−1 ⎞

n−1

⊕⎝ R(−(a + d + n − 1)m0 + kd − ri d) ⎠

1≤r1 <...rn−1 ≤n k=1 i=1

dn−1

−→ ···

..

. ⎛ s−1 ⎞

s

···

ds

−→ ⎝ R(−sm0 + kd − ri d) ⎠ ⊕

1≤r1 <...<rs ≤n k=1 i=1

⎛ s−1 ⎞

s−1

⎝ R(−(a + s − 1 + d)m0 + kd − ri d) ⎠

1≤r1 <...<rs−1 ≤n k=1 i=1

ds−1

−→ ···

..

. ⎛ ⎞ n−1

···

d2

−→ ⎝ R(−2m0 − (r1 + r2 − 1)d)⎠ ⊕ R(−(a + 1 + d)m0 − kd)

1≤r1 <r2 ≤n k=0

d ϕ

−→

1

R −→ k[Γ] → 0 .

case, we show that k[Γ] can be resolved minimally by a mapping cone using the

resolution for R/P1 , which is the homogeneous coordinate ring of the rational nor-

mal curve. The minimal free resolution for R/P1 is the Eagon-Northcott complex

given by

E : 0 −→ ∧n Rn ⊗ (Sn−2 (R2 ))∗ −→ · · · −→ ∧2 Rn ⊗ (S0 (R2 ))∗ −→ ∧2 R2 −→ R/P1 −→ 0.

n

Since Es := ∧s+1 Rn ⊗ (Ss−1 (R2 ))∗ = Rs(s+1) , for every s = 1, . . . , n − 1, E0 :=

∧2 R2 = R, the resolution E takes the form

n n n

0 −→ Rn−1 −→ R(n−2)(n−1) −→ · · · −→ Rs(s+1) −→ · · · −→ R( 2 ) −→ R −→ R/P1 −→ 0.

The diﬀerentials d1s : Es → Es−1 are deﬁned similarly as ds above, for every

s = 1, . . . , n − 1.

Now consider the short exact sequence of R-modules

Δ1, 2

0 −→ R/(P1 : Δ1, 2 ) −→ R/P1 −→ R/P1 + (Δ1, 2 ) −→ 0

Δ1, 2

where the map R/(P1 : Δ1, 2 ) −→ R/P1 is the multiplication by Δ1,2 . The colon

ideal (P1 : Δ1, 2 ) is exactly equal to P1 , since P1 is a prime ideal and Δ1, 2 ∈ P1 ,

being a part of a minimal generating set for the ideal P = P1 + P2 . Therefore, the

above short exact sequence becomes,

Δ1, 2

0 −→ R/P1 (−(a + d + 1)m0 ) −→ R/P1 −→ R/P1 + (Δ1, 2 ),

92

6 PHILIPPE GIMENEZ, INDRANATH SENGUPTA, AND HEMA SRINIVASAN

ψ : E(−(a + d + 1)m0 ) −→ E

Δ1, 2

R/P1 (−(a + d + 1)m0 ) −→ R/P1 .

n n

ping cone F(ψ) is given by the free modules Fs = Es−1 ⊕ Es = R(s−1)( s ) ⊕ Rs(s+1) ,

for every s = 0, . . . , n (with E−1 = En = 0) and the diﬀerentials d2s : Fs → Fs−1 ,

deﬁned as d2s (x, y) = (ψs−1 (y) + d1s (x), −d1s−1 (y)), for every s = 1, . . . , n.

R/P1 +(Δ1, 2 ) is resolved by the mapping cone F(ψ). It is minimal because each

of the maps in ψ is of positive degree and the resolution E is minimal. Hence, the

mapping cone F(ψ) is the minimal free resolution of the homogeneous coordinate

ring k[Γ] = R/P. We have therefore proved the following:

Theorem 2.4. The minimal free resolution of the homogeneous coordinate ring

k[Γ] of the aﬃne monomial curve C(m) in An+1 k associated to the arithmetic se-

quence of integers (m) = m0 , . . . , mn with the property m0 ≡ n modulo n is

d2 n d2n−1 n d2 ϕ

0 → Rn−1 −→

n

R(n−2)(n−1)+(n−1) −→ · · · −→ R1+( 2 ) −→

1

R −→ k[Γ] → 0.

n n n

In particular, the Betti numbers are β0 = 1, β1 = 1+ 2 and βs = (s−1) s +s s+1

for every s ∈ [2, n].

As in Section 2.1, one can be more precise and give the graded resolution. First

note that the graded minimal resolution of P1 is given by

n−1

n+1 d1n−1

0 −→ R(−nm0 + kd − d) −→ · · ·

2

k=1

s−1

d1s d1s−1

··· −→ R(−sm0 + kd − ri d) −→ ···

1≤r1 <...<rs ≤n k=1

d1 d1

··· −→

2

R(−2m0 − (r1 + r2 − 1)d) −→

1

R −→ R/P1 → 0 .

1≤r1 <r2 ≤n

MINIMAL FREE RESOLUTIONS FOR CERTAIN AFFINE MONOMIAL CURVES 93

7

Corollary 2.5. Under the hypothesis of Theorem 2.4, the minimal graded free

resolution of k[Γ] is given by

n−1

n+1

0 −→ R(−(a + n + d + 1)m0 + kd − d)

2

k=1

n−1

d2 n+1

−→

n

R(−nm0 + kd − d) ⊕

2

k=1

⎛ n−2 ⎞

⎝ R(−(a + n + d)m0 + kd − ri d) ⎠

1≤r1 <...<rn−1 ≤n k=1

d2n−1

−→ ···

..

. ⎛ s−1 ⎞

d2s

··· −→ ⎝ R(−sm0 + kd − ri d) ⎠ ⊕

1≤r1 <...<rs ≤n k=1

⎛ s−2 ⎞

⎝ R(−(a + s + d)m0 + kd − ri d) ⎠

1≤r1 <...<rs−1 ≤n k=1

d2s−1

−→ ···

..

. ⎛ ⎞

d22

··· −→ ⎝ R(−2m0 − (r1 + r2 − 1)d)⎠ ⊕ R(−(a + 1 + d)m0 )

1≤r1 <r2 ≤n

d21 ϕ

−→ R → k[Γ] → 0.

n = 4). When b = 2, the ideal P is Gorenstein of height n and hence the ﬁrst

and the last Betti numbers are known. This provides a very interesting family of

Gorenstein ideals of height n generated by (n − 1)(n + 2)/2 binomials.

of 4 × 4 pfaﬃans of a 5 × 5 skew symmetric matrix. For n = 4, the ideal P is

a height 4 Gorenstein ideal minimally generated by 9 elements and therefore has

Betti numbers 9, 16, 9 and 1.

In fact, we can show that with this weighted grading, the shifts in a graded

resolution of R/P are as follows:

Theorem 2.6. Given two non-negative integers a and d, consider the monomial

curve C(m) in A5k associated to the arithmetic sequence (m) = 4a + 2, 4a + 2 +

d, 4a + 2 + 2d, 4a + 2 + 3d, 4a + 2 + 4d. Set q := 2a + 1. Then the deﬁning ideal P

of C(m) is a height four Gorenstein ideal whose minimal graded free resolution is

94

8 PHILIPPE GIMENEZ, INDRANATH SENGUPTA, AND HEMA SRINIVASAN

0 → R(−q(q + 2d + 9) − 9d)

9 7

→ R(−8q − kd) ⊕ R(−q(q + 2d + 5) − kd) ⊕ R(−q(q + 2d + 5) − 5d)

k=7 k=3

7

→ R(−6q − 4d) ⊕ R (−6q − kd)

2

⊕ R(−6q − 8d) ⊕ R(−q(q + 2d + 3) − d)

k=5

4

⊕ R (−q(q + 2d + 3) − kd)

2

⊕ R(−q(q + 2d + 3) − 5d)

k=2

6

2

→ R(−4q − kd) ⊕ R(−4q − 4d) ⊕ R(−q(q + 2d + 1) − kd) → P → 0.

k=2 k=0

generated by the 2 × 2 minors of A and B, where

X0 X1 X2 X3

A=

X1 X2 X3 X4

and

X4a X0 X1 X2

B= .

X0a+d X2 X3 X4

Moreover, the 9 minimal generators of P are the six 2×2 minors of A whose degrees

are 2m0 + kd, k = 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6 for m0 := 4a + 2 = 2(2a + 1) = 2q, and the 3 minors

of B involving the ﬁrst column which are of degrees m0 (a + d + 1) + kd, k = 0, 1, 2.

Note that for both determinantal ideals I2 (A) and I2 (B), the Eagon-Northcott

complex provides a minimal resolution. The 8 determinantal relations from the

Eagon-Northcott resolution of I2 (A) and the 6 determinantal relations from the

Eagon-Northcott resolution of I2 (B) involving the ﬁrst column will necessarily be

among the 16 minimal syzygies of P. The degrees of the other two relations are

determined by the symmetry of the resolution. Thus the remaining two relations

must be of degrees q(q + 3) + (2q + 2)d and q(q + 3) + (2q + 4)d. This determines

the rest of the degrees in the resolution.

We note that when d = 1, this ideal can never be determinantal even though

it is height 4 and generated by 9 elements. That is, this ideal is not the ideal of

2 × 2 minors of a 3 × 3 matrix for sum of the degrees of such an ideal must be

even. For in this case, the ideal is generated by 9 elements whose degrees add up

to 27d + km0 . Since m0 is even, this number is odd whenever d is odd. Hence if

d is odd, it cannot be a determinantal ideal. However, it is not clear if it can be

determinantal for even values of d. Of course, the conjecture only says that the

Betti numbers are determined by b.

References

[GSS] P. Gimenez, I. Sengupta and H. Srinivasan, Minimal graded free resolution for monomial

curves deﬁned by an arithmetic sequence (2011), in progress.

[MS] A. K. Maloo and I. Sengupta, Criterion for complete intersection of certain monomial curves,

in: Advances in Algebra and Geometry (Hyderabad, 2001), 179–184, Hindustan Book Agency,

New Delhi, 2003.

MINIMAL FREE RESOLUTIONS FOR CERTAIN AFFINE MONOMIAL CURVES 95

9

[P] D. P. Patil, Minimal sets of generators for the relation ideals of certain monomial curves,

Manuscripta Math. 80 (1993) 239–248.

[PS] D. P. Patil and I. Sengupta, Minimal set of generators for the derivation module of certain

monomial curves, Comm. Algebra 27(11) (1999) 5619–5631.

[S1] I. Sengupta, A minimal free resolution for certain monomial curves in A4 , Comm. Algebra

31(6) (2003) 2191–2809.

[S2] I. Sengupta, Betti numbers of certain aﬃne monomial curves, In EACA-2006 (Sevilla), F.-J.

Castro Jiménez and J.-M. Ucha Enrı́quez Eds, 171–173. ISBN: 84-611-2311-5.

of Valladolid, 47005 Valladolid, Spain.

E-mail address: pgimenez@agt.uva.es

Current address: Department of Mathematics, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, WB 700 032,

India.

E-mail address: sengupta.indranath@gmail.com

E-mail address: SrinivasanH@missouri.edu

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Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

Abstract. Let A be a Noetherian local ring with d = dim A > 0. This paper

shows that the Hilbert coeﬃcients {eiQ (A)}1≤i≤d of parameter ideals Q have

uniform bounds if and only if A is a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring. The

uniform bounds are huge; the sharp bound for e2Q (A) in the case where A is a

generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring with dim A ≥ 3 is given.

1. Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to study the problem of when the Hilbert coef-

ﬁcients of parameter ideals in a Noetherian local ring have uniform bounds, and

when this is the case, to ask for their sharp bounds.

Let A be a Noetherian local ring with maximal ideal m and d = dim A > 0. For

simplicity, we assume that the residue class ﬁeld A/m of A is inﬁnite. Let A (M )

denote, for an A-module M , the length of M . Then for each m-primary ideal I in

A, we have integers {eiI (A)}0≤i≤d such that the equality

n+d n+d−1

A (A/I n+1 ) = e0I (A) − e1I (A) + · · · + (−1)d edI (A)

d d−1

holds true for all n 0, which we call the Hilbert coeﬃcients of A with respect

to I. We say that our local ring is a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring, if the local

cohomology modules Him (A) are ﬁnitely generated for all i = d. Let

hi (A) = A (Him (A))

for each i ∈ Z.

With this notation our ﬁrst purpose is to study the problem of when the set

Λi (A) = {eiQ (A) | Q is a parameter ideal in A}

is ﬁnite for all 1 ≤ i ≤ d. Our research has started from the joint work [GhGHOPV],

where the authors intensively studied the problem of when the set Λ1 (A) is ﬁnite

and proved that A is a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring, once the set Λ1 (A) is

Key words and phrases. Hilbert function, Hilbert coeﬃcient, parameter ideal, associated

graded ring, Rees algebra.

The ﬁrst author is partially supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientiﬁc Researches (C) in Japan

(22540054). The second author is supported by a grant from MIMS (Meiji Institute for Advanced

Study of Mathematical Sciences) and Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) in Japan (22740026).

1 2011

c American Mathematical Society

97

98

2 SHIRO GOTO AND KAZUHO OZEKI

a continuation of [GhGHOPV] and the ﬁrst main result is stated as follows.

Theorem 1.1. Let A be a Noetherian local ring with d = dim A ≥ 2. Then the

following conditions are equivalent.

(1) A is a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring.

(2) The set Λi (A) is ﬁnite for all 1 ≤ i ≤ d.

We shall prove Theorem 1.1 in Section 2. Let us note here a few comments

about the proof. The proof of the implication (2) ⇒ (1) is based on [GhGHOPV,

Proposition 4.2] but the heart of the proof of the implication (1) ⇒ (2) is, in

the case where A is a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring, the existence of uniform

bounds of the Castelnuovo-Mumford regularity reg G(Q) of the associated graded

rings G(Q) of parameter ideals Q. So, let us brieﬂy recall the deﬁnition of the

Castelnuovo-Mumford regularity. Let Q be a parameter ideal in A and let

R(Q) = A[Qt], R (Q) = A[Qt, t−1 ], and G(Q) = R (Q)/t−1 R (Q)

respectively denote the Rees algebra, the extended Rees algebra, and the associated

graded ring of Q, where t is an indeterminate over A. Let M = mR + R+ be the

unique graded maximal ideal in R = R(Q). For each i ∈ Z let

ai (G(Q)) = sup{n ∈ Z | [HiM (G(Q))]n = (0)}

and put

regG(Q) = sup{ai (G(Q)) + i | i ∈ Z},

which we call the Castelnuovo-Mumford regularity of the graded ring G(Q). Then,

if A is a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring, we have that

(1) |e1Q (A)| ≤ I(A) and

(2) |eiQ (A)| ≤ 3 · 2i−2 (r + 1)i−1 I(A) for all 2 ≤ i ≤ d

for every parameter ideals Q in A (see Theorem 2.2), where

d − 1

d−1

r = reg G(Q) and I(A) = hj (A).

j=0

j

Therefore, thanks to the uniform bounds [LT, Theorem 2.3] of reg G(Q) for param-

eter ideals Q in a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring A, we readily get the ﬁniteness

in the set Λi (A) for all 1 ≤ i ≤ d.

Although the ﬁniteness problem of Λi (A) is settled aﬃrmatively, both the

bounds in Theorem 2.2 and [LT, Theorem 2.3] are given in the exponential or-

der and very huge. It seems to be a diﬀerent problem to ask for the sharp bounds

for the values of eiQ (A) of parameter ideals Q, which is our second purpose of the

present research.

When A is a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring with d = dim A ≥ 2, one has

the inequalities

d − 2

d−1

0 ≥ e1Q (A) ≥ − hj (A)

j=1

j − 1

for every parameter ideal Q in A ([MSV, Theorem 3.6], [GNi, Lemma 2.4]), where

d−1 j

the equality e1Q (A) = − j=1 d−2j−1 h (A) holds true if and only if Q is a standard

parameter ideal in A ([S, Korollar 3.2], [GO, Theorem 2.1]), provided depth A > 0.

The reader may consult [GhGHOPV] for the characterization of local rings which

UNIFORM BOUNDS FOR HILBERT COEFFICIENTS OF PARAMETERS 99

3

contain parameter ideals Q with e1Q (A) = 0. Thus the behavior of the ﬁrst Hilbert

coeﬃcients e1Q (A) for parameter ideals Q are rather satisfactorily understood.

The second purpose is to study the natural question of how about e2Q (A). First,

we will show that in the case where dim A = 2 and depth A > 0, even though A is

not necessarily a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring, the inequality

−h1 (A) ≤ e2Q (A) ≤ 0

holds true for every parameter ideal Q in A. We will also show that e2Q (A) = 0 if

and only if the ideal Q is generated by a system a, b of parameters which forms a

d-sequence in A. When A is a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring with dim A ≥ 3,

we shall show that the inequality

d−1

d − 3

d−2

d−3 j

− h (A) ≤ e2Q (A) ≤ hj (A)

j=2

j − 2 j=1

j − 1

holds true for every parameter ideal Q (Proposition 3.6). The following theorem

which is the second main result of this paper shows that the upper bound

d − 3

d−2

e2Q (A) ≤ hj (A)

j=1

j − 1

d−2 j

is sharp, clarifying when the equality e2Q (A) = j=1 d−3j−1 h (A) holds true.

dim A ≥ 3 and depth A > 0. Let Q be a parameter ideal in A. Then the following

two conditions are equivalent.

d−2 j

(1) e2Q (A) = j=1 d−3 j−1 h (A).

(2) There exist elements a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ∈ A such that

(a) Q = (a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ),

(b) the sequence a1 , a2 , · · · , ad is a d-sequence in A, and

(c) Q·Hjm (A/(a1 , a2 , · · · , ak )) = (0) for all j ≥ 1 and k ≥ 0 with j + k ≤

d − 2.

When this is the case, we furthermore have the following :

d−i j

(i) (−1)i eiQ (A) = j=1 d−i−1 j−1 h (A) for 3 ≤ i ≤ d − 1 and

(ii) edQ (A) = 0.

At this moment we do not know the sharp uniform bound for e3Q (A) for pa-

rameter ideals Q in a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring A with dim A ≥ 3.

Let us brieﬂy note how this paper is organized. We shall prove Theorem 1.1 in

Section 2. Theorem 1.2 will be proven in Section 4. Section 3 is devoted to some

preliminary steps for the proof of Theorem 1.2. We will closely study in Section

3 the problem of when e2Q (A) = 0 in the case where dim A = 2. We shall prove

d−2 d−3 j

Theorem 1.2 also in Section 3. The equality e2Q (A) = j=1 j−1 h (A) holds,

even if the parameter ideal Q is not standard; in Section 4 we will construct a

non-standard parameter ideal Q which satisﬁes condition (1) in Theorem 1.2.

In what follows, unless otherwise speciﬁed, let A be a Noetherian local ring

with maximal ideal m and d = dim A > 0. We throughout assume that the ﬁeld

A/m is inﬁnite. For each m-primary ideal I in A, we put

R(I) = A[It], R (I) = A[It, t−1 ], and G(I) = R (I)/t−1 R (I),

100

4 SHIRO GOTO AND KAZUHO OZEKI

maximal ideal in R = R(I). We denote by HiM (∗) (i ∈ Z) the ith local cohomology

functor of R(I) with respect to M. Let L be a graded R-module. For each n ∈ Z

let [HiM (L)]n stand for the homogeneous component of HiM (L) with degree n. We

denote by L(α), for each α ∈ Z, the graded R-module whose grading is given by

[L(α)]n = Lα+n for all n ∈ Z.

Let A be a Noetherian local ring with maximal ideal m, d = dim A > 0, and

inﬁnite residue class ﬁeld A/m.

The purpose of this section is to prove Theorem 1.1. To begin with, let us

note the following result of Linh and Trung [LT], which gives a uniform bound for

reg G(Q) for parameter ideals Q in a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring.

Theorem 2.1 ([LT], Theorem 2.3). Suppose that A is a generalized Cohen-

Macaulay ring and let Q be a parameter ideal in A. Then

(1) reg G(Q) ≤ max{I(A) − 1, 0}, if d = 1.

(2) reg G(Q) ≤ max{(4I(A))(d−1)! − I(A) − 1, 0}, if d ≥ 2.

The following result is the key for our proof of the implication (1) ⇒ (2) in

Theorem 1.1.

Theorem 2.2. Suppose that A is a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring. Let Q

be a parameter ideal in A and put r = reg G(Q). Then

(1) |e1Q (A)| ≤ I(A).

(2) |eiQ (A)| ≤ 3 · 2i−2 (r + 1)i−1 I(A) for 2 ≤ i ≤ d.

To prove Theorem 2.2 we need the following lemma, which is fairy well-known.

However, since we cannot ﬁnd good references, let us include a sketch of proof for

completeness.

Lemma 2.3. Let Q be a parameter ideal in A.

(1) Let C = A/H0m (A). Then reg G(Q) ≥ reg G(QC).

(2) Assume that d ≥ 2 and suppose that a ∈ Q is superﬁcial with respect to

Q. Let Q = Q/(a) in A = A/(a). Then reg G(Q) ≥ reg G(Q).

Proof. (1) This follows from the fact that the kernel of the canonical epimor-

phism G(Q) → G(QC) of graded rings is ﬁnitely graded.

(2) Let f = at and we look at the canonical epimorphism

ϕ

G(Q)/f G(Q) → G(Q)

of graded rings. Then the kernel of ϕ is ﬁnitely graded, because a is superﬁcial

with respect to Q, whence we have

reg(G(Q)/f G(Q)) ≥ reg G(Q),

where

ai (G(Q)/f G(Q)) = sup n ∈ Z | [HiM (G(Q)/f G(Q)]n = (0)

and

reg(G(Q)/f G(Q)) = sup {ai (G(Q)/f G(Q)) + i | i ∈ Z} .

UNIFORM BOUNDS FOR HILBERT COEFFICIENTS OF PARAMETERS 101

5

f

0 → [(0) :G(Q) f ](−1) → H0M (G(Q))(−1) → H0M (G(Q)) → H0M (G(Q)/f G(Q)) → · · ·

f

· · · → Hi−1

M (G(Q)/f G(Q)) → HM (G(Q))(−1) → HM (G(Q)) → HM (G(Q)/f G(Q))

i i i

f

0 → [(0) :G(Q) f ](−1) → G(Q)(−1) → G(Q) → G(Q)/f G(Q) → 0,

we have

max {ai (G(Q)), ai+1 (G(Q)) + 1} ≥ ai (G(Q)/f G(Q))

for all i ∈ Z. Hence

reg G(Q) ≥ reg(G(Q)/f G(Q)) ≥ reg G(Q)

as required.

Proof of Theorem 2.2. We proceed by induction on d. Thanks to [GNi,

d−1 i

Lemma 2.4], we have e1Q (A) = −h0 (A), if d = 1, and e1Q (A) ≥ − i=1 d−2 i−1 h (A),

if d ≥ 2. Thus |e1Q (A)| ≤ I(A), whence our assertion holds true for the case where

d = 1.

We may assume that d ≥ 2 and that our assertion holds true for d − 1. We may

also assume that depth A > 0. In fact, let W = H0m (A), C = A/W , and assume

that

|eiQC (C)| ≤ 3 · 2i−2 (r + 1)i−1 I(C)

for 2 ≤ i ≤ d, where r = regG(QC). We then have

≤ 3 · 2i−2 (r + 1)i−1 I(C) + h0 (A)

d−1

d − 1

≤ 3 · 2 (r + 1)

i−2 i−1

h (C) + h0 (A)

i

i=1

i

d−1

d − 1

= 3 · 2 (r + 1)

i−2 i−1

h (A) + h0 (A)

i

i=1

i

d−1

d − 1

≤ 3 · 2 (r + 1)

i−2 i−1 i

h (A)

i=0

i

≤ 3 · 2i−2 (r + 1)i−1 I(A),

because r ≤ r by Lemma 2.3 (1), hi (A) = hi (C) for i ≥ 1, and 3·2i−2 (r +1)i−1 ≥ 1.

Thus, passing to the ring C, we may assume that depthA > 0.

Let a ∈ Q be a superﬁcial element with respect to Q. We put A = A/(a),

Q = QA, and r = reg G(Q). Let k ≥ 0 be an integer. Then, thanks to the exact

sequence

a k+1

0 → [Qk+1 : a]/Qk → A/Qk → A/Qk+1 → A/Q → 0,

we get

A (Qk /Qk+1 ) = A (A/Qk+1 ) − A (A/Qk )

k+1

= A (A/Q ) − A ([Qk+1 : a]/Qk ). (∗)

102

6 SHIRO GOTO AND KAZUHO OZEKI

Hence

n

A (A/Qn+1 ) = A (Qk /Qk+1 )

k=0

n

k+1

n

= A (A/Q )− A ([Qk+1 : a]/Qk ) (∗∗)

k=0 k=0

for all n ≥ 0.

orem 4.4.3]) that

d−1

k k+1 i i k+d−1−i

A (Q /Q )= (−1) eQ (A)

i=0

d−1−i

d−1

k+1 k+d−1−i

A (A/Q )= (−1)i eiQ (A)

i=0

d−1−i

k+1

for all k ≥ r . Hence A (Qk /Qk+1 ) = A (A/Q ) for all k > r, because r ≥ r by

Lemma 2.3 (2) and eQ (A) = eQ (A) for 0 ≤ i ≤ d − 1. Thus the equality (∗) shows

i i

Since

d

n+d−i

A (A/Qn+1 ) = (−1)i eiQ (A)

i=0

d−i

d−1

n+d−i

(−1)d edQ (A) = A (A/Q n+1

)− i i

(−1) eQ (A)

i=0

d−i

UNIFORM BOUNDS FOR HILBERT COEFFICIENTS OF PARAMETERS 103

7

n d−1

k+1 n n+d−i

= A (A/Q )− A ([Q k+1

: a]/Q ) −

k

(−1)i eiQ (A)

i=0

d−i

k=0 k=0

n n n

d−1

k+1 k+d−1−i

= A (A/Q )− A ([Q k+1

: a]/Q ) −

k i i

(−1) eQ (A)

d−1−i

k=0 k=0 k=0 i=0

n

k+1

d−1

k+d−1−i n

= A (A/Q )− (−1)i eiQ (A) − A ([Qk+1 : a]/Qk )

i=0

d − 1 − i

k=0 k=0

r

k+1

d−1

k+d−1−i

r

= A (A/Q )− (−1)i eiQ (A) − A ([Qk+1 : a]/Qk )

i=0

d − 1 − i

k=0 k=0

r

r

d−1

k+1 k+d−1 k+d−1−i

= A (A/Q ) − eQ (A)

0

− i i

(−1) eQ (A)

d−1 i=1

d−1−i

k=0 k=0

r

− A ([Qk+1 : a]/Qk ),

k=0

k+1 d−1

because A (A/Q )= i=0 (−1) eQ (A) k+d−1−i

i i

d−1−i for all k ≥ r and [Qk+1 : a] =

Qk for all k > r by Claim 1. On the other hand, thanks to [LT, Lemma 1.1] and

[HH, Theorem 1.1], we have

k+1 k+d−1 k+d−2

0 ≤ A (A/Q )− e0Q (A) ≤ I(A)

d−1 d−2

k+d−2

A ([Qk+1 : a]/Qk ) ≤ I(A)

d−2

and

|eiQ (A)| = |eiQ (A)| ≤ 3 · 2i−2 (r + 1)i−1 I(A) ≤ 3 · 2i−2 (r + 1)i−1 I(A)

104

8 SHIRO GOTO AND KAZUHO OZEKI

the case where i = d, we get

r

r

k+1 k+d−1 k+d−2

|eQ (A)| ≤

d

A (A/Q ) − eQ (A)

0

+ |eQ (A)|

1

d−1 d−2

k=0 k=0

r

d−1 r

k+d−1−i

+ |eiQ (A)| + A ([Qk+1 : a]/Qk )

i=2

d − 1 − i

k=0 k=0

r

r

k+d−2 k+d−2

≤ I(A) + I(A)

d−2 d−2

k=0 k=0

r

d−1 r

k+d−1−i k+d−2

+ 3 · 2i−2 (r + 1)i−1 I(A) + I(A)

d−1−i d−2

k=0 i=2 k=0

r +d−1 r +d−1

= I(A) + I(A)

d−1 d−1

d−1

r +d−i r+d−1

+ 3 · 2 (r + 1) I(A)

i−2 i−1

+ I(A)

i=2

d−i d−1

d−1

r+d−1 i−1 r + d − i

≤ 3 I(A) + 3 · 2 (r + 1)

i−2

I(A)

d−1 i=2

d−i

(since r ≤ r by Lemma 2.3 and I(A) ≤ I(A))

d−1

≤ 3(r + 1)d−1 I(A) + 3 · 2i−2 (r + 1)i−1 (r + 1)d−i I(A)

i=2

m+n

(since ≤ (m + 1)n for all integers m, n ≥ 0)

n

d−1

= 3(r + 1)d−1 I(A) + 3 · 2i−2 (r + 1)d−1 I(A)

i=2

d−1

= 3(r + 1)d−1 I(A) 1 + 2i−2

i=2

= 3 · 2d−2 (r + 1)d−1 I(A)

d−1

(since 2i−2 = 2d−2 − 1).

i=2

This completes the proof of Theorem 2.2 and, thanks to Theorem 2.1, that of the

implication (1) ⇒ (2) of Theorem 1.1 as well.

We are now in a position to prove the implication (2) ⇒ (1) in Theorem 1.1.

assume A is not unmixed, because Λ1 (A) is a ﬁnite set (cf. [GhGHOPV, Propo-

sition 4.2]). Let U denote the unmixed component of the ideal (0) in A. We put

B = A/U and t = dimA U (≤ d − 1). We must show that B is a generalized

Cohen-Macaulay ring and t = 0.

UNIFORM BOUNDS FOR HILBERT COEFFICIENTS OF PARAMETERS 105

9

B → 0 we have

A (A/Qn+1 ) = A (B/Qn+1 B) + A (U/Qn+1 ∩ U )

for all integers n ≥ 0. The function A (U/Qn+1 ∩ U ) is a polynomial in n 0 with

degree t and there exist integers {siQ (U )}0≤i≤t with s0Q (U ) = e0Q (U ) such that

t

n+t−i

A (U/Qn+1

∩ U) = i i

(−1) sQ (U )

i=0

t−i

for all n 0, whence

d t

n+d−i n+t−i

A (A/Qn+1 ) = (−1)i eiQ (B) + (−1)i siQ (U ) .

i=0

d−i i=0

t−i

Consequently

⎧ d−i t−i

⎨ (−1)d−i eQ (B) + (−1)t−i sQ (U ) if 0 ≤ i ≤ t,

(−1)d−i ed−i

Q (A) =

⎩

(−1)d−i ed−i

Q (B) if t + 1 ≤ i ≤ d.

Therefore, if t < d − 1, we have e1Q (A) = e1Q (B), so that Λ1 (B) = Λ1 (A) is a ﬁnite

set. If t = d − 1, we get −e1Q (A) = −e1Q (B) + s0Q (U ). Since e1Q (A), e1Q (B) ≤ 0 and

s0Q (U ) = e0Q (U ) ≥ 1, Λ1 (B) is a ﬁnite set also in this case. Thus the set Λ1 (B) is

ﬁnite in any case, so that the ring B is a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring.

We now assume that t ≥ 1 and choose a system a1 , a2 , · · · , ad of parameters

in A so that (at+1 , at+2 , · · · , ad )U = (0). Let ≥ 1 be an integer such that m is

standard for the ring B and choose integers n ≥ . We look at parameter ideals

Q = (an1 , an2 , · · · , and ) of A. Then

t

d−t d−t t−1 j

(−1) eQ (B) = h (B)

j=1

j−1

s0Q (U ) = e0(an1 ,an2 ,··· ,ant ) (U ) = nt ·e0(a1 ,a2 ,··· ,at ) (U ) ≥ nt ,

we see

(−1)d−t ed−t

Q (A) = (−1)

d−t d−t

eQ (B) + s0Q (U )

t

t−1 j

= h (B) + nt ·e0(a1 ,a2 ,··· ,at ) (U )

j=1

j − 1

≥ nt ,

whence the set Λd−t (A) cannot be ﬁnite. Thus t = 0 and A a generalized Cohen-

Macaulay ring.

Let A be a Noetherian local ring with maximal ideal m, d = dim A > 0,

and inﬁnite residue class ﬁeld A/m. In this section we study the second Hilbert

coeﬃcients e2Q (A) of parameter ideals Q. The purpose is to ﬁnd the sharp bound

106

10 SHIRO GOTO AND KAZUHO OZEKI

for e2Q (A). The bound |e2Q (A)| ≤ 3(r + 1)I(A) given by Theorem 2.2 is too huge in

general and far from the sharp bound.

Let us begin with the following.

Lemma 3.1. Suppose that d = 2 and depth A > 0. Let Q = (x, y) be a param-

eter ideal in A and assume that x is superﬁcial with respect to Q. Then

[(x ) : y ] ∩ Q

e2Q (A) = −A ≤0

(x )

for all 0.

Proof. Let 0 be an integer which is suﬃciently large and put I = Q .

Let G = G(I) and R = R(I) be the associated graded ring and the Rees algebra

of I, respectively. We put M = mR + R+ . Then [HiM (G)]n = (0) for all integers

i ∈ Z and n > 0, thanks to [H, Lemma 2.4]. We put a = x and b = y . Then the

element a remains superﬁcial with respect to I and the equality I 2 = (a, b)I holds

true, whence

a2 (G) = sup{n ∈ Z | [H2M (G)]n = (0)} < 0.

We furthermore have the following.

Claim 2. [HiM (R)]0 ∼= [HiM (G)]0 as A-modules for all i ∈ Z. Hence H0M (G) =

(0), so that f = at ∈ R is G-regular.

Proof of Claim 2. Let L = R+ and apply the functors HiM (∗) to the fol-

lowing canonical exact sequences

p

0→L→R→A→0 and 0 → L(1) → R → G → 0,

where p denotes the projection, and get the exact sequences

(1) · · · → Hi−1

m (A) → HM (L) → HM (R) → Hm (A) → · · · and

i i i

(2) · · · → Hi−1

M (G) → HM (L)(1) → HM (R) → HM (G) → HM (L)(1) → · · ·

i i i i+1

of local cohomology modules. Then by exact sequence (2) we get the isomorphism

[Hi (L)]n+1 ∼

M = [Hi (R)]n M

M (G)]n = [HM (G)]n = (0) for n ≥ 1, while we have the

i

isomorphism

[HiM (L)]n+1 ∼

= [HiM (R)]n+1

for n ≥ 1, thanks to exact sequence (1). Hence [HiM (R)]n ∼ = [HiM (R)]n+1 for n ≥ 1,

which implies [HM (R)]n = (0) for all i ∈ Z and n ≥ 1, because [HiM (R)]n = (0)

i

for n 0. Thus by exact sequence (1) we get [HiM (L)(1)]n = (0) for all i ∈ Z and

n ≥ 0, so that by exact sequence (2) we see [HiM (R)]0 ∼ = [HiM (G)]0 as A-modules

for all i ∈ Z. Considering the case where i = 1 in exact sequence (2), we have the

embedding

0 → H0M (G) → H1M (L)(1),

so that [H0M (G)]0 = (0), because [H1M (L)(1)]0 = [H0M (L)]1 = (0). Hence H0M (G) =

(0), so that f is G-regular, because (0) :G f is ﬁnitely graded.

Thanks to [B, Theorem 4.1], Claim 2 shows that

2

e2Q (A) = (−1)i A ([HiM (G)]0 ) = −A ([H1M (G)]0 ),

i=0

UNIFORM BOUNDS FOR HILBERT COEFFICIENTS OF PARAMETERS 107

11

[(x ) : y ] ∩ Q

e2Q (A) = −A ,

(x )

it is suﬃces to check that

[(a) : b] ∩ I

[H1M (G)]0 ∼

=

(a)

as A-modules.

Let A = A/(a) and I = IA. Then G/f G ∼ = G(I), because f = at is G-regular

(cf. Claim 2). We now look at the exact sequence

f

0 → H0M (G(I)) → H1M (G)(−1) → H1M (G)

of local cohomology modules which is induced from the exact sequence

f

0 → G(−1) → G → G(I) → 0

of graded G-modules. Then, since [H1M (G)]n = (0) for all n ≥ 1, we have an

isomorphism

[H0M (G(I))]1 ∼

= [H1M (G)]0

of A-modules and the vanishing [H0M (G(I)]n = (0) for n ≥ 2.

Look now at the homomorphism

[(a) : b] ∩ I

ρ: → [H0M (G(I))]1

(a)

of A-modules deﬁned by ρ(x) = xt for each x ∈ [(a) : b] ∩ I, where x and xt

denote the images of x in A and xt ∈ [R(I)]1 in G(I), respectively. We will show

that the map ρ is an isomorphism. Take ϕ ∈ [H0M (G(I))]1 and write ϕ = xt with

x ∈ I. Since [H0M (G(I))]2 = (0), we have bt · xt = bxt2 = 0 in G(I), whence

bx ∈ [(a) + I 3 ] ∩ I 2 = [(a) ∩ I 2 ] + I 3 = aI + bI 2 (recall that I 2 = (a, b)I and that

a is super-regular with respect to I). So, we write bx = ai + bj with i ∈ I and

j ∈ I 2 . Then, since b(x − j) = ai ∈ (a), we have x − j ∈ [(a) : b] ∩ I, whence

ϕ = xt = (x − j)t. Thus the map ρ is surjective.

To show that the map ρ is injective, take x ∈ [(a) : b] ∩ I and suppose that

ρ(x) = xt = 0 in G(I). Then

x ∈ [(a) : b] ∩ [(a) + I 2 ] = (a) + [((a) : b) ∩ I 2 ].

To conclude that x ∈ (a), we need the following.

Claim 3. Let n ≥ 2 be an integer. Then [(a) : b] ∩ I n ⊆ (a) + [((a) : b) ∩ I n+1 ].

Proof of Claim 3. Take y ∈ [(a) : b] ∩ I n . Then, since by ∈ (a), we see bt ·

ytn = bytn+1 = 0 in G(I). Hence ytn ∈ [H0M (G(I))]n , because bt is a homogeneous

parameter for the graded ring G(I). Recall now that n ≥ 2, whence [H0M (G(I))]n =

(0), so that ytn = 0. Thus y ∈ (a) + I n+1 , whence y ∈ (a) + [((a) : b) ∩ I n+1 ], as

claimed.

Since x ∈ (a) + [((a) : b) ∩ I 2 ], thanks to Claim 3, we get x ∈ (a) + I n+1 for all

n ≥ 1, whence x ∈ (a), so that the map ρ is injective. Thus

[(a) : b] ∩ I

[H1M (G)]0 ∼

=

(a)

108

12 SHIRO GOTO AND KAZUHO OZEKI

as A-modules.

Theorem 3.2. Suppose that d = 2 and depth A > 0. Let Q = (x, y) be a

parameter ideal in A and assume that x is superﬁcial with respect to Q. Then

−h1 (A) ≤ e2Q (A) ≤ 0

and the following three conditions are equivalent.

(1) e2Q (A) = 0.

(2) x, y forms a d-sequence in A.

(3) x , y forms a d-sequence in A for all integers ≥ 1.

Passing to the ring A/H0m (A), thanks to Theorem 3.2, we readily get the fol-

lowing.

Corollary 3.3. Suppose that d = 2 and let Q be a parameter ideal in A. Then

h0 (A) − h1 (A) ≤ e2Q (A) ≤ h0 (A).

Proof of Theorem 3.2. By Lemma 3.1 we have

[(x ) : y ] ∩ (x, y)

e2Q (A) = −A ≤0

(x )

for all integers 0. To show

−h1 (A) ≤ e2Q (A),

we may assume H1m (A) is ﬁnitely generated. Then since

[(a) : b] ∩ Q (a) : b

⊆ ⊆ H0m (A/(a)) ∼

= H1m (A),

(a) (a)

we get −h1 (A) ≤ e2Q (A).

Let us consider the second assertion.

(1) ⇒ (3). Take an integer N ≥ 1 so that

[(x ) : y ] ∩ (x, y)

e2Q (A) = −A =0

(x )

for all ≥ N (cf. Lemma 3.1); hence

[(x ) : y ] ∩ (x, y) = (x ).

Claim 4. [(x ) : y ] ∩ (x, y) = (x ) for all ≥ 1.

Proof of Claim 4. We may assume that 1 ≤ < N . Take τ ∈ [(x ) :

y ] ∩ (x, y) . Then, since y N (xN − τ ) = y N − xN − (y τ ) ∈ (xN ), we have xN − τ ∈

[(xN ) : y N ] ∩ (x, y)N = (xN ). Thus τ ∈ (x ), because x is A-regular (recall that

depth A > 0 and x is superﬁcial with respect to Q).

Since x is A-regular and [(x ) : y ] ∩ (x , y ) = (x ) by Claim 4, we readily see

that x , y is a d-sequence in A.

(3) ⇒ (2) This is clear.

(2) ⇒ (1) It is well-known that e2(x,y) (A) = 0, if depth A > 0 and the system

x, y of parameters forms a d-sequence in A; see Proposition 3.4 below.

The results in the following proposition are, more or less, known but let us

indicate brief proofs for the sake of completeness, because the results play important

roles in our proof of Theorem 1.2.

UNIFORM BOUNDS FOR HILBERT COEFFICIENTS OF PARAMETERS 109

13

eter ideal in A. Let G = G(Q) and R = R(Q). Let fi = ai t ∈ R for 1 ≤ i ≤ d.

Assume that the sequence a1 , a2 , · · · , ad forms a d-sequence in A. Then we have

the following, where Qi = (a1 , a2 , · · · , ai ) for 0 ≤ i ≤ d.

(1) e0Q (A) = A (A/Q) − A ([Qd−1 : ad ]/Qd−1 ).

(2) (−1)i eiQ (A) = h0 (A/Qd−i ) − h0 (A/Qd−i−1 ) for 1 ≤ i ≤ d − 1 and

(−1)d edQ (A) = h0 (A).

d

(3) A (A/Qn+1 ) = i=0 (−1)i eiQ (A) n+d−i for all n ≥ 0, whence A (A/Q) =

d i i

d−i

(4) f1 , f2 , · · · , fd forms a d-sequence in G.

(5) H0M (G) = [H0M (G)]0 ∼ = H0m (A), where M = mR + R+

(6) [HM (G)]n = (0) for all n > −i and i ∈ Z, whence reg G = 0.

i

Proof. Let us check assertions (1), (2), and (3). Let W = H0m (A) and put

A = A/(a) and Q = QA, where a = a1 . Let k ≥ 0 be an integer. Then by virtue

of the exact sequence

a k+1

0 → [Qk+1 : a]/Qk → A/Qk → A/Qk+1 → A/Q →0

of A-modules and the equality

Qk+1 : a = Qk + W

(recall that W = (0) : a and (a) ∩ Qk+1 = aQk for all k ≥ 0, since a1 , a2 , · · · , ad

forms a d-sequence in A), we get

A (Qk /Qk+1 ) = A (A/Qk+1 ) − A (A/Qk )

k+1

= A (A/Q ) − A (W/[W ∩ Qk ])

k+1

= A (A/Q ) − A (W ) + A (Qk ∩ W ).

Hence

n

n

k+1

A (A/Qn+1 ) = A (Qk /Qk+1 ) = A (A/Q ) − h0 (A)·n ()

k=0 k=0

Suppose now that d = 1. Then

A (A/Qn+1 ) = A (A/Q)(n + 1) − h0 (A)(n + 1) + h0 (A)

= {A (A/Q) − h0 (A)}(n + 1) + h0 (A)

k+1

for all n ≥ 0, because A (A/Q ) = A (A/Q) for all k ≥ 0. Hence

e0Q (A) = A (A/Q) − A ([(0) : a1 ]) and − e1Q (A) = h0 (A).

Assume that d ≥ 2 and that our assertions hold true for d − 1. Then Q =

(a2 , a3 , · · · , ad ) and the sequence a2 , a3 , · · · , ad forms a d-sequence in A, where ai

denotes the image of ai in A. Then the hypothesis of induction on d guarantees

that

d−1

k+1 i i k+d−1−i

A (A/Q )= (−1) eQ (A)

i=0

d−1−i

110

14 SHIRO GOTO AND KAZUHO OZEKI

n

k+1

A (A/Qn+1 ) = A (A/Q ) − h0 (A)(n + 1) + h0 (A)

k=0

d−1

n k+d−1−i

= (−1)i eiQ (A) − h0 (A)(n + 1) + h0 (A)

d − 1 − i

k=0 i=0

d−1

n+d−i

= i i

(−1) eQ (A) − h0 (A)(n + 1) + h0 (A)

i=0

d − i

d−2

n+d−i

= i i

(−1) eQ (A) + {(−1)d−1 ed−1 (A) − h0 (A)}(n + 1) + h0 (A)

i=0

d − i Q

for all n ≥ 0. Thus (−1)d edQ (A) = h0 (A) and by the hypothesis of induction on d

we get that

e0Q (A) = e0Q (A) = A (A/Q) − A ([(a2 , a3 , · · · , ad−1 ) : ad ]/(a2 , a3 , · · · , ad−1 ))

= A (A/Q) − A ([Qd−1 : ad ]/Qd−1 ),

= h0 (A/(a2 , a3 , · · · , ad−i )) − h0 (A/(a2 , a3 , · · · , ad−i−1 ))

= h0 (A/Qd−i ) − h0 (A/Qd−i−1 )

for 1 ≤ i ≤ d − 2, and

(−1)d−1 ed−1

Q (A) = (−1) eQ (A) − h0 (A)

d−1 d−1

= h0 (A) − h0 (A)

= h0 (A/Q1 ) − h0 (A/Q0 ).

(4) This follows from the standard argument; use the fact that (a1 , a2 , · · · , ai )∩

Qn = (a1 , a2 , · · · , ai )Qn−1 for all 1 ≤ i ≤ d and n ∈ Z.

(5) We get H0M (G) = (0) :G f1 by assertion (4). Since [(0) : a1 ] ∩ Q = (0) and

(a1 ) ∩ Qn = a1 Qn−1 for all n ∈ Z, we also have [(0) :G f1 ] = [(0) :G f1 ]0 . Hence

H0M (G) = [H0M (G)]0 ∼ = W , because [(0) :G f1 ]0 ∼

= (0) : a1 = W .

(6) We proceed by induction on d. We may assume that d ≥ 2 and that our

assertion holds true for d − 1. Then, we have the isomorphism G/f1 G ∼ = G(Q) of

graded rings, since (a1 ) ∩ Qn = a1 Qn−1 . Because H0M (G) = (0) :G f1 , we have the

exact sequence

f1

0 → H0M (G)(−1) → G(−1) → G → G(Q) → 0

of graded G-modules. Hence applying the local cohomology functors HiM (∗) to it,

we get the long exact sequence

f1

0 → H0M (G) → H0M (G(Q)) → H1M (G)(−1) → H1M (G) → · · ·

f1

M (G(Q)) → HM (G)(−1) → HM (G) → HM (G(Q)) → · · · .

· · · → Hi−1 i i i

is standard to check that [HiM (G)]n = (0) if n > −i, which completes the proof of

Proposition 3.4.

UNIFORM BOUNDS FOR HILBERT COEFFICIENTS OF PARAMETERS 111

15

Let us note one example of local rings A which are not generalized Cohen-

Macaulay rings but every parameter ideal in A is generated by a system of param-

eters that forms a d-sequence in A.

Example 3.5. Let R be a regular local ring with the maximal ideal n and

d = dim R ≥ 2. Let X1 , X2 , · · · , Xd be a regular system of parameters of R. We

put p = (X1 , X2 , · · · , Xd−1 ) and D = R/p. Then D is a DVR. Let A = R D

denote the idealization of D over R. Then A is a Noetherian local ring with the

maximal ideal m = n × D, dim A = d, and depth A = 1. We furthermore have the

following.

(1) Λi (A) = {0} for all 1 ≤ i ≤ d such that i = d − 1.

(2) Λ0 (A) = {n | 0 < n ∈ Z} and Λd−1 (A) = {(−1)d−1 n | 0 < n ∈ Z}.

(3) After renumbering, every system of parameters in A forms a d-sequence.

The ring A is not a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring, because H1m (A) (∼ = H1n (D))

is not a ﬁnitely generated A-module.

Proof. Let Q be a parameter ideal in A and put q = p(Q), where p : A →

R, p(a, x) = a denotes the projection map. We then have, thanks to the exact

sequence

j p

0 →p D → A → R → 0

of A-modules (here p D denote the R-module D which is considered to be an A-

module via p and j(x) = (0, x) for each x ∈ D),

A (A/Qn+1 ) = R (R/qn+1 ) + D (D/qn+1 D)

n+d n+1

= R (R/q)· + D (D/qD)·

d 1

n+d n+1

= e0q (R) + e0q (D)

d 1

for all integers n ≥ 0, so that e0Q (A) = e0q (R), (−1)d−1 ed−1 Q (A) = eq (D) ≥ 1, and

0

eiQ (A) = 0 if i = 0, d − 1.

Let ni ≥ 1 (1 ≤ i ≤ d) be integers and put q = (X1n1 , X2n2 , · · · , Xdnd )R. We

look at the parameter ideals Q = qA in A. Then e0Q (A) = e0q (R) = di=1 ni and

Q (A) = eq (D) = n1 . Hence Λ0 (A) = {n | 0 < n ∈ Z} and Λd−1 (A) =

(−1)d−1 ed−1 0

d−1

write fi = (ai , xi ) with ai ∈ R and xi ∈ D. We assume that ai D ⊆ a1 D for all

1 ≤ i ≤ d. Then f1 , f2 , · · · , fd is a d-sequence in A. In fact, let 1 ≤ i ≤ j ≤ d be

integers and ϕ ∈ (f1 , f2 , · · · , fi−1 ) : fi fj . If i = 1, then f1 (fj ϕ) = 0, so that fj ϕ =

0, because f1 is A-regular. Suppose that i ≥ 2. Then p(ϕ) ∈ (a1 , a2 , · · · , ai−1 ), since

(ai aj )p(ϕ) ∈ (a1 , a2 , · · · , ai−1 ) and ai aj is R/(a1 , a2 , · · · , ai−1 )-regular. Therefore,

considering the canonical exact sequence

j p

0 →p [D/(a1 , a2 , · · · , ai−1 )D] → A/(f1 , f2 , · · · , fi−1 ) → R/(a1 , a2 , · · · , ai−1 ) → 0

of A-modules, we see that ϕ ≡ (0, x) mod(f1 , f2 , · · · , fi−1 ) for some x ∈ D. Hence

fj ϕ ≡ (0, aj x) mod(f1 , f2 , · · · , fi−1 ), which implies fj ϕ ∈ (f1 , f2 , · · · , fi−1 ), be-

cause aj x ∈ a1 D.

We now consider the case where dim A ≥ 3

112

16 SHIRO GOTO AND KAZUHO OZEKI

dim A ≥ 3. Let Q = (a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ) be a parameter ideal in A. Then

d−1

d−3 j d − 3

d−2

− h (A) ≤ eQ (A) ≤

2

hj (A).

j=2

j−2 j=1

j − 1

d−2 j

j−1 h (A) and if a1 , a2 , · · · , ad forms a superﬁcial sequence with

if e2Q (A) = j=1 d−3

respect to Q.

d−1

d−2

d−3 d−3 j

− hj (A) ≤ e2Q (A) ≤ h (A)

j=2

j−2 j=1

j−1

and that Q·Hjm (A) = (0) for all 1 ≤ j ≤ d − 2, once the equality e2Q (A) =

d−2 d−3 j 0 2

j=1 j−1 h (A) holds true. Let W = Hm (A) and put C = A/W . Since eQC (C) =

eQ (A) and h (C) = h (A) for j ≥ 1, passing to the ring C, we may assume that

2 j j

depthA > 0. We may also assume that each ai is superﬁcial with respect to Q. We

put a = ai , A = A/(a), and Q = QA.

Suppose that d = 3. Then by the long exact sequence

a a

0 → H0m (A) → H1m (A) → H1m (A) → H1m (A) → H2m (A) → H2m (A) → · · ·

h0 (A) = A ([(0) :H1m (A) a]) and h1 (A) = A ([(0) :H1m (A) a]) + A ([(0) :H2m (A) a]).

e2Q (A) = e2Q (A) ≤ h0 (A) = A ([(0) :H1m (A) a]) ≤ h1 (A)

and

= A ([(0) :H1m (A) a]) − {A ([(0) :H1m (A) a]) + A ([(0) :H2m (A) a])}

= −A ([(0) :H2m (A) a]) ≥ −h2 (A).

In particular, aH1m (A) = (0), if e2Q (A) = h1 (A). By the symmetry among ai we get

ai H1m (A) = (0) for all i, whence Q·H1m (A) = (0).

Assume that d ≥ 4 and that our assertion holds true for d−1. Let 1 ≤ j ≤ d−2

and look at the exact sequence

a a

Hjm (A) → Hjm (A) → Hjm (A) → Hj+1

m (A) → Hm (A)

j+1

m (A)

a]).

UNIFORM BOUNDS FOR HILBERT COEFFICIENTS OF PARAMETERS 113

17

d − 4

d−3

e2Q (A) = e2Q (A) ≤ hj (A)

j=1

j − 1

d−3

d−4

= {A ([(0) :Hjm (A) a]) + A ([(0) :Hj+1 a])}

j=1

j−1 m (A)

d−2

d−3

= A ([(0) :Hjm (A) a])

j=1

j−1

d−2

d−3 j

≤ h (A)

j=1

j−1

and

d−2

d−4

e2Q (A) = e2Q (A) ≥ − hj (A)

j=2

j−2

d−2

d−4

= − {A ([(0) :Hjm (A) a]) + A ([(0) :Hj+1 a])}

j=2

j−2 m (A)

d−1

d−3

= − A ([(0) :Hjm (A) a])

j=2

j−2

d−1

d−3 j

≥ − h (A).

j=2

j−2

d−3 j

Hence aHjm (A) = (0) for 1 ≤ j ≤ d − 2 and e2Q (A) = j=1 d−4 2

j−1 h (A), if eQ (A) =

d−2 d−3 j j

j=1 j−1 h (A). Then by the symmetry among ai , we get ai Hm (A) = (0) for

1 ≤ i ≤ d and 1 ≤ j ≤ d − 2, so that Q·Hjm (A) = (0) for 1 ≤ j ≤ d − 2.

Now let us check by induction on d that Q·Hjm (A/(a1 , a2 , · · · , ak )) = (0) for

d−2 d−3 j

all k ≥ 0 and j ≥ 1 with j + k ≤ d − 2, if e2Q (A) = j=1 j−1 h (A) and if

a1 , a2 , · · · , ad forms a superﬁcial sequence with respect to Q. We may assume that

d ≥ 4 and that the assertion holds true for d − 1. Similarly as before, we may also

assume that depth A > 0. Then, because

d−3

d−4 j

e2Q/(a1 ) (A/(a1 )) = h (A/(a1 ))

j=1

j−1

Q·Hjm (A/(a1 , a2 , · · · , ak )) = Q·Hjm (A/(a2 , a3 , · · · , ak )A) = (0)

k ≥ 0 and j ≥ 1 with j + k ≤ d − 2, because Q·Hjm (A) = (0) for 1 ≤ j ≤ d − 2.

The following result guarantees the implication (2) ⇒ (1) and the last assertion

in Theorem 1.2.

114

18 SHIRO GOTO AND KAZUHO OZEKI

d = dim A ≥ 3 and let Q = (a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ) be a parameter ideal in A. Assume that

the sequence a1 , a2 , · · · , ad forms a d-sequence in A and Q·Hjm (A/(a1 , a2 , · · · , ak )) =

(0) for all k ≥ 0 and j ≥ 1 with j + k ≤ d − 2. Then

d−i

d−i−1 j

(−1)i eiQ (A) = h (A)

j=1

j−1

h0 (A) and

e2Q (A) = h0 (A/(a1 )) − h0 (A)

= {h1 (A) + h0 (A)} − h0 (A) = h1 (A)

by Proposition 3.4, because h0 (A/(a1 )) = h0 (A) + h1 (A) (notice that H0m (A) =

(0) : a1 and Q·H1m (A) = (0)).

Let us assume that d ≥ 4 and that our assertion holds true for d − 1. Notice

that a1 , a2 , · · · , ad is a superﬁcial sequence with respect to Q = (a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ) by

Proposition 3.4 (4). Let A = A/(a1 ) and let ai denote the image of ai in A. Then,

since a2 , a3 , · · · , ad forms a d-sequence in A and

Q·Hjm (A/(a2 , a3 , · · · , ak ) = (0)

for all j, k ≥ 1 with j + k ≤ d − 2, by the hypothesis of induction on d we get

d − i − 2

d−i−1

(−1)i eiQ (A) = (−1)i eiQ (A) = hj (A)

j=1

j − 1

d−i−1

d−i−2

= {hj (A) + hj (A)}

j=1

j−1

d−i

d−i−1 j

= h (A)

j=1

j−1

for 2 ≤ i ≤ d − 2 and

(−1)d−1 ed−1

Q (A) = (−1) eQ (A) − h0 (A)

d−1 d−1

= h0 (A) − h0 (A)

= {h0 (A) + h1 (A)} − h0 (A) = h1 (A)

by Proposition 3.4 (2) (notice that hi (A) = hi (A) + hi+1 (A) for 0 ≤ i ≤ d −

3, because H0m (A) = (0) : a1 and Q·Him (A) = (0) for 1 ≤ i ≤ d − 2). Since

(−1)d edQ (A) = h0 (A) by Proposition 3.4 (2), this completes the proof of Proposition

3.7.

Let A be a Noetherian local ring with maximal ideal m and inﬁnite residue

class ﬁeld A/m. The purpose of this section is to prove Theorem 1.2. Thanks to

Theorem 3.6 and Proposition 3.7, we have only to show the following.

UNIFORM BOUNDS FOR HILBERT COEFFICIENTS OF PARAMETERS 115

19

dim A ≥ 3 anddepth jA > 0. Let Q be a parameter ideal in A and assume that

d−2

e2Q (A) = j=1 d−3

j−1 h (A). Then Q is generated by a system of parameters which

forms a d-sequence in A.

For each ideal a in A (a = A) let U(a) denote the unmixed component of a.

When a = (a) with a ∈ A, we write U(a) simply by U(a). We have

U(a) = [(a) :A mn ] ,

n≥0

system of parameters in A (cf. [STC, Section 2]). The following result is the key

in our proof of Theorem 4.1.

Proposition 4.2. Suppose that A is a generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring with

d = dim A ≥ 2 and depth A > 0. Let Q = (a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ) be a parameter ideal

in A. Assume that ad H1m (A) = (0) and that the sequence a1 , a2 , · · · , ad−1 forms a

d-sequence in the generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring A/U(ad ). Then

U(a1 ) ∩ [Q + U(ad )] = (a1 ).

Proof. Let x ∈ U(a1 ) ∩ [Q + U(ad )]. Notice that

U(a1 ) ∩ [Q + U(ad )] = (a1 ) + [U(a1 ) ∩ U(ad )].

In fact, let x ∈ U(a1 )∩[Q+U(ad )]. We put B = A/U(ad ). Let x and ai respectively

denote the images of x and ai in B. Then

x ∈ U(a1 ) ∩ (a1 , a2 , · · · , ad−1 )B ⊆ (a1 )B,

since the sequence a1 , a2 , · · · , ad−1 forms a d-sequence in B. Hence

x ∈ [(a1 ) + U(ad )] ∩ U(a1 ) = (a1 ) + [U(a1 ) ∩ U(ad )].

Let us write x = y + z with y ∈ (a1 ) and z ∈ U(a1 ) ∩ U(ad ). We will show that

z ∈ (a1 ). Since ai is A-regular, we have

U(ai )/(ai ) = H0m (A/(ai )) → H1m (A)

for i = 1, d, whence ad U(a1 ) ⊆ (a1 ), because ad H1m (A) = (0) by our assumption.

Choose an integer > 0 so that a1 H1m (A) = (0). Then, since a1 U(ad ) ⊆ (ad ), we

have

ad z ∈ (a1 ) and a1 z ∈ (ad ).

Let us write

ad z = a1 u and a1 z = ad v with u, v ∈ A.

1 u = ad v, we have v ∈ U(a1 ). Notice that

Then, since a1 ad z = a+1 2 +1

1 )/(a1 ) = Hm (A/(a1 )) → Hm (A),

is A-regular. We then have ad U(a+1 +1 1

1

Therefore, because ad v ∈ (a1 ), we may write ad v = a1 w with w ∈ A, whence

+1 +1

1 ad w, so that z = a1 w ∈ (a1 ). Thus x = y + z ∈ (a1 ), which

completes the proof of Proposition 4.2.

116

20 SHIRO GOTO AND KAZUHO OZEKI

ments a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ∈ A so that Q = (a1 , a2 , · · · , ad ) and for each 0 ≤ i ≤ d−2, the

i + 2 elements a1 , a2 , · · · , ai , ad−1 , ad form a superﬁcial sequence with respect to Q.

We will show that there exist b2 , b3 , · · · , bd ∈ A such that b1 = ad−1 , b2 , b3 , · · · , bd

forms a d-sequence in A and Q = (b1 , b2 , · · · , bd ). We put A = A/(a1 ), Q = QA,

and C = A/H0m (A) (= A/U(a1 )).

Suppose that d = 3. Then

e2QC (C) = e2Q (A) − h0 (A) = e2Q (A) − h0 (A) = h1 (A) − h0 (A) = 0,

because h1 (A) = h0 (A) (recall that Q·H1m (A) = (0) by Proposition 3.6). Hence,

thanks to Proposition 3.2, a2 , a3 forms a d-sequence in C, because a2 is superﬁcial

for the ideal QC = (a2 , a3 )C. Therefore, since a1 H1m (A) = (0), we have

U(a2 ) ∩ [Q + U(a1 )] = (a2 ),

by Proposition 4.2. Let Q = (a2 , a3 , b3 ) and B = A/U(a2 ). Then since e2QB (B) = 0,

by Proposition 3.2 the sequence b2 = a3 , b3 forms a d-sequence in B, because b2

is superﬁcial for QB. Therefore, since U(a2 ) ∩ Q ⊆ U(a2 ) ∩ [Q + U(a1 )] = (a2 ),

the sequence b2 , b3 forms a d-sequence in A/(a2 ), so that b1 = a2 , b2 , b3 forms a

d-sequence in A, because b1 is A-regular.

Assume that d ≥ 4 and that our assertion holds true for d − 1. Then, thanks

to Theorem 3.6 and its proof, we have

d−3

d−4 j

e2Q (A) = e2Q (A) = e2QC (C) ≤ h (C)

j=1

j−1

d−3

d−4

= hj (A)

j=1

j−1

d−3

d−4

= {hj (A) + hj+1 (A)}

j=1

j−1

d−2

d−3 j

= h (A) = e2Q (A),

j=1

j−1

d − 4

d−3

e2QC (C) = hj (C).

j=1

j − 1

is superﬁcial in the ideal QC for all 1 ≤ i ≤ d − 2 where aj denotes the image of aj

in C, the hypothesis of induction on d yields that there exist γ2 , γ3 , · · · , γd−1 ∈ C

such that the sequence γ1 = ad−1 , γ2 , γ3 , · · · , γd−1 forms a d-sequence in C and

QC = (γ1 , γ2 , · · · , γd−1 )C. Let us write γj = cj for each 2 ≤ j ≤ d − 1 with cj ∈ Q,

where cj denote the image of cj in C. We put q = (a1 , ad−1 , c2 , c3 , · · · , cd−1 ). Then

q is a parameter ideal in A, a1 H1m (A) = (0), and ad−1 , c2 , c3 , · · · , cd−1 forms a

d-sequence in C. Therefore

U(ad−1 ) ∩ [Q + U(a1 )] = U(ad−1 ) ∩ [q + U(a1 )] = (ad−1 )

UNIFORM BOUNDS FOR HILBERT COEFFICIENTS OF PARAMETERS 117

21

U(ad−1 ) ∩ Q = (ad−1 ).

Let B = A/U(ad−1 ). We then have

d−3

d−4 j

e2QB (B) = h (B)

j=1

j−1

d−3

d−4 j

e2QC (C) = h (C)

j=1

j−1

d−3 d−4

(in fact, to show e2QC (C) = j=1 j−1 hj (C), we only need that a1 is superﬁcial

with respect to Q). Therefore, by the hypothesis of induction on d, we may choose

elements β2 , β3 , · · · , βd ∈ B so that QB = (β2 , β3 , · · · , βd )B and the sequence

β2 , β3 , · · · , βd forms a d-sequence in B. We put b1 = ad−1 and write βj = bj

with bj ∈ Q for 2 ≤ j ≤ d, where bj denotes the image of bj in B. We now put

q = (b1 , b2 , · · · , bd ). Then q is a parameter ideal in A and because U(b1 )∩Q = (b1 ),

we get

Q ⊆ [q + U(b1 )] ∩ Q = q + [U(b1 ) ∩ Q] ⊆ q + (b1 ) = q ;

hence Q = q . Thus the sequence b2 , b3 , · · · , bd forms a d-sequence in A/(b1 ), so

that b1 , b2 , · · · , bd forms a d-sequence in A, because b1 is A-regular. This complete

the proof of Theorem 4.1 and that of Theorem 1.2 as well.

parameter ideal in A. Then by [S, Korollar 3.2]

d−1

d−2 j

e1Q (A) = − h (A) and

j=1

j−1

d−2

d−3 j

e2Q (A) = h (A),

j=1

j−1

if Q is standard. We conversely have that Q is standard, if depth A > 0 and

d−1

e1Q (A) = − j=1 d−2 j 2

j−1 h (A) ([GO, Theorem 2.1]). This is no more true for eQ (A);

Q is not necessarily standard, even though the equality e2Q (A) = d−2 d−3 j

j=1 j−1 h (A)

holds in Theorem 1.2. Let us note one example.

Example 4.3. Let A be a 3-dimensional generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring with

depth A = 2. Assume that mH2m (A) = (0) and let a ∈ m such that a is A-regular but

aH2m (A) = (0). Choose b, c ∈ A so that b, c form a standard system of parameters

in A/(a). Let Q = (a, b, c). Then e2Q (A) = 0 = h1 (A) by Proposition 3.4 (2), since

a, b, c is a d-sequence in A. However Q is not standard, since Q·H2m (A) = (0).

For a concrete example, let R be a 3-dimensional regular local ring with max-

imal ideal n and let M = SyzR 2 2

2 (R/n ) be the second syzygy module of R/n . We

look at the idealization A = R M of M over R. Then A is a 3-dimensional

generalized Cohen-Macaulay ring with depth A = 2 and H2m (A) ∼ = H2n (M ) ∼

= R/n2 ,

so that mHm (A) = (0).

2

118

22 SHIRO GOTO AND KAZUHO OZEKI

Acknowledgements

The authors are most grateful to Hoang Le Truong and Ngo Viet Trung for their

inspiring discussions during the 5-th Japan-Vietnam Joint Seminar on Commutative

Algebra (January 5-9, 2010, Institute of Mathematics Hanoi). Our Theorem 1.1 is

deep in debt from their suggestions.

References

[B] C. Blancafort, On Hilbert functions and cohomology, J. Algebra 192 (1997), 439–

459.

[BH] W. Bruns and J. Herzog, Cohen-Macaulay rings, Cambridge studies in advanced

mathematics, 39, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York, Port Chester,

Melborne Sydney, 1993.

[GhGHOPV] L. Ghezzi, S. Goto, J. Hong, K. Ozeki, T. T. Phuong, and W. V. Vasconcelos,

Cohen–Macaulayness versus the vanishing of the ﬁrst Hilbert coeﬃcient of param-

eter ideals, J. London Math. Soc. (2) 81 (2010), 679–695.

[GNi] S. Goto and K. Nishida, Hilbert coeﬃcients and Buchsbaumness of associated graded

rings, J. Pure and Appl. Algebra, 181 (2003), 61–74.

[GO] S. Goto and K. Ozeki, Buchsbaumness in local rings possessing ﬁrst Hilbert coeﬃ-

cients of parameters, Nagoya Math. J. 199 (2010), 95–105.

[H] L. T. Hoa, Reduction numbers and Rees Algebras of powers of ideal, Proc. Amer.

Math. Soc. 119 (1993), 415–422.

[HH] F. Hayasaka and E. Hyry, On the Buchsbaum-Rim function of a parameter module,

J. Algebra 327 (2011), 307–315.

[LT] C. H. Linh and N. V. Trung, Uniform bounds in generalized Cohen-Macaulay rings,

J. Algebra 304 (2006), 1147–1159.

[MSV] M. Mandal, B. Singh, and J. K. Verma, On some conjectures about the Chern

numbers of ﬁltrations, J. Algebra 325 (2011), 147–162.

[S] P. Schenzel, Multiplizitäten in verallgemeinerten Cohen-Macaulay-Moduln, Math.

Nachr. 88 (1979), 295–306.

[STC] P. Schenzel, N. V. Trung, and N. T. Cuong, Verallgemeinerte Cohen-Macaulay-

Moduln, Math. Nachr. 85 (1978), 57–73.

1-1-1 Higashi-mita, Tama-ku, Kawasaki 214-8571, Japan

E-mail address: goto@math.meiji.ac.jp

erty, Meiji University, 1-1-1 Higashi-mita, Tama-ku, Kawasaki 214-8571, Japan

E-mail address: kozeki@math.meiji.ac.jp

Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

Craig Huneke

Abstract. This paper is an expanded version of three lectures the author gave

during the summer school, “PASI: Commutative Algebra and its Connections

to Geometry,” from August 3-14, 2009 held in Olinda, Brazil.

Contents

1. Introduction

2. Basic Concepts

3. Dimension One

4. Regular Sequences

5. R+ is Cohen-Macaulay in Positive Characteristic

6. Applications

References

1. Introduction

This paper is based on three talks given at the PASI conference in Olinda,

Brazil in the summer of 2009. One point of the paper is to introduce students

to one aspect of characteristic p methods in commutative algebra. Such methods

have been among the most powerful in the ﬁeld. The basic method of reduction to

characteristic p is used to prove results for arbitrary Noetherian rings containing

a ﬁeld; the ﬁeld can be characteristic 0. Thus, even though one is often working

in positive characteristic, one’s main interest might well be in rings containing the

rationals. In the late 1980’s, “tight closure theory” was discovered by M. Hochster

and myself. This theory synthesized many existing reduction to characteristic p

proofs into one theory, which has now grown to encompass a large number of

diﬀerent directions. In this paper, we’ll concentrate on a result which Karen Smith

2010 Mathematics Subject Classiﬁcation. Primary 13A35, 13B22, 13C14, 13D02, 13D45.

Key words and phrases. absolute integral closure, Cohen-Macaulay.

The author was partially supported by the NSF, DMS-0756853.

c 2011

XXXX

c American Mathematical Society

1

119

120

2 CRAIG HUNEKE

has refered to as a “crown jewel” of tight closure theory, namely the fact that

the absolute integral closure of a complete local domain of positive characteristic

is Cohen-Macaulay. We ﬁrst introduce basic concepts, and discuss some rather

amazing properties of absolute integral closures. Then we prove some classical

theorems in dimension one. The main part of the paper will give a recent proof of

the Cohen-Macaulayness of the absolute integral closure in positive characteristic.

Applications will be given in Section 6. Some further thoughts about directions to

go will be presented in the last section. For unexplained results or deﬁnitions, we

refer the reader to Eisenbud’s book [7].

2. Basic Concepts

We begin with a deﬁnition:

Definition 2.1. Let R be a domain, and let R ⊂ S, a ring. The integral

closure of R in S is the set of all elements s ∈ S which satisfy an equation of the

form

sn + r1 sn−1 + ... + rn = 0,

where ri ∈ R for all i.

The set of elements in S which are integral over R form a ring, called the

integral closure of R in S. When S is the fraction ﬁeld of R, the resulting ring

is called the integral closure of R. The ring R is said to be integrally closed if R

is equal to its integral closure. For example, a well-known result in commutative

algebra says that every UFD is integrally closed. So, e.g., the integers are integrally

closed. Another basic result states that if R is integrally closed, so is the ring of

polynomials R[X] as well as the ring of formal power series R[[X]]. An obvious

induction shows that also R[X1 , ..., Xn ] and R[[X1 , ..., Xn ]] are integrally closed for

all n ≥ 1.

The main object we will study is given in the following deﬁnition.

Definition 2.2. Let R be an integral domain with fraction ﬁeld K. Let K

be a ﬁxed algebraic closure of K. The integral closure of R in K, denoted R+ , is

called the absolute integral closure of R.

We simply say “R-plus” to mean the absolute integral closure. This ring has

been well-studied in several diﬀerent contexts.

For other interesting results concerning R+ which we will not be writing about,

see [1],[2], and [24].

integrally closed itself; if S is the integral closure of R, then R ⊂ S ⊂ R+ , and

S + = R+ . More generally, if S is any ﬁnite integral extension of R which is a

domain, then the fraction ﬁeld of S is algebraic over the fraction ﬁeld of R, and

hence there is an isomorphic copy of S which contains R and sits inside R+ . By

an abuse of language, we’ll just assume that S ⊂ R+ . In this case, S + = R+ .

Studying R+ is basically studying all integral extensions of R at the same time.

Remark 2.4. Continuing the discussion from above, if R is local and complete

in the m-adic topology and contains a ﬁeld, then R is actually a ﬁnite integral

extension of a formal power series ring over a ﬁeld k. Namely, the Cohen structure

ABSOLUTE INTEGRAL CLOSURE 121

3

theorem gives that there exists a ﬁeld k inside R such that the composition of

maps k → R → R/m is an isomorphism. Moreover, if x1 , ..., xd is a system of

parameters for R, then the complete local subring of R generated by these elements,

k[[x1 , ..., xd ]] = A is isomorphic with a formal power series ring over k, and R is

module-ﬁnite over A. Hence A+ = R+ . Thus, if we ﬁx a copy of the residue ﬁeld,

say k, sitting inside R, there is really only one R+ for each dimension; it is the

absolute integral closure of the formal power series ring over the ﬁeld k. In other

words, for each dimension, we are really just studying one ring, the absolute integral

closure of the power series ring over k. There is a classical theorem which gives

the structure of such a ring in dimension one over a ﬁeld of characteristic 0. See

Theorem 3.1.

a domain S integral over R is isomorphic with R+ if and only if monic polynomials

over S factor into monic linear polynomials over S. Using this criterion, one can

easily prove two very basic properites of R+ .

• Firstly, if q ∈ Spec(R), then (Rq )+ ∼

= (R+ )q , where the latter localization is

at the multiplicatively closed set R − q.

• Secondly, if Q ∈ Spec(R+ ), then R+ /Q ∼= (R/(Q∩R))+ . Thus every quotient

+

of R by a prime ideal is itself the absolute integral closure of an appropriate

quotient of R.

We leave these statements as exercises below.

These properties are very useful in understanding R+ . For example, if we

replace R by (R/P )Q for primes P ⊂ Q, then the plus closure of this new ring

is simply (R+ /P )Q for any prime P of R+ which lies over P . To give a speciﬁc

example, the main result of Section 4 states that the absolute integral closure of

an excellent local domain in positive characteristic is Cohen-Macaulay in a suitable

sense. The second property discussed above then says that the same is true modulo

every prime ideal of the absolute integral closure! This is remarkable.

M. Artin [3] proved another amazing property of R+ :

Theorem 2.6. Let R be a domain. If P, Q are prime ideals in R+ , then either

P + Q = R+ , or P + Q is prime.

This is very far from what happens in rings we typically study. For example

in the polynomial ring k[x, y], the ideals P = (x + y 2 ) and Q = (x) are prime, but

the sum is not. The proof we give is taken from [11].

Proof. To prove Artin’s result, let ab ∈ P + Q. Set z = b − a. Notice that

a2 + za = ab = u + v for some u ∈ P, v ∈ Q. The equation X 2 + zX = u has a

solution x ∈ R+ . Since u ∈ P , it follows that either x + z ∈ P or x ∈ P . But

(x2 + zx) − (a2 + za) = u − (u + v) ∈ Q, so either x − a ∈ Q or x + a + z ∈ Q. In

each of the four diﬀerent cases, we obtain that either a ∈ P + Q or b ∈ P + Q. For

example, if x + z ∈ P and x − a ∈ Q, then b = (x + z) − (x − a) ∈ Q.

Notice that if R is complete and local, then every ﬁnite extension domain of

R is also local. In particular, R+ is a local ring, i.e., has a unique maximal ideal.

122

4 CRAIG HUNEKE

Therefore the possibility that P + Q = R cannot happen in this case, and the sum

of every set of prime ideals is prime.

Exercises

of K. Prove that L is algebraically closed if and only if every monic polynomial

with coeﬃcients in R has a root in L.

2. Let R be an integral domain. Prove that a domain S integral over R

is isomorphic with R+ if and only if every monic polynomial over S factors into

monic linear polynomials over S.

3. Prove that Artin’s theorem can be extended to primary ideals: the sum of

any two primary ideals in R+ is again primary or the whole ring.

4. Let R be a domain of positive dimension. Prove that R+ is not Noetherian.

5. Suppose that R is an integral domain, and R ⊆ S ⊆ R+ . Prove that

R = S+.

+

multiplicatively closed set R − q.

7. If Q ∈ Spec(R+ ), then R+ /Q = ∼ (R/(Q ∩ R))+ . Thus every quotient of R+

by a prime ideal is itself the absolute integral closure of an appropriate quotient of

R.

3. Dimension One

Let k be a ﬁeld of characteristic 0, and consider the formal power series ring

k[[t]], whose fraction ﬁeld is denoted k((t)). A famous theorem due to Puiseux, but

apparently known to Newton, is that the algebraic closure of the ﬁeld k((t)) is the

union of the ﬁelds k((t1/n )) for n ≥ 1. A recent paper by Kedlaya ([15]) gives a

characterization of this algebraic closure in the case k has positive characteristic; it

is diﬃcult to describe. Chevalley [6] pointed out that the Artin-Schreirer polyno-

mial xp − x − t−1 has no root in the Newton-Puiseux ﬁeld n k((t1/n )). In fact, as

we shall see, there are remarkable diﬀerences in R+ depending on the characteristic

of the ground ﬁeld.

We give a proof of the Newton-Puiseux theorem, following a treatment in [17].

Theorem 3.1. Let k be an algebraically closed ﬁeld of characteristic 0, and let

k((t)) be the fraction ﬁeld of the formal power series ring k[[t]]. Then an algebraic

closure of k((t)) is the Newton-Puiseux ﬁeld ∪n k((t1/n )).

Proof. We need to prove that every monic polynomial P (z) ∈ B[z] is re-

ducible, where B = ∪n k[[t1/n ]]. Write P = z n + a1 z n−1 + ... + an , where ai ∈ B.

By using a transformation z = z + n1 a1 , we can assume without loss of generality

that a1 = 0. This is called the “Tschirnhausen transformation”. Furthermore, by

replacing k[[t]] by k[[t1/n ]] for some large n, we can change variables and assume

that all ai ∈ k[[t]]. Let rk = ord(ak ), so that ak = trk uk (t), where uk (t) is a unit.

Here “ord” denotes the t-adic order of an element.

ABSOLUTE INTEGRAL CLOSURE 123

5

to factor P (z) into two relatively prime polynomials after going modulo t. This is

always possible unless after reduction mod t, P (z) becomes of the form (t − α)n

for some α ∈ k. However, since a1 = 0, the only possible such α is 0. Thus we

are done unless for every k, 2 ≤ k ≤ n, ai (0) = 0. We want to make a change of

variables where this does not occur.

Set z = tr y, for some rational r to be chosen later. Substituting, we see that

P (z) = trn y n + a2 tr(n−2) y n−2 + ... + an . We wish to factor out trn from every

term in such a way that at least one term becomes a unit. The power of t dividing

the ith term is tri t(n−i)r , so what we need to do is to choose r in such a way that

ri + (n − i)r ≥ rn, i.e., so that ri ≥ ri. We set r = min{ rii }. Then we can rewrite

P (z) = trn Q(y, t), where Q = y n + b2 y n−1 + ... + bn . By again replacing t by t1/m

for suitably large m, we can assume that each bj ∈ k[[t]]. But now for at least one

bi , bi (0) = 0; this occurs for every term where ri /i = r. It follows that we can

factor Q over the residue ﬁeld into relatively prime polynomials, and by Hensel’s

Lemma this lifts to a factorization of Q and hence also of P .

Corollary 3.3. Let k be an algebraically closed ﬁeld of characteristic 0. Then

k[[t]]+ = ∪n k[[t1/n ]].

Proof. The ring on the right side of the equation is clearly integral over

k[[t]], and the fraction ﬁeld of it is clearly the Newton-Puiseux ﬁeld, which is an

algebraic closure of k((t)). To ﬁnish the proof of the corollary, we need to prove

that ∪n k[[t1/n ]] is integrally closed. But since it is a union of discrete valuation

rings, each integrally closed, it is also.

quadratic formula and Taylor series shows that the roots of this polynomial are a

power series in t−1/2 . One can solve recursively for the coeﬃcients.

discussion in the paper [15] in what follows. A generalized power series is an

expression of the form, i∈Q ci ti , with ci ∈ k, such that the set of i with xi = 0

is a well-ordered subset of Q, i.e., every non-empty subset has a least element.

Such generalized power series form a ring in a natural way; it makes sense to

multiply and add them in the obvious way. Abyhankar pointed out that with this

generalization of the idea of a power series, the Chevalley polynomial has the root

t−1/p + t−1/p + ....

2

k((t))? The following result was proved independently by Huang [14], Rayner [19],

and Ştefănescu [25]:

Theorem 3.2. Let (R, m) be a local ring which is complete in the m-adic topology. If f (T )

is a monic polynomial with coeﬃcients in R such that f (T ) factors modulo m into the product

of two relatively prime monic polynomials of positive degree, then this factorization lifts to a

factorization of f (T ) into two monic polynomials.

124

6 CRAIG HUNEKE

characteristic,

and let K be the set of generalized power series of the form f = i∈S ci ti , with

ci ∈ k, where the set S has the following properties:

(1) S is a subset of Q which depends on f .

(2) Every nonempty subset of S has a least element.

(3) There exists a natural number m such that every element of mS has denom-

inator a power of p.

Then K is an algebraically closed ﬁeld containing k((t)).

Kedlaya [15] gives a construction of the algebraic closure of k((t)) when k is

algebraically closed of positive characteristic. By the above theorem, one needs to

identify generalized power series which are algebraic over k((t)). A glimpse of the

issues which arise can be seen in the following result of Huang [14] and Ştefănescu

[25]:

Theorem 3.6. The series ∞ i=0 ci t

−1/pi

with ci ∈ Fp , the algebraic closure of

the ﬁeld with p elements, is algebraic over Fp ((t)) if and only if the sequence {ci }

is eventually periodic.

A consequence of the main result of [15] is the following nice theorem, which

perhaps can be proved directly.

Theorem

3.7. Let k be an algebraically closed ﬁeld of positive characteristic,

and let i ci ti be a generalized

power series which is algebraic over k((t)). Then

for every real number α, i<α ci ti is also algebraic over k((t)).

We now move away from the local case. Another classical result in dimension

one concerns the ring of all algebraic integers, Z+ . To prove this theorem, we ﬁrst

recall some results about class groups.

Let D be a ring of algebraic integers. This means that the fraction ﬁeld K of

D is a ﬁnite extension of Q, and D is the integral closure of Z in K. Necessarily D

is a one-dimensional integrally closed domain, i.e., a Dedekind domain. Moreover,

a classical result is that D has a torsion class group. In particular this means that

every ideal I in D has a power which is a principal ideal. This fact leads to the

following theorem about Z+ .

Theorem 3.8. Every ﬁnitely generated ideal of Z+ is principal (a domain with

this property is said to be a Bézout domain).

Proof. Let I ⊂ Z+ be generated by t1 , ..., tm . There is a ﬁnite ﬁeld extension

L of Q containing all of these elements. The integral closure of Z in L, say D, is a

Dedekind domain which contains t1 , ..., tm . Let J be the ideal they generate in D.

By the discussion above, some power of J is principal, say J n = (d). We claim then

1

that d n Z+ = I. Let i ∈ I. We can write i = j ej tj , where the ej ∈ Z+ . Again,

there is a ﬁnite extension T of D, with T a Dedekind domain, such that i ∈ I ∩ T =

(t1 , ..., tm )T = JT . In a Dedekind domain there is unique factorization into prime

ideals. Write JT = P1a1 · · · Pkak . Then J n T = dT = P1na1 · · · Pknak . By unique

1 1

factorization, it follows that d n T = P1a1 · · · Pkak = JT , so that i ∈ d n Z+ .

ABSOLUTE INTEGRAL CLOSURE 125

7

4. Regular Sequences

Definition 4.1. A sequence of elements x1 , ..., xd in a ring R is said to be a

regular sequence if rxi ∈ (x0 , ..., xi−1 ) implies that r ∈ (x0 , ..., xi−1 ) for all 1 ≤ i ≤

d − 1 (here we set x0 = 0), and (x1 , ..., xd )R = R.

Another deﬁnition we will need is the following.

Definition 4.2. Let (R, m) be a Noetherian local ring of dimension d. Ele-

ments x1 , ..., xd are said to be a system of parameters if the nilradical of the ideal

they generate is m. A Noetherian local ring is said to be Cohen-Macaulay if some

(equivalently every) system of parameters forms a regular sequence.

We are aiming at a theorem which shows that in characteristic p, R+ has regular

sequences having maximal length. It turns out that this is equivalent to being ﬂat

in an appropriate sense. The next proposition proves this.

p > 0. Then the following two conditions are equivalent:

(1) x1 , ..., xd form a regular sequence on A+ (by an abuse of language we say

that A+ is Cohen-Macaulay).

(2) A+ is ﬂat over A.

Proof. We prove the equivalence. First assume (1). If A+ is not ﬂat over A,

choose i ≥ 1 as large as possible so that TorA i (A/P, A ) = 0 for some prime P in

+

A. Such a choice is possible because A is regular and large Tors vanish. If y1 , ..., ys

is a maximal regular sequence in P , then one can embed A/P in A/(y1 , ..., ys )

with cokernel C. But since our assumption forces TorR +

i+1 (C, A ) = 0 (as C has

+

a prime ﬁltration), and y1 , ..., ys form a regular sequence on A , we obtain that

TorA +

i (A/P, A ) = 0, a contradiction.

To see that y1 , ..., ys form a regular sequence, extend them to a system of

parameters, and let B = k[[y1 , ..., yd ]]. Then B + = A+ , and our hypothesis says

that the y s form a regular sequence.

Assume (2). Flat maps preserve regular sequence in general.

Our method of studying regular sequences relies on local cohomology. We only

need the description below.

For x ∈ R, let C • (x; R) denote the complex 0 → R → Rx → 0, graded so that

the degree 0 piece of the complex is R, and the degree 1 is Rx . If x1 , ..., xn ∈ R,

let C • (x1 , x2 , ..., xn ; R) denote the complex C • (x1 ; R) ⊗R ... ⊗R C • (xn ; R), where in

general recall that if (A• , dA ) and (B • , dB ) are complexes, then the tensor product

of these complexes, (A ⊗R B, Δ) is by deﬁnition the complex whose ith graded

piece is j+k=i Aj ⊗ Bk and whose diﬀerential is determined by the map from

Aj ⊗Bk → (Aj+1 ⊗Bk )⊕(Aj ⊗Bk+1 ) given by Δ(x⊗y) = dA (x)⊗y+(−1)k x⊗dB (y).

The modules in this complex, called the C̆ech cohomology complex, are

0→R→⊕ Rxi → ⊕ Rxi xj → ... → Rx1 x2 ···xn → 0

i i<j

where the diﬀerentials are the natural maps induced from localization, but with

signs attached. If M is an R-module, we set C • (x1 , x2 , ..., xn ; M ) = C • (x1 , x2 , ..., xn ; R)⊗R

126

8 CRAIG HUNEKE

local cohomology of M with respect to I = (x1 , ..., xd ). It is a fact that this module

only depends on the ideal generated by the xi up to radical. We summarize some

useful information concerning these modules.

Proposition 4.4. Let R be a Noetherian ring, I and ideal and M an R-module.

Let ϕ : R → S be a homomorphism and let N be an S-module.

(1) If ϕ is ﬂat, then HIj (M )⊗R S ∼ j

= HIS (M ⊗R S). In particular, local cohomology

commutes with localization and completion.

(2) (Independence of Base) HIj (N ) ∼ j

= HIS (N ), where the ﬁrst local cohomology

is computed over the base ring R.

Proof. Choose generators x1 , ..., xn of I. The ﬁrst claim follows at once from

the fact that C • (x1 , ..., xn ; M ) ⊗R S = C • (ϕ(x1 ), ..., ϕ(xn ); M ) ⊗R S), and that S

is ﬂat over R, so that the cohomology of C • (x1 , ..., xn ; M ) ⊗R S is the cohomology

of C • (x1 , ..., xn ; M ) tensored over R with S.

The second claim follows from the fact that

C • (x1 , ..., xn ; N ) = C • (x1 , ..., xn ; R) ⊗R N = (C • (x1 , ..., xn ; R) ⊗R S) ⊗S N

= C • (ϕ(x1 ), ..., ϕ(xn ); S) ⊗R N = C • (ϕ(x1 ), ..., ϕ(xn ); N ).

be an ideal, and let R be an R-algebra. The Frobenius ring homomorphism f :

r→r p

R −→ R induces a map f∗ : HIi (R )−→HIi (R ) on all local cohomology modules

of R called the action of the Frobenius on HIi (R ). For an element α ∈ HIi (R ) we

denote f∗ (α) by αp . This follows since the Frobenius extends to localization of R

in the obvious way, and commutes with the maps in the C̆ech cohomology complex,

which are simply signed natural maps.

The main result is that if R is a local Noetherian domain which is a homomor-

phic image of a Gorenstein local ring and has positive characteristic, then R+ is

Cohen-Macaulay in the sense that every system of parameters of R form a regular

sequence in R+ . To prove this result we use the proof given in [13]. The original

proof, with slightly diﬀerent assumptions, was given in 1992 in [11], as a result

of developments from tight closure theory. Although tight closure has now disap-

peared from the proof, it remains an integral part of the theory. A critical point is

that we must ﬁnd some way of annihilating nonzero local cohomology classes. The

next lemma is essentially the only way known to do this.

Lemma 5.1. Let R be a commutative Noetherian domain containing a ﬁeld of

characteristic p > 0, let K be the fraction ﬁeld of R and let K be the algebraic

closure of K. Let I be an ideal of R and let α ∈ HIi (R) be an element such that

2 t

the elements α, αp , αp , . . . , αp , . . . belong to a ﬁnitely generated R-submodule of

HIi (R). There exists an R-subalgebra R of K (i.e. R ⊂ R ⊂ K) that is ﬁnite

as an R-module and such that the natural map HIi (R)−→HIi (R ) induced by the

natural inclusion R−→R sends α to 0.

ABSOLUTE INTEGRAL CLOSURE 127

9

i=t pi

Proof. Let At = i=1 Rα be the R-submodule of HIi (R) generated by

t

α, αp , . . . , αp . The ascending chain A1 ⊂ A2 ⊂ A3 ⊂ . . . stabilizes because R is

Noetherian and all At sit inside a single ﬁnitely generated R-submodule of HIi (R).

s

Hence As = As−1 for some s, i.e. αp ∈ As−1 . Thus there exists an equation

s s−1 s−2

αp = r1 αp + r2 αp + · · · + rs−1 α with ri ∈ R for all i. Let T be a variable and

s s−1 s−2

let g(T ) = T p − r1 T p − r2p − · · · − rs−1 T . Clearly, g(T ) is a monic polynomial

in T with coeﬃcients in R and g(α) = 0.

Let x1 , . . . , xd ∈ R generate the ideal I. Recall that we can calculate the local

cohomology from the C̆ech cohomology complex C • (R),

di−1 d

0−→C 0 (R)−→ . . . −→C i−1 (R) −→ C i (R) −→

i

C i+1 (R)−→ . . . −→C d (R)−→0

where C 0 (R) = R and C i (R) = ⊕1≤j1 <···<ji ≤d Rxj1 ···xji , and HIi (M ) is the ith

cohomology module of C • (R).

Let α̃ ∈ C i (R) be a cycle (i.e. di (α̃) = 0) that represents α. The equality

g(α) = 0 means that g(α̃) = di−1 (β) for some β ∈ C i−1 (R). Since C i−1 (R) =

rj ,...,j

⊕1≤j1 <···<ji−1 ≤d Rxj1 ···xji−1 , we may write β = ( e11 ei−1 i−1 ) where rj1 ,...,ji−1 ∈ R,

xj ···xj

1 i−1

rj1 ,...,ji−1

the integers e1 , . . . , ei−1 are non-negative, and e e ∈ Rxj1 ···xji−1 .

xj 1 ···xj i−1

1 i−1

Zj1 ,...,ji−1 rj1 ,...,ji−1

Consider the equation g( e e )− e e = 0 where Zj1 ,...,ji−1 is a vari-

xj 1 ···xj i−1 xj 1 ···xj i−1

1 i−1 1 i−1

ei−1 ps

able. Multiplying this equation by (xej11 · · · xji−1 )

produces a monic polynomial

equation in Zj1 ,...,ji−1 with coeﬃcients in R. Let zj1 ,...,ji−1 ∈ K be a root of this

equation and let R be the R-subalgebra of K generated by all the zj1 ,...,ji−1 s, i.e.

by the set {zj1 ,...,ji−1 |1 ≤ j1 < · · · < ji−1 ≤ d}. Since each zj1 ,...,ji−1 is integral over

R and there are ﬁnitely many zj1 ,...,ji−1 s, the R-algebra R is ﬁnite as an R-module.

˜ = ( zej1 ,...,jei−1

Let α̃ i−1 ) ∈ C

i−1

(R ). The natural inclusion R−→R makes C • (R)

xj ···xj

1

1 i−1

β ∈ C i−1 (R) with their natural images in C i (R ) and C i−1 (R ) respectively. With

this identiﬁcation, α̃ ∈ C i (R ) is a cycle representing the image of α under the

natural map HIi (R)−→HIi (R ), and so is α = α̃ − di−1 (α̃) ˜ ∈ C i (R ). Since g(α̃)˜ =

β and g(α̃) = di−1 (β), we conclude that g(α) = 0. Let α = (ρj1 ,...,ji ) where

ρj1 ,...,ji ∈ Rxj ···xj . Each individual ρj1 ,...,ji satisﬁes the equation g(ρj1 ,...,ji ) = 0.

1 i

Since g(T ) is a monic polynomial in T with coeﬃcients in R, each ρj1 ,...,ji is an

element of the fraction ﬁeld of R that is integral over R. Let R be obtained from

R by adjoining all the ρj1 ,...,ji . This subcomplex is exact because its cohomology

groups are the cohomology groups of R with respect to the unit ideal. Since α is

a cycle and belongs to this exact subcomplex, it is a boundary, hence it represents

the zero element in HIi (R ).

We recall that for a Gorenstein local ring A of dimension n, local duality says

that there is an isomorphism of functors D(Extn−i ∼ i

A (−, A)) = Hm (−) on the category

of ﬁnite A-modules, where D = HomA (−, E) is the Matlis duality functor (here E

is the injective hull of the residue ﬁeld of A in the category of A-modules).

Theorem 5.2. [13] Let R be a commutative Noetherian local domain containing

a ﬁeld of characteristic p > 0, let K be the fraction ﬁeld of R and let K be the

algebraic closure of K. Assume R is a homomorphic image of a Gorenstein local

128

10 CRAIG HUNEKE

ring A. Let m be the maximal ideal of R. Let i < dim R be a non-negative integer.

There is an R-subalgebra R of K (i.e. R ⊂ R ⊂ K) that is ﬁnite as an R-module

and such that the natural map Hmi

(R)−→Hm i

(R ) is the zero map.

Proof. The proof comes from [13]. Let n = dim A and let N = Extn−i A (R, A).

Clearly N is a ﬁnite A-module.

Let d = dim R. We use induction on d. For d = 0 there is nothing to prove,

so we assume that d > 0 and the theorem proven for all smaller dimensions. Let

P ⊂ R be a non-maximal prime ideal. We claim there exists an R-subalgebra RP

of K such that RP is a ﬁnite R-module and for every RP -subalgebra R∗ of K (i.e.

RP ⊂ R∗ ⊂ K) such that R∗ is a ﬁnite R-module, the image I ⊂ N of the natural

∗ ∗

map Extn−iA (R , A)−→N induced by the natural inclusion R−→R vanishes after

localization at P , i.e. IP = 0. Indeed, let dP = dim R/P . Since P is diﬀerent from

the maximal ideal, dP > 0. As R is a homomorphic image of a Gorenstein local

ring, it is catenary, hence the dimension of RP equals d − dP , and i < d implies

i−dP < d−dP = dim RP . By the induction hypothesis applied to the local ring RP ,

there is an RP -subalgebra R̃ of K, which is ﬁnite as an RP -module, such that the

natural map HPi−dP (RP )−→HPi−dP (R̃) is the zero map. Let R̃ = RP [z1 , z2 , . . . , zt ],

where z1 , z2 , . . . , zt ∈ K are integral over RP . Multiplying, if necessary, each zj

by some element of R \ P , we can assume that each zj is integral over R. We

set RP = R[z1 , z2 , . . . , zt ]. Clearly, RP is an R -subalgebra of K that is ﬁnite as

R-module.

Now let R∗ be both an RP -subalgebra of K (i.e. RP ⊂ R∗ ⊂ K) and a ﬁnite

R-module. The natural inclusions R−→RP −→R∗ induce natural maps

∗

Extn−i n−i P

A (R , A)−→ExtA (R , A)−→N.

ϕ : Extn−iA (R , A)−→N . Hence it is enough to prove that JP = 0. Localiz-

P

ing this map at P we conclude that JP is the image of the natural map ϕP :

AP (R̃, AP )−→ExtAP (RP , AP ) induced by the natural inclusion RP −→R̃ (by

Extn−i n−i

a slight abuse of language we identify the prime ideal P of R with its full preimage

in A). Let DP (−) = HomAP (−, EP ) be the Matlis duality functor in the cate-

gory of RP -modules, where EP is the injective hull of the residue ﬁeld of RP in

the category of RP -modules. Local duality implies that DP (ϕP ) is the natural

map HPi−dP (RP )−→HPi−dP (R̃) which is the zero map by construction (note that

i − dP = dim AP − (n − i)). Since ϕP is a map between ﬁnite RP -modules and

DP (ϕP ) = 0, it follows that ϕP = 0. This proves the claim.

Since N is a ﬁnite R-module, the set of the associated primes of N is ﬁnite.

Let P1 , . . . , Ps be the associated primes of N diﬀerent from m. For each j let RPj

be an R-subalgebra of K corresponding to Pj , whose existence is guaranteed by the

above claim. Let R = R[RP1 , . . . , RPs ] be the compositum of all the RPj , 1 ≤ j ≤ s.

Clearly, R is an R-subalgebra of K. Since each RPj is a ﬁnite R-module, so is R.

Clearly, R contains every RPj . Hence the above claim implies that IPj = 0 for

every j, where I ⊂ N is the image of the natural map Extn−i A (R, A)−→N induced

by the natural inclusion R−→R. It follows that not a single Pj is an associated

prime of I. But I is a submodule of N , and therefore every associated prime of

I is an associated prime of N . Since P1 , . . . , Ps are all the associated primes of N

diﬀerent from m, we conclude that if I = 0, then m is the only associated prime of

ABSOLUTE INTEGRAL CLOSURE 129

11

only associated prime of I, we conclude that I is an R-module of ﬁnite length.

Writing the natural map Extn−i

A (R, A)−→N as the composition of two maps

Extn−i

A (R, A)−→I−→N,

the ﬁrst of which is surjective and the second injective, and applying the Matlis

i i

duality functor D, we get that the natural map ϕ : Hm (R)−→Hm (R) induced by

i i

the inclusion R−→R is the composition of two maps Hm (R)−→D(I)−→Hm (R),

the ﬁrst of which is surjective and the second injective. This shows that the image

of ϕ is isomorphic to D(I) which is an R-module of ﬁnite length since so is I. In

particular, the image of ϕ is a ﬁnitely generated R-module. Let α1 , . . . , αs ∈ Hm i

(R)

generate Imϕ.

The natural inclusion R−→R is compatible with the Frobenius homomorphism,

i.e. with the raising to the pth power on R and R. This implies that ϕ is compatible

i i

with the action of the Frobenius f∗ on Hm (R) and Hm (R), i.e. ϕ(f∗ (α)) = f∗ (ϕ(α))

for every α ∈ Hm (R), which, in turn, implies that Imϕ is an f∗ -stable R-submodule

i

of Hm i

(R), i.e. f∗ (α) ∈ Imϕ for every α ∈ Imϕ. We ﬁnish the proof by applying

Lemma 5.1 to each element of a ﬁnite generating set α1 , ..., αs of Imϕ. Applying

Lemma 5.1 we obtain a R-subalgebra Rj of K (i.e. R ⊂ Rj ⊂ K) such that Rj is

i i

a ﬁnite R-module and the natural map Hm (R)−→Hm (Rj ) sends αj to zero. Let

R = R[R1 , . . . , Rs ] be the compositum of all the Rj . Then R is an R-subalgebra of

(R)−→Hm i

(R )

sends every αj to zero, hence it sends the entire Imϕ to zero. Thus the natural

map Hm i

(R)−→Hm i

(R ) is zero.

a ﬁeld of characteristic p > 0. Assume that R is a homomorphic image of a

Gorenstein local ring. Then the following hold:

i

(a) Hm (R+ ) = 0 for all i < dim R, where m is the maximal ideal of R.

(b) Every system of parameters of R is a regular sequence on R+ .

Proof. (a) R+ is the direct limit of the ﬁnitely generated R-subalgebras R ,

hence Hm i

(R+ ) = lim Hm i

(R ). But Theorem 5.2 implies that for each R there is

−→

R such that the map Hm (R )−→Hm

i i

(R ) in the inductive system is zero. Hence

the limit is zero.

(b) Let x1 , ..., xd be a system of parameters of R. We prove that x1 , ..., xj is

a regular sequence on R+ by induction on j. The case j = 1 is clear, since R+

is a domain. Assume that j > 1 and x1 , . . . , xj−1 is a regular sequence on R+ .

i

Set It = (x1 , ..., xt ). The fact that Hm (R+ ) = 0 for all i < d and the short exact

sequences

xt

0−→R+ /It−1 R+ −→ R+ /It−1 R+ −→R+ /It R+ −→0

q

for t ≤ j − 1 imply by induction on t that Hm (R+ /(x1 , ..., xt )R+ ) = 0 for q < d − t.

In particular, Hm (R /(x1 , ..., xj−1 )R ) = 0 since 0 < d − (j − 1). Hence m is not

0 + +

an associated prime of R+ /(x1 , ..., xj−1 )R+ . This implies that the only associated

primes of R+ /(x1 , ..., xj−1 )R+ are the minimal primes of R/(x1 , ..., xj−1 )R. Indeed,

if there is an embedded associated prime, say P , then P is the maximal ideal of

the ring RP whose dimension is bigger than j − 1 and P is an associated prime of

(R+ /(x1 , ..., xj−1 )R+ )P = (RP )+ /(x1 , ..., xj−1 )(RP )+ which is impossible by the

130

12 CRAIG HUNEKE

above. Hence every element of m not in any minimal prime of R/(x1 , ..., xj−1 )R,

for example, xj , is a regular element on R+ /(x1 , ..., xj−1 )R+ .

characteristic p, characteristic 0, and mixed characteristic. Suppose that k has

characteristic 0. Let R be a complete Noetherian local integrally closed domain

with residue ﬁeld k, and fraction ﬁeld K. If L is any ﬁnite ﬁeld extension of K and

S is the integral closure of R in L, then the reduced trace map2 gives a splitting of

R from S, i.e., S ∼= R ⊕ N as an R-module for some module R-module N . Then

i i i i

Hm (R) splits out of Hm (S), so that the map Hm (R)−→Hm (S) is never zero unless

i

Hm (R) = 0. Thus the exact opposite holds in characteristic 0.

What happens in mixed characteristic is a great mystery. One of the great

results in recent years was that of Heitmann. He proved the following theorem:

Theorem 5.5. Let (R, m) be a complete three-dimensional Noetherian local

integrally closed domain of mixed characteristic p ∈ N. (This means that p ∈ m.)

1

Then for all n ≥ 1, p n annihilates the local cohomology Hm

2

(R+ ).

Heitmann’s theorem is slightly stronger than this, but this is the essential result

of [8]. In characteristic p we know this local cohomology module is zero, but this

is not known in mixed characteristic.

One can hope that if R has mixed characteristic p, then R+ /pR+ is Cohen-

Macaulay. Of course, this ring has positive characteristic. However, perhaps this is

too much to hope for. The next best result would be to conjecture that R+ / pR+

is Cohen-Macaulay, a question raised by Lyubeznik. He has a partial result in this

direction [16]:

Theorem 5.6. Let (R, m) be a Noetherian local excellent domain √ of mixed

characteristic

p. Assume the dimension of R is at least 3. Set R = R/ pR and

R+ = R+ / pR+ . Then Hm 1

(R+ ) = 0, and every part of a system of parameters

a, b of R form a regular sequence on R+ .

Another interesting question is whether or not one must use inseparable exten-

sions to trivialize local cohomology. In fact, Anurag Singh [23] found the following

nice trick to change inseparable elements to separable.

Proposition 5.7. Let R be an excellent domain of characteristic p > 0, and

let I be an ideal of R. Suppose that z ∈ R is such that z q ∈ I [q] , where q = pe

is a power of p. Then there exists an integral domain S, which is a module-ﬁnite

separable extension of R, such that z ∈ IS.

The point here is that there clearly a ﬁnite inseparable extension of R,

say T ,

such that z ∈ IT . Simply take qth roots of the elements aj such that z = aj xqj

where xj ∈ I.

n L/K where L is a ﬁnite ﬁeld extension of a ﬁeld K, and

[L : K] = n. This map ﬁxes the ground ﬁeld K. If R is an integrally closed domain with fraction

ﬁeld K and S is the integral closure of R in L, then the reduced trace sends S to R and ﬁxes R.

ABSOLUTE INTEGRAL CLOSURE 131

13

Proof. Write z = 1≤j≤n aj xqj where xj ∈ I as above. Consider the equa-

tions for 2 ≤ i ≤ n,

Uiq + Ui xq1 − ai = 0.

These are monic separable equations and therefore have roots ui in a separable

ﬁeld extension of the fraction ﬁeld of R. Let S be the integral closure of the ring

R[u2 , ..., un ]. Since R is excellent, S is ﬁnite as an R-module. We claim that z ∈ IS.

Set

u1 = (z − xi ui )/x1 .

2≤i≤n

Note that u1 is an element of the fraction ﬁeld of S. Taking qth powers we see that

uq1 = a1 + ui xqi .

2≤i≤n

z= ui x i

1≤i≤n

and so z ∈ IS.

orem. Suppose that (R, m) is a complete local Noetherian domain of positive char-

acteristic, and let x1 , ..., xd form a regular sequence. If x1 , ..., xd is a system of

parameters, and if R is not Cohen-Macaulay, then there is a non-trivial relation

r1 x1 + ... + rd xd = 0. Non-trivial means that it does not come from the Koszul

relations. Since R+ is Cohen-Macaulay, we can trivialize this relation in R+ , and

therefore in some ﬁnite extension ring S of R, R ⊆ S ⊆ R+ . But Theorem 5.2 does

not say whether or not there is a ﬁxed ﬁnite extension ring T , R ⊆ T ⊆ R+ in

which all relations on all parameters of R become simultaneously trivial. Even if

such a ring T exists, this does not mean T is itself Cohen-Macaulay; new relations

coming from elements of T may be introduced. However, there is a ﬁnite extension

which simultaneously trivializes all relations on systems of parameters. This fact

has been proved by Melvin Hochster and Yongwei Yao [12].

6. Applications

In some sense it repairs the failure of a ring to be Cohen-Macaulay. Hochster

proved and used the existence of big Cohen-Macaulay modules (the word “big”

refers to the fact the modules may not be ﬁnitely generated) to prove many of the

homological conjectures. For a modern treatment, see [10]. In general, if you can

prove a theorem in the Cohen-Macaulay case, a good strategy is to immediately

try to use R+ to prove it in general. We give several examples of this phenomena

in this section. As examples, we will prove some of the old homological conjectures

using this approach; this is not new, but there are currently a growing number of

new homological conjectures, and it could be that characteristic p methods apply.

Of course, some of the homological conjectures deal directly with systems of

parameters. These are easy to prove once one has a Cohen-Macaulay module. For

example, the next theorem gives the monomial conjecture.

132

14 CRAIG HUNEKE

characteristic p. Let x1 , ..., xd be a system of parameters. Then for all t ≥ 1,

(x1 · · · xd )t is not in the ideal generated by xt+1 t+1

1 , ..., xd .

Suppose by way of contradiction that d > 1 and (x1 · · · xd )t ∈ (xt+1 t+1

1 , ..., xd ). This

is preserved after completion, and is further preserved after moding out a minimal

prime P such that the dimension of the completion modulo P is still d. After these

operations, the images of the elements xi still form a system of parameters as well.

Thus we may assume that R is a complete local domain. We apply Theorem 5.2 to

conclude that x1 , ..., xd is a regular sequence in R+ . Write

(x1 · · · xd )t = si xt+1

i ,

i

t t+1

1 , ..., xd−1 ). Since the powers

of the xi also form a regular sequence in R+ , we conclude that (x1 · · · xd−1 )t −

sd xd ∈ (xt+1 t+1 +

1 , ..., xd−1 )R . It follows that there is a Noetherian complete lo-

cal domain S containing R and module-ﬁnite over R such that (x1 · · · xd−1 )t ∈

1 , ..., xd−1 , xd )S. But now (x1 · · · xd−1 ) is in the ideal (x1 , ..., xd−1 ) in the

(xt+1 t+1 t t+1 t+1

ring S/xd S, which has dimension d − 1. Our induction shows that this is impossi-

ble.

Next, we apply Theorem 5.2 it to various intersection theorems. One of the

ﬁrst such intersection conjectures was:

Conjecture 6.2. Let (R, m) be a local Noetherian ring, and let M, N be two

ﬁnitely generated nonzero R-modules such that M ⊗R N has ﬁnite length. Then

dim N ≤ pdR (M ).

Of course there is nothing to prove if the projective dimension of M is inﬁnite.

We prove (see [9]):

Theorem 6.3. Let (R, m) be a local Noetherian ring of positive prime char-

acteristic p, and let M, N be two ﬁnitely generated nonzero R-modules such that

M ⊗R N has ﬁnite length. Then

dim N ≤ pdR (M ).

Proof. One can begin by making some easy reductions. These types of reduc-

tion are very good practice in commutative algebra. First, note that the assumption

that the tensor product has ﬁnite length is equivalent to saying that I + J is m-

primary, where I = Ann(N ) and J = Ann(M ). Then we can choose a prime P

containing I such that dim(R/P ) = dim(N ), and observe that we can replace N by

R/P without loss of generality. It is more diﬃcult to change M , since the property

of being ﬁnite projective dimension does not allow many changes.

Let’s just suppose for a moment that R/P is Cohen-Macaulay. Since P + J is

m-primary, we can always choose x1 , ..., xd ∈ J whose images in B = R/P form a

system of parameters (and thus are a regular sequence in R/P ). If the projective

dimension of M is smaller than d = dim(R/P ), then TorR d (B/(x1 , ..., xd )B, M ) =

0. Notice that TorR 0 (B, M ) = 0. We claim by induction that for 0 ≤ i ≤ d,

TorRi (B/(x1 , ..., xi )B, M ) = 0. When i = d we arrive at a contradiction. Sup-

pose we know this for i < d. Set Bi = B/(x1 , ..., xi ). The short exact sequence

ABSOLUTE INTEGRAL CLOSURE 133

15

of Tors when tensored with M . Since all xi kill M , we obtain a surjection of

TorR R

i+1 (Bi+1 , M ) onto Tori (Bi , M ). This ﬁnishes the induction.

Of course, we don’t know that R/P is Cohen-Macaulay, and in general it won’t

be. But now suppose that we are in positive characteristic. We can ﬁrst complete R

before beginning the proof. Now R/P is a complete local domain, and S = (R/P )+

is Cohen-Macaulay in the sense that x1 , .., xd form a regular sequence in this ring.

The same proof works verbatim, provided we know that S ⊗R M = 0. But this is

easy; it is even nonzero after passing to the residue ﬁeld of S.

algebra, the zero-divisor conjecture (now a theorem):

let M be a nonzero ﬁnitely generated R-module having ﬁnite projective dimension.

If x is a non-zerodivisor on M , then x is a non-zerodivisor on R.

Proof. This proof is taken from [18]. First observe that the statement of the

theorem is equivalent to saying that every associated prime of R is contained in an

associated prime of M . We induct on the dimension of M to prove this statement.

If dim M = 0, then the only associated prime of M is m, which clearly contains

every prime of R. Hence we may assume that dim M > 0. Let P ∈ Ass(R). First

suppose that there is a prime Q ∈ Supp(M ), Q = m, such that P ⊆ Q. Then we

can change the ring to RQ and the module to MQ . By induction, PQ is contained

in an associated prime of MQ , so lifting back gives us that P is in an associated

prime of M . We have reduced to the case in which R/P ⊗R M has ﬁnite length. By

Theorem 6.3, dim(R/P ) ≤ pdR (M ) = depth(R) − depth(M ). Since P is associated

to R, dim(R/P ) ≥ depth(R) (exercise). It follows that the depth of M is 0, and

hence the maximal ideal is associated to M (and contains P ).

Both of the theorems proved above in characteristic p are in fact true in full

generality. The work of [18] showed that both follow from the new intersection

theorem, which has been proved for all Noetherian local rings by Paul Roberts. See

[20], [21], [22]. For a full discussion of these conjectures and others, see the recent

article of Hochster [10].

For a completely diﬀerent type of application, we consider an old result of

Grothendieck’s concerning when the punctured spectrum of a local ring is con-

nected. Recall that if (R, m) is a local ring, the punctured spectrum of R is the

space Spec(R) − {m}. There is a beautiful proof of Grothendieck’s result in all

characteristics due to Brodmann and Rung [4]. The main point here is that if R

is Cohen-Macaulay and the xi are parameters, then there is a very easy proof. It

turns out that one can always assume that the xi are parameters, and then the

proof of the Cohen-Macaulay case directly generalizes to one in characteristic p

using R+ . The exact statement is:

Theorem 6.5. Let (R, m) be a complete local Noetherian domain of dimen-

sion d, and let x1 , ..., xk ∈ m, where k ≤ d − 2. Then the punctured spectrum of

R/(x1 , ..., xk ) is connected.

134

16 CRAIG HUNEKE

Proof. We take the proof from [11]. First assume that the xi are parame-

ters. Let I and J give a disconnection of the punctured spectrum of R/(x1 , ..., xk ).

Choose elements u + v, y + z which together with the xi form parameters such

that u, y ∈ I and v, z ∈ J. Modulo (x1 , ..., xk ) one has the relation y(u + v) −

u(y + z) = 0. Since the parameters form a regular sequence in R+ , we ob-

tain that y ∈ (y + z, x1 , ..., xk )R+ . Similarly, z ∈ (y + z, x1 , ..., xk )R+ . Write

y = c(y + z) modulo (x1 , ..., xk ) and z = d(y + z) modulo (x1 , ..., xk ). Then

(1 − c − d)(y + z) ∈ (x1 , ..., xk )R+ so that 1 − c − d ∈ (x1 , ..., xk )R+ . At least one of

c or d is a unit in R+ , say c. But then y is not a zerodivisor modulo (x1 , ..., xk )R+

and this implies that J ⊆ (x1 , ..., xk )R+ . Then I must be primary to mR+ which

is a contradiction since the height of I is too small.

It remain to reduce to the case in which the xi are parameters.

We claim that any k-elements are up to radical in an ideal generated by k-

elements which are parameters. The key point is to prove this for k = 1. Suppose

that x = x1 is given. If x already has height one we are done. If x is nilpotent,

choose y to be any parameter in I. So assume that x is not in every minimal prime.

For n 0, 0 : xn = 0 : xn+1 , and changing x to xn , we obtain that x is not a zero

divisor on R/(0 : x). Then there is an element s ∈ 0 : x such that y = x + s has

height one, and we may multiply s by a general element of I to obtain that y ∈ I.

But xy = x2 so that x is nilpotent on (y). Inductively choose y1 , ..., yk−1 which

are parameters such that the ideal they generate contains x1 , ..., xk−1 up to radical.

Replace R by R/(y1 , ..., yk−1 ), and repeat the k = 1 step.

Now if I and J disconnect the punctured spectrum of R/(x1 , ..., xk ) choose any

ideals I and J of height at least k, not primary to the maximal ideal such that

I contains I up to radical and J contains J up to radical. Choose parameters in

I ∩ J such that the xi are in the radical K of these parameters. Then K + I and

K + J disconnect the punctured spectrum of R/K.

References

1. I.M. Aberbach, The vanishing of TorR +

1 (R , k) implies that R is regular, Proc. Amer. Math.

Soc. 133 (2004), 27-29.

2. I. M. Aberbach and M. Hochster, Failure of coherence in R+ and ﬁnite Tor dimension, J.

Pure Appl. Algebra 122 (1997), 171-184.

3. M. Artin, On the joins of Hensel rings, Advances in Math. 7 (1971), 282–296.

4. M. Brodmann and J. Rung, Local cohomology and the connectedness dimension in algebraic

varieties, Comment. Math. Helv. 61 (1986), 481–490.

5. M. Brodmann and R. Sharp, Local Cohomology, Cambridge University Press, 1998

6. C. Chevalley, Introduction to the Theory of Algebraic Functions of One Variable, Amer. Math.

Soc., 1951.

7. D. Eisenbud, Commutative Algebra with a View Toward Algebraic Geometry, Graduate Texts

in Mathematics, 150 (1995), Springer-Verlag, New York, Berlin, Heidelberg.

8. R. Heitmann, The direct summand conjecture in dimension three, Ann. of Math. (2) 156

(2002), 695–712.

9. M. Hochster, Topics in the homological theory of modules over commutative rings, CBMS 24

(1975), American. Math. Soc.

10. M. Hochster, Homological conjectures, old and new. Illinois J. Math. 51 (2007), 151–169.

11. M. Hochster and C. Huneke, Inﬁnite integral extensions and big Cohen-Macaulay algebras,

Ann. of Math. 135 (1992), 53-89.

12. M. Hochster and Y. Yao, A weak embedding theorem for modules of ﬁnite phantom projective

dimension, in preparation.

13. C. Huneke and G. Lyubeznik, Absolute integral closure in positive characteristic. Adv. Math.

210 (2007), 498–504.

ABSOLUTE INTEGRAL CLOSURE 135

17

15. K. Kedlaya, The algebraic closure of the power series ﬁeld in positive characteristic. Proc.

Amer. Math. Soc. 129 (2001), 3461–3470.

16. G. Lyubenzik, A property of the absolute integral closure of an excellent local domain in

mixed characteristic, preprint (2009).

17. K. J. Nowak, Some elementary proofs of Puiseux’s theorems. Univ. Iagel. Acta Math. 38

(2000), 279–282.

18. C. Peskine and L. Szpiro, Dimension projective ﬁnie et cohomologie locale, I.H.E.S. 42 (1973),

47–119.

19. F. Rayner, An algebraically closed ﬁeld, Glasgow J. Math. 9 (1968), 146–151.

20. P. Roberts, Le théoréme intersection, C. R. Acad. Sc. Paris Sér. I 304 (1987), 177-180.

21. P. Roberts, Intersection theorems, in Commutative Algebra, Math. Sci. Research Inst. Publ.

15, Springer- Verlag, New York-Berlin-Heidelberg, 1989, 417-436.

22. P. Roberts, Multiplicities and Chern classes in local algebra, Cambridge Tracts in Mathematics

133, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998.

23. A. Singh, Separable integral extensions and plus closure, Manuscripta Math. 98 (1999), 497-

506.

24. K.E. Smith, Tight closure of parameter ideals, Invent. Math. 115 (1994), 41-60.

25. D. Ştefănescu, Generalized Puiseux expansions and their Galois groups, Illlinois J. Math. 41

(1997), 129–141.

E-mail address: huneke@math.ku.edu

URL: http://www.math.ku.edu/~huneke

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Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

of variables over a perfect ﬁeld k of characteristic p > 0 and let F : R → R be

the Frobenius map of R, i.e. F (r) = r p . We explicitly describe an R-module

isomorphism HomR (F∗ (M ), N ) ∼ = HomR (M, F ∗ (N )) for all R-modules M and

N . Some recent and potential applications are discussed.

1. Introduction

The main result of this paper is Theorem 3.3 which is a type of adjointness

property for the Frobenius map of a polynomial ring over a perfect ﬁeld. The

interest in this fairly elementary result comes from its striking recent applications

(see [7, Sections 5 and 6] and [8]) and also from the fact that despite extensive

inquiries we have not been able to ﬁnd it in the published literature.

Especially interesting is the application in [8] where a striking new result on

local cohomology modules in characteristic p > 0 is deduced from Theorem 3.3.

There is no doubt that the same result is true in characteristic 0, but the only

currently known (to us) proof is in characteristic p > 0, based on Theorem 3.3.

This has motivated what promises to be a very interesting search for some new

technique to extend the result in [8] to characteristic 0.

Our Theorem 3.3 ties in nicely with the very recent and beautiful theory of

Cartier modules of Blickle and Böckle [1]. In particular, the isomorphism (8) (see

below) on which our Theorem 3.3 rests is implicit in [1, Theorem 5.9]. Theorem

3.3 is likely to ﬁnd applications to Cartier modules over polynomial rings.

We believe the results of this paper hold a potential for further applications

and we discuss some of them in the last section.

2. Preliminaries

Let R be a regular (but not necessarily local) UFD, let Rs and Rt be two copies

of R (the subscripts stand for source and target) and let F : Rs → Rt be a ﬁnite

Key words and phrases. the Frobenius, polynomial ring, characteristic p > 0, local

cohomology.

The ﬁrst and third authors gratefully acknowledge NSF support through grants DMS-0202176

and DMS-0701127. The second author is supported in part by a 2009 Spring/Summer Research

Fellowship from Department of Mathematics, University of Michigan.

1

137

138

2 GENNADY LYUBEZNIK, WENLIANG ZHANG AND YI ZHANG

F∗ : Rt −mod → Rs −mod

be the restriction of scalars functor (i.e. F∗ (M ) for every Rt -module M is the

additive group of M regarded as an Rs -module via F ) and let

F ! , F ∗ : Rs −mod → Rt −mod

be the functors deﬁned by F ! (N ) = HomRs (Rt , N ) and F ∗ (N ) = Rt ⊗Rs N for

every Rs -module N .

F ∗ (N ) and F ! (N ), for an Rs -module N , have a structure of Rs -module via

the natural Rs -action on Rt , while F∗ (M ), for an Rt -module M , retains its old

Rt -module structure (from before the restriction of scalars). Thus F ∗ (N ), F ! (N ),

and F∗ (M ) are both Rs - and Rt -modules.

It is well-known that F ∗ is left-adjoint to F∗ , i.e. there is an isomorphism of

Rt -modules

(1) HomR (F ∗ (N ), M ) ∼

t = HomR (N, F∗ (M ))

s

f →(n → f (1 ⊗ n))

(r ⊗ n → rf (n)) ←f

which is functorial in M and N (see, for example, [4, II.5, p.110]). This holds

without any restrictions on R.

The main result of this paper is based on a diﬀerent type of adjointness (see (8)

below) which is certainly not well-known (we could not ﬁnd an explicit reference).

Unlike (1) it is not quite canonical but depends on a choice of a certain isomorphism

φ (described in (6) below). And it requires the conditions we imposed on R, namely,

a regular UFD.

Since Rt , being regular, is locally Cohen-Macaulay, it follows from the Auslander-

Buchsbaum theorem that the projective dimension of Rt as Rs -module is zero, i.e.

Rt is projective, hence locally free, as an Rs -module. It is a standard fact that in

this case F ! is right adjoint to F∗ , [4, Ch. 3, Exercise 6.10] i.e. for every Rt -module

M and every Rs -module N there is an Rt -module isomorphism

(2) HomR (F∗ (M ), N ) ∼

s =HomR (M, F ! (N ))

t

(m → f(1)) ←f

where f = f (m) : Rt → N . This isomorphism is functorial both in M and in N .

def

Consider the Rt -module H = HomRs (Rt , Rs ). Since Rt is a locally free Rs -

module of ﬁnite rank, it is a standard fact [4, Ch 2, Exercise 5.1(b)] that there is

an isomorphism of functors

(3) ∼ H ⊗R −,

F! = s

(4) H ⊗R N ∼ s= HomR (Rt , N )s

h ⊗ n → (r → h(r)n)

and this isomorphism is functorial in N . Replacing F ! by H ⊗Rs − in (2) produces

an Rt -module isomorphism

(5) HomRs (F∗ (M ), N ) ∼

= HomRt (M, H ⊗Rs N ).

which is functorial in M and N .

A PROPERTY OF THE FROBENIUS MAP 139

3

It follows from either [5, Kor. 5.14] or [3, Th. 3.3.7] that locally H is the

canonical module of Rt . In particular, the rank of H as Rt -module is 1 and therefore

H is Rt -module isomorphic to some ideal I of Rt . According to [5, Kor. 6.13] the

quotient Rt /I is locally Gorenstein of dimension dimRt −1, hence I has pure height

1. Since Rt is a UFD, I is principal, i.e. there is an Rt -module isomorphism

(6) φ : Rt → H.

Hence φ induces an isomorphism of functors

φ⊗id

(7) Rt ⊗Rs − ∼

= H ⊗Rs −.

Replacing H ⊗Rs − by F ∗ = Rt ⊗Rs − in (5) via (7) produces an Rt -module

isomorphism

(8) HomRs (F∗ (M ), N ) ∼

= HomRt (M, F ∗ (N ))

which is functorial in M and N .

While the isomorphisms (2), (3), (4) and (5) are canonical, the isomorphisms

(6), (7) and (8) depend on a choice of φ. Every Rt -module isomorphism φ : Rt → H

is obtained from a ﬁxed φ by multiplication by an invertible element of Rt , i.e.

φ = c · φ where c ∈ Rt is invertible. Therefore the isomorphisms (7) and (8) are

deﬁned up to multiplication by an invertible element of Rt .

Since the element 1 ∈ Rt generates the Rs -submodule F (Rs ) of Rt and does not

belong to mRt for any maximal ideal m of Rs , the Rs -module Rt /F (Rs ) is projec-

tive. Hence applying the functor HomRs (−, Rs ) to the injective map F : Rs → Rt

produces a surjection H → HomRs (Rs , Rs ). Composing it with the standard Rs -

ψ→ψ(1)

module isomorphism HomRs (Rs , Rs ) −→ Rs produces an Rs -module surjection

H → Rs . Composing this latter map with the isomorphism φ from (6) produces

an Rs -module surjection

(9) ψ : Rt → Rs .

If N is an Rs -module, applying − ⊗Rs N to ψ produces an Rs -module surjection

(10) ψN : Rt ⊗Rs N → N.

It is not hard to check that the isomorphism (8) sends g ∈ HomRt (M, F ∗ (N )) to

ψN ◦ g ∈ HomRs (F∗ (M ), N ).

For the rest of this paper R is a ring of polynomials in a ﬁnite number of vari-

ables over a perfect ﬁeld k of characteristic p > 0 and F : Rs → Rt is the standard

Frobenius map, i.e. F (r) = r p . The main result of this paper (Theorem 3.3) is

an explicit description of the isomorphism (8) in terms of polynomial generators of

R. The recent applications [7, 8] crucially depend on this explicit description. We

keep the notation of the preceding section.

Let x1 , . . . , xn be some polynomial generators of R over the ﬁeld k, i.e. R =

k[x1 , . . . , xn ]. We denote the multi-index i1 , . . . , in by ī. Since k is perfect, Rt is a

def

free Rs -module on the pn monomials eī = xi11 · · · xinn where 0 ≤ ij < p for every j. If

ij < p−1, then xj eī = eī where ī is the multi-index i1 , . . . , ij−1 , ij +1, ij+1 , . . . , in .

If ij = p−1, then xj eī = xpj eī where ī is the multi-index i1 , . . . , ij−1 , 0, ij+1 , . . . , in .

140

4 GENNADY LYUBEZNIK, WENLIANG ZHANG AND YI ZHANG

Let {fī ∈ H|0 ≤ ij < p for every j} be the dual basis of H, i.e. fī (ei¯ ) = 1 if

ī = i¯ and fī (ei¯ ) = 0 otherwise. If ij > 0, then xj fī = fī where ī is the multi-

index i1 , . . . , ij−1 , ij − 1, ij+1 , . . . , in . If ij = 0, then xj fī = xpj fī where ī is the

multi-index i1 , . . . , ij−1 , p − 1, ij+1 , . . . , in (here xj ∈ Rt ).

Denote the multi-index p − 1, . . . , p − 1 by p − 1 and let p − 1 − ī be the multi-

index p − 1 − i1 , . . . , p − 1 − in .

Proposition 3.1. (cf. [2, Remark 3.11]) The Rs -linear isomorphism φ : Rt →

H that sends eī to fp−1−ī is Rt -linear.

Proof. All we have to show is that φ(xj eī ) = xj φ(eī ) for all indices j and multi-

indices ī. This is straightforward from the deﬁnition of φ and the above description

of the action of xj on eī and fī .

Clearly, F ∗ (N ) = Rt ⊗Rs N = ⊕ī (eī ⊗Rs N ), as Rs -modules. Thus every Rs -

linear map g : M → F ∗ (N ) has the form g = ⊕ī (eī ⊗Rs gī ) where gī : M → N are

Rs -linear maps (i.e. gī : F∗ (M ) → N because M with its Rs -module structure is

F∗ (M )).

Lemma 3.2. An Rs -linear map g : M → F ∗ (N ) as above is Rt -linear if and

only if gī (−) = gp−1 (ep−1−ī (−)) for every ī (here ep−1−ī ∈ Rt acts on (−) ∈ F∗ (M )

via the Rt -module structure on F∗ (M )).

Proof. Assume g is Rt -linear. Then g commutes with multiplication by every el-

ement of Rt and in particular with multiplication by ep−1−ī . That is g(ep−1−ī (−)) =

ep−1−ī g(−). Since ep−1−ī eī = ep−1 , the p − 1-component of ep−1−ī g(−) is ep−1 ⊗Rs

gī (−) while the p − 1-component of g(ep−1−ī (−)) is ep−1 ⊗Rs gp−1 (ep−1−ī (−)). Since

the two p − 1-components are equal, gī (−) = gp−1 (ep−1−ī (−)).

Conversely, assume gī (−) = gp−1 (ep−1−ī (−)) for every ī. To show that g is

Rt -linear all one has to show is that g commutes with the action of every xj ∈ Rt ,

i.e. the ī-components of g(xj (−)) and xj g(−) are the same for all ī. If ij > 0, then

the ī-component of xj g(−) is eī ⊗Rs gī (−) where ī is the index i1 , . . . , ij−1 , ij −

1, ij+1 , . . . , in while the ī-component of g(xj (−)) is eī ⊗Rs gī (xj (−)). But the fact

that gī (−) = gp−1 (ep−1−ī (−)) for every ī implies gī (−) = gī (xj (−)).

If ij = 0, then the ī-component of xj g(−) is eī ⊗Rs (s xj gī (−)) where s xj

denotes the element of Rs corresponding to xj ∈ Rt (i.e. F (s xj ) = xpj ) and

ī is the index i1 , . . . , ij−1 , p − 1, ij+1 , . . . , in while the ī-component of g(xj (−))

is gī (xj (−)). But the fact that gī (−) = gp−1 (ep−1−ī (−)) for every ī implies

s xj gī (−) = gī (xj (−)).

Finally we are ready for the main result of the paper which is the following

explicit description of the isomorphism (8) for the Frobenius map.

Theorem 3.3. For every Rt -module M and every Rs -module N there is an

Rt -linear isomorphism

HomRs (F∗ (M ), N ) ∼

= HomRt (M, F ∗ (N ))

(11) gp−1 (−) ←(g = ⊕ī (eī ⊗Rs gī (−)))

(12) g → ⊕ī (eī ⊗Rs g(ep−1−ī (−))).

Proof. As is pointed out at the end of the preceding section, the isomorphism

(8) sends g ∈ HomRt (M, F ∗ (N )) to ψN ◦g ∈ HomR (F∗ (M ), N ). It is straightforward

A PROPERTY OF THE FROBENIUS MAP 141

5

to check that with φ as in Proposition 3.1 the map ψ of (9) sends ep−1 to 1. This

implies that ψN ◦ g = gp−1 and ﬁnishes the proof that formula (11) produces the

isomorphism of (8) in one direction. The fact that the other direction of this

isomorphism is according to formula (12) has essentially been proven in Lemma

3.2.

4. Potential Applications

We continue to assume that R is a polynomial ring over a perfect ﬁeld.

The notion of F -ﬁnite modules was introduced in [6]. An F -ﬁnite module is

determined by a generating morphism, i.e. an R-module homomorphism β : M →

F ∗ (M ) where M is a ﬁnite R-module. For simplicity assume the R-module M has

ﬁnite length, i.e. the dimension of M as a vector space over k, which we denote by

d, is ﬁnite. Then the dimension of F ∗ (M ) as a vector space over k equals pn · d.

The number pn can be huge even for quite modest values of p and n. Thus the

target of β may be a huge-dimensional vector space even if d, p and n are fairly

small. But the R-module F∗ (M ) has dimension d as a k-vector space, hence the

map β̃ : F∗ (M ) → M that corresponds to β under the isomorphism of Theorem 3.3,

is a map between two d-dimensional vector spaces. Huge-dimensional vector spaces

do not appear! This should make the map β̃ easier to manage computationally

than the map β. Of course the isomorphism of Theorem 3.3 means that many

properties of β could be detected in β̃; for example, β is the zero map if and only if

β̃ is. Therein lies the potential for using Theorem 3.3 to make computations more

manageable.

The functors ExtiR (−, R) commute with both F ∗ and F∗ . More precisely, for

every ﬁnitely generated Rt -module M and every ﬁnitely generated Rs -module N

there exist functorial Rt -module isomorphisms

κi : ExtiRt (F ∗ (N ), Rt ) ∼

= F ∗ (ExtiRs (N, Rs ))

λi : F∗ (ExtiRt (M, Rt )) ∼

= ExtiRs (F∗ (M ), Rs ).

Indeed, for i = 0, M = Rt and N = Rs a straightforward composition of the Rt -

r ⊗r→r r p

module isomorphism Rt ⊗Rs Rs −→ Rt and the standard R-module isomor-

phisms HomR (R, R) ∼ = R for R = Rt , Rs produce κ0 while an additional Rt -module

isomorphism HomRs (Rt , Rs ) = H ∼ = Rt produces λ0 . This implies that if − stands

for a complex of ﬁnite free R-modules, then HomR (−, R) commutes with F ∗ and

F∗ . Taking now ﬁnite free resolutions of M and N in the categories of Rt - and

Rs -modules respectively and considering that F ∗ and F∗ , being exact, commute

with the operation of taking the (co)homology of complexes, we get κi and λi for

every i.

It is straightforward to check that there is a commutative diagram

HomRt (F ∗ (N ), M ) −−−−→ HomRs (N, F∗ (M ))

⏐ ⏐

⏐ ⏐

HomRt (ExtiRt (M, Rt ), ExtiRt (F ∗ (N ), Rt )) HomRs (ExtiRs (F∗ (M ), Rs ), ExtiRs (N, Rs ))

⏐ ⏐

⏐ ⏐

HomRt (ExtiRt (M, Rt ), F ∗ (ExtiRs (N, Rs ))) −−−−→ HomRs (F∗ (ExtiRt (M, Rt )), ExtiRs (N, Rs ))

142

6 GENNADY LYUBEZNIK, WENLIANG ZHANG AND YI ZHANG

where the top horizontal map is the isomorphism (1), the bottom horizontal map is

the isomorphism of Theorem 3.3, the bottom vertical maps are induced by κi and

λi and, ﬁnally, the top vertical maps are deﬁned by sending every f ∈ Hom(L, L )

to the map Exti (L , R) → Exti (L, R) functorially induced by f .

In other words, if a pair of maps F ∗ (N ) → M and N → F∗ (M ) correspond to

each other under (1), then the induced maps ExtiRt (M, Rt ) → F ∗ (ExtiRs (N, Rs ))

and F∗ (ExtiRt (M, Rt )) → ExtiRs (N, Rs ) correspond to each other under isomor-

phism of Theorem 3.3.

The commutativity of the diagram can be veriﬁed via the following sequence

of steps. First one veriﬁes the commutativity in the special case that M and N

are, respectively, ﬁnite free Rt - and Rs -modules. Next one replaces M and N by

their ﬁnite free resolutions M • and N • ; in this case Exti would be replaced by the

Hom complex of the corresponding complex into either Rt or Rs and what is now

Hom in the above diagram would be understood as chain maps of complexes; the

commutativity of the resulting diagram follows from the special case where M and

N are free. Finally, the above commutative diagram is induced on the homology of

complexes by the diagram for complexes which has just been described.

Of course there is a similar diagram with the isomorphism of Theorem 3.3 in

the top row; we are not going to use it in the rest of the paper.

An important example of F -ﬁnite modules are local cohomology modules HIi (R)

of R with support in an ideal I ⊂ R. A generating morphism of HIi (R) is the

composition

κi

f : ExtiR (R/I, R) → ExtiR (F ∗ (R/I), R) ∼

= F ∗ (ExtiR (R/I, R))

r ⊗r̄→r r̄ p

where the ﬁrst map is induced by the isomorphism F ∗ (R/I) ∼

= R/I [p] fol-

lowed by the natural surjecton R/I → R/I. The following proposition holds the

[p]

Proposition 4.1. Let I ⊂ R be an ideal and let the composition

κ

f : ExtiR (R/I, R) → ExtiR (F ∗ (R/I), R) ∼

i

= F ∗ (ExtiR (R/I, R))

be as above.The map that corresponds to f under the isomorphism of Theorem 3.3

is the composition

λ

g : F∗ (ExtiR (R/I, R)) ∼

i

= ExtiR (F∗ (R/I), R) → ExtiR (R/I, R)

where the second map in the composition is nothing but the map induced on ExtiR (−, R)

r→r p

by the natural Frobenius map R/I ∼

= F∗ (R/I).

Proof. This is immediate from the above commutative diagram considering

r ⊗r→r r p r→r p

that the maps F ∗ (R/I) −→ R/I and R/I → F∗ (R/I) correspond to each

other under the isomorphism (1).

In addition to potential use in computation, the material of this section has

already been used in a proof of a theoretical result [7, Section 5].

References

[1] M. Blickle and G. Böckle, Cartier modules: ﬁniteness results, preprint, 2009

arXiv:0909.2531v1.

A PROPERTY OF THE FROBENIUS MAP 143

7

[2] M. Blickle, K Schwede, S. Takagi and W. Zhang, Discreteness and Rationality of F -jumping

Numbers on Singular Varieties, preprint, 2009, arXiv:0906.4679

[3] W. Bruns and J. Herzog, Cohen-Macaulay Rings, Cambridge University Press, 1993.

[4] R. Hartshorne, Algebraic Geometry, Graduate Texts in Mathematics, 52, Springer 1977.

[5] J. Herzog and E. Kunz, Der Kanonische Modul eines Cohen-Macaulay-Rings, Lecture Notes

in Mathematics 238, Springer 1971.

[6] G. Lyubeznik, F -modules: Applications to Local Cohomology and D-modules in Character-

istic p > 0, J. reine angew. Math., 491 (1997) 65 - 130.

[7] W. Zhang, Lyubeznik Numbers of Projective Schemes, preprint, 2010 arXiv:1001.3662.

[8] Y. Zhang, A Property Of Local Cohomology Modules Of Polynomial Rings, preprint 2010

arXiv:1001.3363.

E-mail address: gennady@math.umn.edu

E-mail address: wlzhang@umich.edu

E-mail address: zhang397@math.umn.edu

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Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

symmetric

in [9]: Over an algebraically closed ﬁeld pairs of n × n matrices whose product

is symmetric form an irreducible, reduced, and complete intersection variety of

dimension (3n2 + n)/2. Our work is connected to the work of Brennan, Pinto,

and Vasconcelos in [2].

A central research theme in classical algebraic geometry is to study the scheme

deﬁned by a given ideal in a polynomial ring in order to determine whether it

has desirable properties such as being normal, nonsingular, complete intersection,

smooth, Gorenstein, Cohen-Macaulay, irreducible, or reduced. Many interesting

results have been obtained in connection to such questions. However, there are

also long-standing open problems, that continue to generate interest and provide

motivation for further research in this area. One of these open problems is the

following

Conjecture 1.1 (M. Artin, M. Hochster). Let X = (xij ) and Y = (yij ) be square

n × n matrices in 2n2 indeterminates and let I be the ideal generated by entries of

XY − Y X in the polynomial ring R = k[x11 , . . . , xnn , y11 , . . . , ynn ], where k is an

algebraically closed ﬁeld. Then Spec (R/I) is reduced, and Cohen-Macaulay.

It is easy to show Spec (R/I) is Cohen-Macaulay when n = 1 and n = 2.

However, Macaulay, see [1], was used to completely establish this when n = 3

(though several partial results were obtained in [12]), and Macaulay 2, see [6], was

used to establish this when n = 4.

Several authors, including T. Motzkin and O. Taussky [8], M. Gerstenhaber [4],

and R. Guralnick [5] have shown that commuting pairs of n × n matrices with

entries in k, regarded as points in the 2n2 -dimensional aﬃne space over k, form an

irreducible variety of dimension n2 + n. Since the coordinate ring of this variety is

Key words and phrases. Algebraic variety, Complete intersection, Irreducible, Reduced, Jacobian

module, Symmetric matrices, Commuting variety.

1 2011

c American Mathematical Society

145

146

2 MAHDI MAJIDI-ZOLBANIN AND BART SNAPP

R/ rad(I), the scheme Spec (R/ rad(I)) is referred to as the commuting variety in

the literature.

In [2] a special commuting variety is studied, the variety of commuting pairs

of symmetric matrices. It is shown that this variety is reduced, irreducible and a

complete intersection. Two symmetric matrices A and B commute if and only if

their product is symmetric; that is, AB = BA if and only if AB = B t At , where X t

is the transpose of a matrix X.

Partially inspired by the work in [2], we consider the ideal J generated by

entries of XY − Y t X t in the polynomial ring

R = k[x11 , . . . , xnn , y11 , . . . , ynn ].

This ideal was studied by C. Mueller in [9]. As a special case of his results, he ﬁnds

that the scheme Spec (R/J) is reduced, irreducible and a complete intersection of

dimension (3n2 + n)/2. In this paper we use completely diﬀerent methods to give

proofs of these results. We should note that closed points of Spec (R/J) can be

identiﬁed with pairs of n × n matrices over k, whose product is symmetric.

In what follows, unless otherwise stated k will be an arbitrary ﬁeld. We let

Mn (k) be the aﬃne space of all n × n matrices with entries in k and Sn (k) be the

aﬃne space of all symmetric n × n matrices with entries in k. We will use the

notation X t to denote the transpose of a matrix X.

We begin by showing that if k is algebraically closed, pairs of n × n matri-

ces whose product is symmetric regarded as points in the 2n2 -dimensional aﬃne

space form an irreducible variety. We will use an idea similar to the proof of [5,

Theorem 2]. First we need a few elementary facts.

Lemma 2.1. Let A ∈ Mn (k). Then there is a nonsingular symmetric n × n matrix

T such that AT is symmetric.

Proof. This is essentially proved in [11, Theorem 1]. By that theorem there

is a nonsingular symmetric matrix T , such that AT = T At . Since T is symmetric,

the previous equality shows that AT is symmetric.

Proposition 2.2. Let B ∈ Mn (k), and T be a nonsingular n × n matrix. Let x be

an indeterminate. Then det (B + xT ) is not identically zero.

Proof. Suppose det (B + xT ) is identically zero. Then columns of the matrix

B + xT are linearly dependent. Hence, there are scalars α1 , . . . , αn ∈ k, not all

zero, such that

n n

αi VB,i = −x αi VT,i ,

i=1 i=1

where {VB,i } and {VT,i } are columns of B and T , respectively. Since this identity

holds for all x ∈ k, we must have

n

αi VT,i = 0,

i=1

which is a contradiction since T is nonsingular and its columns are linearly inde-

pendent.

THE VARIETY OF MATRICES WHOSE PRODUCT IS SYMMETRIC 147

3

is a symmetric matrix S ∈ Sn (k) such that A = B t S.

Proof. To say AB is symmetric means AB = B t At . Multiplying both sides

of this equality by B −1 from the right, we obtain

A = B t At B −1 .

We end the proof by showing that S := At B −1 is a symmetric matrix. To see this

multiply both sides of AB = B t At by B −1 on the right, and (B −1 )t on the left.

This gives us (B −1 )t A = At B −1 , hence S t = S.

Theorem 2.4. Let k be an algebraically closed ﬁeld and let

V n = {(A, B) ∈ Mn (k) × Mn (k) : AB is symmetric}.

Then V n , viewed as a subset of the 2n2 -dimensional aﬃne space over k, is an

irreducible variety.

Proof. Consider a pair (A, B) ∈ V n . By Lemma 2.1 there is a nonsingular

matrix T such that AT is symmetric. Thus, (A, B + xT ) is contained in V n for

every x ∈ k. Moreover, except for ﬁnitely many values of x, det (B + xT ) is nonzero

(because by Proposition 2.2 the determinant of B + xT is a nonzero polynomial in

x and vanishes for only ﬁnitely many values of x). Thus (A, B) is in the closure of

the set of elements in V n where the second term is nonsingular.

Now consider the map ϕ : Sn (k) × Mn (k) −→ V n , deﬁned by

ϕ(S, B) = (B t S, B).

The image of ϕ is irreducible (since the domain is) and is dense (since by Lemma 2.3

it contains all elements of V n where the second term is nonsingular). Thus its

closure is equal to V n and is irreducible.

Working from the fact that V n is irreducible, we will use a technique introduced

in [2] to show that the variety of pairs of matrices whose product is symmetric is

reduced and a complete intersection. This technique relies on the notion of Jacobian

module and some other related results. Let I = (f1 , . . . , fm ) be an ideal in the

polynomial ring R = k[x11 , . . . , xnn , y11 , . . . , ynn ] with a given set of generators

f1 , . . . , fm , such that each fi is a sum of quadratic terms of the form xij ykl . Then,

the Jacobian matrix Φ of the fi ’s with respect to the variables yij is a matrix with

entries in the ring A = k[x11 , . . . , xnn ] and can be used to deﬁne an A-module

E := coker(Φ)

Φ 2

Am −→ An −→ E −→ 0.

The Jacobian module of R/I is the A-module E. The importance of the Jacobian

module is the following, see [2, Proposition 1.2]:

Proposition 2.5. Let R = k[x11 , . . . , xnn , y11 , . . . , ynn ]. Let X = (xij ) and Y =

(yij ) be square n×n matrices in 2n2 indeterminates and let J be the ideal generated

by entries of XY −Y t X t in R. Let E be the Jacobian module of R/J. Then R/J

S(E). Moreover, if k is algebraically closed and V n is as deﬁned in Theorem 2.4,

then the aﬃne coordinate ring of V n is isomorphic to Spec (S(E))red .

The following theorem follows from [13, Proposition 1.4.1] and [10, Theo-

rem 3.4]:

148

4 MAHDI MAJIDI-ZOLBANIN AND BART SNAPP

Theorem 2.6. Let R be a polynomial ring over an arbitrary ﬁeld, and let E be a

ﬁnitely generated R-module of projective dimension one. Then the following condi-

tions are equivalent:

(a) S(E) is an integral domain.

(b) Spec (S(E)) is irreducible.

Moreover, under these conditions, S(E) is a local complete intersection over R.

Theorem 2.7. Let k be an algebraically closed ﬁeld and R and J be as deﬁned in

Proposition 2.5. Then the scheme Spec(R/J) is reduced and is a complete inter-

section.

Proof. This will follow from Proposition 2.5 and Theorems 2.4 and 2.6, once

we show that the Jacobian module of R/J has projective dimension one. The

following argument is similar to the proof of [2, Lemma 3.2]. By deﬁnition of E we

have a presentation

Φ 2

An(n−1)/2 −→ An −→ E −→ 0,

where A = k[x11 , . . . , xnn ]. It suﬃces to show that the presentation matrix Φ of E

is injective. This will be achieved by showing that Φ has rank n(n − 1)/2. If we

specialize the matrix X (as deﬁned in Proposition 2.5) to a generic diagonal matrix

(specializing the matrix X will not increase the rank of Φ), it is easy to see that

the entries of Z = XY − Y t X t specialize to

∗

zij = Xii Yij − Xjj Yji

so that the corresponding Jacobian matrix has full rank.

Remark 2.8. Mueller has shown in [9] that the scheme Spec(R/J) as deﬁned in

Theorem 2.7 is also normal.

matrices

In char k = 2 we can give another proof for the fact that the variety of pairs of

n × n matrices whose product is symmetric is a complete intersection. This proof

is based on results from [2] which we summarize in the following theorem:

Theorem 3.1 ([2]). Let k be an algebraically closed ﬁeld of characteristic = 2,

and let Xs and Ys be generic symmetric n × n matrices in n(n + 1) indeterminates.

Let Is be the ideal generated by entries of Xs Ys − Ys Xs in the polynomial ring in

n(n+1) indeterminates over k, which we denote by S. Then Spec (S/Is ) is reduced,

irreducible and a complete intersection.

Theorem 3.1 was proved in [2, Theorem 3.1]. Even though it appears that this

proof is only written for characteristic 0, it works in fact in any characteristic = 2.

The only place in their proof where characteristic 0 seems to have been used is in

showing that every symmetric matrix commutes with a symmetric nonderogatory

matrix [2, Lemma 3.5], which they need for proving the irreducibility of Spec (S/Is ).

We would like to rewrite the proof given in [2, Lemma 3.5] for all characteristics

= 2. While all we need to do is to change some references, the result needed is

rather technical and it is most convenient to simply reproduce the proof. We recall

that a square matrix A is called nonderogatory if its minimal polynomial coincides

with its characteristic polynomial. This condition is also equivalent to saying that

every matrix that commutes with A can be expressed as a polynomial in A.

THE VARIETY OF MATRICES WHOSE PRODUCT IS SYMMETRIC 149

5

algebraically closed ﬁeld of characteristic = 2. Then there exists a nonderogatory

element of Sn (k) that commutes with B.

Proof. By the Jordan decomposition Theorem, see [3, Theorem 24.9], there

are matrices D and N , such that B = D + N , where D is diagonalizable, N is

nilpotent, and both D and N can be expressed as polynomials in B, therefore both

are symmetric. It follows that D is in fact orthogonally similar to a diagonal matrix,

see [7, Theorem 70]. Let O be an orthogonal matrix that diagonalizes D. Then

s

O t BO = (λi Ii + Ni ) ,

i=1

with Ni t

= O Ni O nilpotent and symmetric. Then the matrix

s

O (μi Ii + Ni ) O t

i=1

with distinct μi ’s, is symmetric, nonderogatory and commutes with B.

We are now ready to present our second proof of the fact that the variety of

pairs of n × n matrices whose product is symmetric is a complete intersection.

Theorem 3.3. Let k be an algebraically closed ﬁeld of characteristic = 2, and let

R, X, Y and J be as deﬁned in Proposition 2.5. Then the ring R/J is a complete

intersection of dimension (3n2 + n)/2.

Proof. Let S be the polynomial ring over k whose indeterminates are exactly

those found in the set

{xij : i ≤ j} ∪ {yij : i ≤ j}.

We see that R has 2n2 indeterminates and that S has n2 +n indeterminates. Deﬁne

a surjective homomorphism ϕ : R → S where

xij if i ≤ j, yij if i ≤ j,

xij → and yi,j →

xji if i > j, yji if i > j.

Note that the images of X and Y under ϕ are both symmetric matrices. Hence

(3.1) ϕ(XY − Y t X t ) = ϕ(X)ϕ(Y ) − ϕ(Y )ϕ(X).

By [2, Theorem 3.1] the distinct nonzero entries of the matrix

ϕ(X)ϕ(Y ) − ϕ(Y )ϕ(X)

form a regular sequence in S of length (n2 − n)/2. Since given any regular sequence

in S, the preimage of this sequence will form a regular sequence in R/ ker(ϕ), it

follows from (3.1) that the distinct (up to sign) nonzero entries of XY − Y t X t form

a regular sequence of length (n2 − n)/2 in R/ ker(ϕ).

Next we examine ker(ϕ). It is easy to see that that ker(ϕ) is generated by the

elements of the set

{xij − xji : i < j} ∪ {yij − yji : i < j}

and that these generators are algebraically independent. Hence they form a regular

sequence in R of length (n2 − n). Since these generators and the distinct (up to

sign) nonzero entries of XY − Y t X t are homogeneous elements forming a regular

sequence, we conclude that the distinct (up to sign) nonzero entries of XY − Y t X t

150

6 MAHDI MAJIDI-ZOLBANIN AND BART SNAPP

also form a regular sequence of length (n2 − n)/2 in R. Thus, R/J is a complete

intersection ring of dimension (3n2 + n)/2.

References

1. D. Bayer and M. Stillman, Macaulay user manual.

2. J. P. Brennan, M. V. Pinto and W. Vasconcelos, The Jacobian module of a Lie algebra,

Transactions of American Mathematical Society, Vol. 321, Pages 183-196, 1990.

3. C. W. Curtis, Linear algebra, an introductory approach, Springer-Verlag, 1984.

4. M. Gerstenhaber, On dominance and varieties of commuting matrices, Annals of Mathemat-

ics, Vol. 73, Pages 324-348, 1961.

5. R. M. Guralnick, A note on commuting pairs of matrices, Linear and Multilinear Algebra,

Vol. 31, Pages 71-75, 1992.

6. F. Hreinsdottir, A case where choosing a product order makes the calculations of a Gröbner

basis much faster, Journal Symbolic Computation, Vol. 18, Pages 373-378, 1994.

7. I. Kaplansky, Linear algebra and geometry, a second course, Chelsea Publishing Company,

1974.

8. T. Motzkin and O. Taussky, Pairs of matrices with property L. II, Transactions of American

Mathematical Society, Vol. 80, Pages 387-401, 1955.

9. C. C. Mueller, On the varieties of pairs of matrices whose product is symmetric, PhD disser-

tation, The University of Michigan, 2007. This dissertation is available electronically at:

http://www.math.lsa.umich.edu/∼hochster/mueller.thesis.pdf.

10. A. Simis and W. Vasconcelos, On the dimension and integrality of symmetric algebras, Math-

ematische Zeitschrift, Vol. 177, Pages 341-358, 1981.

11. O. Taussky and H. Zassenhaus, On the similarity transformation between a matrix and its

transpose, Paciﬁc Journal of Mathematics, Vol. 9, No. 3, Pages 893-896, 1959.

12. M. Thompson, Topics in the ideal theory of commutative Noetherian rings, PhD dissertation,

The University of Michigan, 1985.

13. W. Vasconcelos, Arithmetic of blowup algebras, Cambridge University Press, 1994.

E-mail address: mmajidi-zolbanin@lagcc.cuny.edu

E-mail address: snapp@math.osu.edu

Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

clutters

Abstract. Let C be a clutter and let I be its edge ideal. We present a com-

binatorial description of the minimal generators of the symbolic Rees algebra

Rs (I) of I. It is shown that the minimal generators of Rs (I) are in one to one

correspondence with the indecomposable parallelizations of C. From our de-

scription some major results on symbolic Rees algebras of perfect graphs and

clutters will follow. As a byproduct, we give a method, using Hilbert bases,

to compute all indecomposable parallelizations of C and all the corresponding

vertex covering numbers.

1. Introduction

Let C be a clutter with ﬁnite vertex set X = {x1 , . . . , xn }, i.e., C is a family of

subsets of X, called edges, none of which is included in another. The set of vertices

and edges of C are denoted by V (C) and E(C) respectively. A basic example of a

clutter is a graph. Let R = K[x1 , . . . , xn ] be a polynomial ring over a ﬁeld K. The

edge ideal of C, denoted

by I = I(C), is the ideal of R generated by all square-free

monomials xe = xi ∈e xi such that e ∈ E(C). The assignment C → I(C) gives a

natural one to one correspondence between the family of clutters and the family of

square-free monomial ideals.

The blowup algebra studied here is the symbolic Rees algebra of I:

Rs (I) = R ⊕ I (1) t ⊕ · · · ⊕ I (i) ti ⊕ · · · ⊂ R[t],

where t is a new variable and I (i) is the ith symbolic power of I. Recall that the

ith symbolic power of I is deﬁned as

I (i) = S −1 I i ∩ R,

where S = R \ ∪sk=1 pi , the ideals p1 , . . . , ps are the minimal primes of I and S −1 I i

is the localization of I i at S. In our situation the ith symbolic power of I can be

2010 Mathematics Subject Classiﬁcation. Primary 13A30; Secondary 13F20, 05C65, 05C75.

The second author was Partially supported by COFAA-IPN and SNI. The third author was

partially supported by CONACyT grant 49251-F and SNI.

1

151

152

2 MARTÍNEZ-BERNAL, RENTERÍA-MÁRQUEZ, AND VILLARREAL

expressed using systems of linear inequalities (see Eq. (2.1) in Section 2). Closely

related to Rs (I) is—another blowup algebra—the Rees algebra of I:

Blowup algebras are interesting objects of study in algebra and geometry [30].

The study of symbolic powers of edge ideals from the point of view of graph

theory and combinatorics was initiated in [28] and further elaborated on in [29, 32].

A breakthrough in this area is the translation of combinatorial problems (e.g., the

Conforti-Cornuéjols conjecture [6], the max-ﬂow min-cut property, the idealness

of a clutter, or the integer rounding property) into algebraic problems of blowup

algebras of edge ideals [3, 8, 10, 11, 16, 17, 22].

By a result of Lyubeznik [21], Rs (I) is a K-algebra of ﬁnite type generated

by a unique minimal ﬁnite set of monomials. The main theorem of this paper is a

description—in combinatorial optimization terms—of this minimal set of generators

of Rs (I) as a K-algebra. Before stating the theorem, we need to recall some more

terminology and notations.

A subset C of X is called a vertex cover of C if every edge of C contains at least

one vertex of C. A vertex cover C is called a minimal vertex cover if no proper

subset of C is a vertex cover. The number of vertices in a minimum vertex cover of

C, denoted by α0 (C), is called the vertex covering number of C. The dual concept of

a vertex cover is a stable set, i.e., a subset C of X is a vertex cover of C if and only

if X \ C is a stable set. The number of vertices in a maximum stable set, denoted

by β0 (C), is called the stability number of C. Notice that α0 (C) + β0 (C) = n.

A clutter C is called indecomposable if it cannot be decomposed as a disjoint

union of induced subclutters C1 , C2 such that α0 (C) = α0 (C1 ) + α0 (C2 ) (see Def-

inition 2.2). Erdös and Gallai [13] introduced this notion for graphs. A clutter

obtained from C by a sequence of deletions and duplications of vertices is called a

parallelization (see Deﬁnition 2.3). If a = (ai ) is a vector in Nn , we denote by C a

the clutter obtained from C by successively deleting any vertex xi with ai = 0 and

duplicating ai − 1 times any vertex xi if ai ≥ 1 (see Example 2.4).

Our main result is:

Theorem 2.6 Let 0

= a = (ai ) ∈ Nn , b ∈ N. Then xa1 1 · · · xann tb is a minimal

generator of Rs (I), as a K-algebra, if and only if C a is an indecomposable clutter

and b = α0 (C a ).

There are two cases where a combinatorial description of the symbolic Rees

algebra is known. If the clutter C has the max-ﬂow min-cut property, then by a

result of [17], we have I i = I (i) for all i ≥ 1, i.e., Rs (I) = R[It] and a minimal

generator of Rs (I) is either a vertex xi or an “edge” xe t with e ∈ E(C). If C is a

perfect graph, then the minimal generators of Rs (I) are in one to one correspon-

dence with the cliques (complete subgraphs) of C [32]. Both cases will follow from

our combinatorial description of Rs (I) (see Corollaries 2.10 and 4.2 respectively).

As a byproduct, in Section 3 we give a method—based on the computation of

Hilbert bases of polyhedral cones—to compute all indecomposable parallelizations

of any clutter C along with all the corresponding vertex covering numbers. In

particular our method allows to compute all indecomposable induced subclutters of

any clutter C. This means that the symbolic Rees algebra of I encodes combinatorial

information of the clutter which can be decoded using a computer program, such

as Normaliz [4], which is able to compute Hilbert bases of polyhedral cones.

SYMBOLIC REES ALGEBRAS OF EDGE IDEALS 153

3

They showed that if a connected graph is separated by the points of a complete

subgraph, then G is decomposable. All indecomposable graphs with at least three

vertices contain at least one odd cycle, and the join of two indecomposable graphs

is indecomposable [19]. Indecomposable graphs were ﬁrst studied from an algebraic

point of view in [12]. To the best of our knowledge there is no structure theorem

for indecomposable graphs.

Indecomposable subgraphs occur naturally in the theory of perfect graphs.

Indeed, a graph G is perfect if and only if the indecomposable parallelizations of G

are exactly the complete subgraphs or cliques of G (see Proposition 4.1). This was

ﬁrst shown in [12] using the main result of [5]. For graphs, we can use our methods

to locate all induced odd cycles (odd holes) and all induced complements of odd

cycles (odd antiholes) of length at least ﬁve. Indeed, odd holes of any length and

odd antiholes of length at least ﬁve are indecomposable subgraphs (see Lemma 3.5),

and thus by Theorem 2.6 they correspond to minimal generators of the symbolic

Rees algebra of the edge ideal of the graph. Odd holes and odd antiholes play a

major role in graph theory. In [5] it is shown that a graph G is perfect if and only

if G is a Berge graph, i.e., if and only if G has no odd holes or odd antiholes of

length at least ﬁve. In commutative algebra odd holes occurred for the ﬁrst time

in [26], and later in the description of I(G){2} , the join of an edge ideal of a graph

G with itself [27]. They also occurred in the description of the associated primes

of powers of ideals of vertex covers of graphs [15].

The problem of ﬁnding a minimum vertex cover of a graph is a classical op-

timization problem in computer science and is a typical example of an NP-hard

problem. From the point of view of computational complexity theory, ﬁnding all

indecomposable subgraphs of a given graph using our method is a hard problem be-

cause to apply this method we must know all minimal vertex covers (see Section 3).

Thus, although our results provide some tools for computing, the contributions of

this paper could be more interesting from the theoretical point of view.

Throughout the paper we introduce most of the notions that are relevant for

our purposes. For unexplained terminology, we refer to [7, 25, 30, 31].

In this section we will give a combinatorial description of the minimal generators

of the symbolic Rees algebra of the edge ideal of a clutter using the notion of a

parallelization of a clutter and the notion of an indecomposable clutter. We continue

using the deﬁnitions and terms from the introduction.

Let C be a clutter with vertex set X = {x1 , . . . , xn } and let I = I(C) be its edge

ideal. We denote by Υ(C) the clutter whose edges are the minimal vertex covers of

C. The clutter Υ(C) is called the blocker of C or the Alexander dual of C. As usual,

we use xa as an abbreviation for xa1 1 · · · xann , where a = (ai ) ∈ Nn .

If C is a subset of X, its characteristic vector is the vector v = xi ∈C ei , where

ei is the ith unit vector in Rn . Let C1 , . . . , Cs be the minimal vertex covers of C and

let uk be the characteristic vector of Ck for 1 ≤ k ≤ s. In our situation, according

to [31, Proposition 7.3.14], the bth symbolic power of I has a simple expression:

(2.1) = ({xa | a, uk ≥ b for k = 1, . . . , s}),

154

4 MARTÍNEZ-BERNAL, RENTERÍA-MÁRQUEZ, AND VILLARREAL

inner product. In particular, if b = 1, we obtain the primary decomposition of I

because I (1) = I. Thus the height of I equals α0 (C), the vertex covering number

of C. This is a hint of the rich interaction between the combinatorics of C and the

algebra of I.

Next, in Lemma 2.1, we give a simple description of Rs (I) that was ﬁrst ob-

served in the discussion of symbolic Rees algebras given in [14, p. 75], see also [20].

Let a = (ai )

= 0 be a vector in Nn and let b ∈ N. From Eq. (2.1) we get that xa tb

is in Rs (I) if and only if

a, uk ≥ b for k = 1, . . . , s.

If a, b satisfy this system of linear inequalities, we say that a is a b-vertex cover of

Υ(C). Often we will call a b-vertex cover simply a b-cover . Thus the symbolic Rees

algebra of I is equal to the K-subalgebra of R[t] generated by all monomials xa tb

such that a is a b-cover of Υ(C), as was ﬁrst shown in [14, Theorem 3.5]. The notion

of a b-cover occurs in combinatorial optimization (see for instance [25, Chapter 77,

p. 1378] and the references there) and algebraic combinatorics [14, 20]. We say

that a b-cover a of Υ(C) is decomposable if there exists an i-cover c and a j-cover

d of Υ(C) such that a = c + d and b = i + j. If a is not decomposable, we call a

indecomposable. The indecomposable 0 and 1 covers of Υ(C) are the unit vectors

e1 , . . . , en and the characteristic vectors v1 , . . . , vq of the edges of C respectively.

= 1 is a minimal generator of Rs (I), as a K-

algebra, if and only if a is an indecomposable b-cover of Υ(C). In particular, the

following equality holds:

(2.2) Rs (I) = K[{xa tb | a is an indecomposable b-cover of Υ(C)}].

Proof. It follows from the discussion above, by decomposing any b-cover into

indecomposable ones.

by C[S], is the maximal subclutter of C with vertex set S. Thus the vertex set of

C[S] is S and the edges of C[S] are exactly the edges of C contained in S. Notice

that C[S] may have isolated vertices, i.e., vertices that do not belong to any edge of

C[S]. If C is a discrete clutter, i.e., all the vertices of C are isolated, we set I(C) = 0

and α0 (C) = 0.

Let C be a clutter and let X1 , X2 be a partition of V (C) into nonempty sets.

Clearly, one has the inequality

(2.3) α0 (C) ≥ α0 (C[X1 ]) + α0 (C[X2 ]).

If C is a graph and equality occurs, Erdös and Gallai [13] call C a decomposable

graph. This motivates the following similar notion for clutters.

sets X1 , X2 such that X is the disjoint union of X1 and X2 , and α0 (C) = α0 (C[X1 ])+

α0 (C[X2 ]). If C is not decomposable, it is called indecomposable.

complements of odd cycles of length at least ﬁve (see Lemma 3.5).

SYMBOLIC REES ALGEBRAS OF EDGE IDEALS 155

5

means extending its vertex set X by a new vertex xi and replacing E(C) by

E(C) ∪ {(e \ {xi }) ∪ {xi }| xi ∈ e ∈ E(C)}.

The deletion of xi , denoted by C \ {xi }, is the clutter formed from C by deleting

the vertex xi and all edges containing xi . A clutter obtained from C by a sequence

of deletions and duplications of vertices is called a parallelization.

It is not diﬃcult to verify that these two operations commute. If a = (ai ) is a

vector in Nn , we denote by C a the clutter obtained from C by successively deleting

any vertex xi with ai = 0 and duplicating ai − 1 times any vertex xi if ai ≥ 1 (for

graphs cf. [18, p. 53]).

Example 2.4. Let G be the graph whose only edge is {x1 , x2 } and let a = (3, 3).

We set x1i = xi for i = 1, 2. The parallelization Ga is a complete bipartite graph

with bipartition V1 = {x11 , x21 , x31 } and V2 = {x12 , x22 , x32 }. Note that xki is a vertex,

i.e., k is an index not an exponent.

HH 1

@ @ H @

@

G(3,1) @H H@

s @s H@

G G(3,3)

s s

H s

x2 x12 x12 x22 x32

Proposition 2.5. ([9, Lemma 2.15], [25, p. 1385, Eq. (78.6)]) Let C be a

clutter with n vertices and let Υ(C) be the blocker of C. If a = (ai ) ∈ Nn , then

min ai C ∈ Υ(C) = α0 (C a ).

xi ∈C

Theorem 2.6. Let C be a clutter with vertex set X = {x1 , . . . , xn } and let

0

= a = (ai ) ∈ Nn , b ∈ N. Then xa tb is a minimal generator of Rs (I(C)), as a

K-algebra, if and only if C a is an indecomposable clutter and b = α0 (C a ).

Proof. We may assume that a = (a1 , . . . , am , 0, . . . , 0), where ai ≥ 1 for

i = 1, . . . , m. For each 1 ≤ i ≤ m the vertex xi is duplicated ai − 1 times, and the

vertex xi is deleted for each i > m. We denote the duplications of xi by x2i , . . . , xai i

and set x1i = xi for 1 ≤ i ≤ m. Thus the vertex set of C a can be written as

X a = {x11 , . . . , xa1 1 , . . . , x1i , . . . , xai i , . . . , x1m , . . . , xamm } = X a1 ∪ X a2 ∪ · · · ∪ X am ,

where X ai = {x1i , . . . , xai i } for 1 ≤ i ≤ m and X ai ∩ X aj = ∅ for i

= j.

⇒) Assume that xa tb is a minimal generator of Rs (I(C)). Then, by Lemma 2.1,

a is an indecomposable b-cover of Υ(C). First we prove that b = α0 (C a ). There is

k such that ak

= 0. We may assume that a − ek

= 0. By Proposition 2.5 we need

only show the equality

b = min ai C ∈ Υ(C) .

xi ∈C

156

6 MARTÍNEZ-BERNAL, RENTERÍA-MÁRQUEZ, AND VILLARREAL

is greater than b, then we can write a = (a − ek ) + ek , where a − ek is a b-cover and

ek is a 0-cover, a contradiction to the indecomposability of a.

Next we show that C a is indecomposable. We proceed by contradiction. Assume

that C a is decomposable. Then there is a partition X1 , X2 of X a such that α0 (C a ) =

α0 (C a [X1 ]) + α0 (C a [X2 ]). For 1 ≤ i ≤ n, we set

i = |X ai ∩ X1 | and pi = |X ai ∩ X2 |

if 1 ≤ i ≤ m and i = pi = 0 if i > m. Consider the vectors = (i ) and

p = (pi ). Notice that a has a decomposition a = + p because one has a partition

X ai = (X ai ∩ X1 ) ∪ (X ai ∩ X2 ) for 1 ≤ i ≤ m. To derive a contradiction we now

claim that (resp. p) is an α0 (C a [X1 ])-cover (resp. α0 (C a [X2 ])-cover) of Υ(C).

Take an arbitrary C in Υ(C). The set

Ca = {x1i , . . . , xai i } = X ai

xi ∈C xi ∈C

j j j

(2.4) fk = {xkk11 , xkk22 , . . . , xkkrr } (1 ≤ k1 < · · · < kr ≤ m; 1 ≤ jki ≤ aki )

for some edge {xk1 , xk2 , . . . , xkr } of C. Since {xk1 , xk2 , . . . , xkr } ∩ C

= ∅, we get

fk ∩ Ca

= ∅. Thus Ca is a vertex cover of C a . Therefore Ca ∩ X1 and Ca ∩ X2 are

vertex covers of C a [X1 ] and C a [X2 ] respectively because E(C a [Xi ]) is contained in

E(C a ) for i = 1, 2. Hence using the partitions

Ca ∩ X1 = (X ai ∩ X1 ) and Ca ∩ X2 = (X ai ∩ X2 )

xi ∈C xi ∈C

we obtain

α0 (C a [X1 ]) ≤ |Ca ∩ X1 | = i and α0 (C a [X2 ]) ≤ |Ca ∩ X2 | = pi .

xi ∈C xi ∈C

of Υ(C), where b = α0 (C a ), a contradiction to the indecomposability of a.

⇐) Assume that C a is an indecomposable clutter and b = α0 (C a ). To show

that xa tb is a minimal generator of Rs (I(C)) we need only show that a is an inde-

composable b-cover of Υ(C). To begin with, notice that a is a b-cover of Υ(C) by

Proposition 2.5. We proceed by contradiction assuming that there is a decomposi-

tion a = + p, where = (i ) is a c-cover of Υ(C), p = (pi ) is a d-cover of Υ(C), and

b = c + d. Each X ai can be decomposed as X ai = X i ∪ X pi , where X i ∩ X pi = ∅,

i = |X i |, and pi = |X pi |. We set

X = X 1 ∪ · · · ∪ X m and X p = X p1 ∪ · · · ∪ X pm .

Then one has a decomposition X a = X ∪ X p of the vertex set of C a . We now

show that α0 (C a [X ]) ≥ c and α0 (C a [X p ]) ≥ d. By symmetry, it suﬃces to prove

the ﬁrst inequality. Take an arbitrary minimal vertex cover C of C a [X ]. Then

C ∪ X p is a vertex cover of C a because if f is an edge of C a contained in X , then

f is covered by C , otherwise f is covered by X p . Hence there is a minimal vertex

cover Ca of C a such that Ca ⊂ C ∪ X p . Since C[{x1 , . . . , xm }] is a subclutter of

C a , there is a minimal vertex cover C1 of C[{x1 , . . . , xm }] contained in Ca . Then

SYMBOLIC REES ALGEBRAS OF EDGE IDEALS 157

7

the set C1 ∪ {xi | i > m} is a vertex cover of C. Therefore there is a minimal vertex

cover C of C such that C ∩ {x1 , . . . , xm } ⊂ Ca . Altogether one has:

(2.5) C ∩ {x1 , . . . , xm } ⊂ Ca ⊂ C ∪ X p =⇒

(2.6) C ∩ {x1 , . . . , xm } ⊂ Ca ∩ {x1 , . . . , xm } ⊂ (C ∪ X p ) ∩ {x1 , . . . , xm }.

We may assume that Ca ∩ {x1 , . . . , xm } = {x1 , . . . , xs }. Next we claim that X ai ⊂

Ca for 1 ≤ i ≤ s. Take an integer i between 1 and s. Since Ca is a minimal

vertex cover of C a , there exists an edge e of C a such that e ∩ Ca = {x1i }. Then

(e \ {x1i }) ∪ {xji } is an edge of C a for j = 1, . . . , ai , this follows using that the edges

of C a are of the form described in Eq. (2.4). Consequently xji ∈ Ca for j = 1, . . . , ai .

This completes the proof of the claim. Thus one has X i ⊂ X ai ⊂ Ca for 1 ≤ i ≤ s.

Hence, by Eq. (2.5), and noticing that X i ∩ X p = ∅, we get X i ⊂ C for 1 ≤ i ≤ s.

So, using that i = 0 for i > m, we get

s

α0 (C a [X ]) ≥ |C | ≥ i ≥ i = i ≥ c.

i=1 xi ∈C∩{x1 ,...,xm } xi ∈C

α0 (C a [X ]) + α0 (C a [X p ]) ≥ c + d = b,

and consequently by Eq. (2.3) we have the equality

α0 (C a [X ]) + α0 (C a [X p ]) = α0 (C a ).

Thus we have shown that C a is a decomposable clutter, a contradiction.

Let C be a clutter. A set of edges of C is called independent if no two of them

have a common vertex. We denote the maximum number of independent edges of

C by β1 (C), this number is called the matching number of C. In general the vertex

covering number and the matching number satisfy β1 (C) ≤ α0 (C).

Definition 2.7. If β1 (C) = α0 (C), we say that C has the König property.

Lemma 2.8. If C is an indecomposable clutter with the König property, then

either C has no edges and has exactly one isolated vertex or C has only one edge

and no isolated vertices.

Proof. Let f1 , . . . , fg be a set of independent edges and let X = ∪gi=1 fi ,

where g = α0 (C). Note that g = 0 if C has no edges. Then V (C) has a partition

As C is indecomposable, we get that either g = 0 and V (C) = {xi } for some vertex

xi or g = 1 and V (C) = fi for some i. Thus in the second case, as C is a clutter,

we get that C has exactly one edge and no isolated vertices.

Corollary 2.9. Let C be a clutter and let I = I(C) be its edge ideal. Then

all indecomposable parallelizations of C satisfy the König property if and only if

I i = I (i) for i ≥ 1.

Proof. ⇒) It suﬃces to prove that R[It] = Rs (I). Clearly R[It] ⊂ Rs (I).

To prove the reverse inclusion take a minimal generator xa tb of Rs (I). If b = 0,

then a = ei for some i and xa tb = xi . Thus xa tb ∈ R[It]. Assume b ≥ 1. By

Theorem 2.6 we have that C a is an indecomposable clutter such that b = α0 (C a ).

As C a is indecomposable and satisﬁes the König property, using Lemma 2.8, it is

158

8 MARTÍNEZ-BERNAL, RENTERÍA-MÁRQUEZ, AND VILLARREAL

a

not hard to see that b = 1 and

i.e., x t = xe t, where xe = xi ∈e xi . Thus x tb ∈ R[It].

a b

⇐) Since R[It] = Rs (I), by Theorem 2.6 we obtain that the only indecompos-

able parallelizations are either induced subclutters of C with exactly one edge and

no isolated vertices or subclutters consisting of exactly one isolated vertex. Thus

in both cases they satisfy the König property.

A clutter C is called Mengerian if all its parallelizations have the König property.

A clutter C satisﬁes the max-ﬂow min-cut property if the linear program:

max{1, y
| y ≥ 0, Ay ≤ a}

has an integral optimal solution for all a ∈ Nn , where A is the incidence matrix of

the clutter C and 1 is the vector of all ones. The columns of A are the characteristic

vectors of the edges of C. It is well known that a clutter is Mengerian if and only

if it satisﬁes the max-ﬂow min-cut property [25, Chapter 79].

Thus the last corollary can be restated as:

Corollary 2.10. [17, Corollary 3.14] Let C be a clutter and let I be its edge

ideal. Then C has the max-ﬂow min-cut property if and only if I i = I (i) for i ≥ 1.

The following was the ﬁrst deep result in the study of symbolic powers of edge

ideals from the viewpoint of graph theory.

Corollary 2.11. [28, Theorem 5.9] Let G be a graph and let I be its edge

ideal. Then G is bipartite if and only if I i = I (i) for i ≥ 1.

Proof. ⇒) If G is a bipartite graph, then any parallelization of G is again

a bipartite graph. This means that any parallelization of G satisﬁes the König

property because bipartite graphs satisfy this property [7, Theorem 2.1.1]. Thus

I i = I (i) for all i by Corollary 2.9.

⇐) Assume that I i = I (i) for i ≥ 1. By Corollary 2.9 all indecomposable

induced subgraphs of G have the König property. If G is not bipartite, then G has an

induced odd cycle, a contradiction because induced odd cycles are indecomposable

[19] and do not satisfy the König property.

Corollary 2.12. Let C be a clutter with vertex set X = {x1 , . . . , xn } and let

S ⊂ X. Then

the induced clutter H = C[S] is indecomposable if and only if the

monomial ( xi ∈S xi )tα0 (H) is a minimal generator of Rs (I(C)).

xi ∈S ei . Since C = C[S], the result follows from Theo-

a

Proof. Let a =

rem 2.6.

Corollary 2.13. Let C be a clutter with n vertices and let A be its incidence

matrix. If the polyhedron Q(A) = {x| x ≥ 0; xA ≥ 1} has only integral vertices,

then α0 (C a ) ≤ n − 1 for all indecomposable parallelizations C a of C.

Proof. Let v1 , . . . , vq be the characteristic vectors of the edges of C and let I i

be the integral closure of I i , where I is the edge ideal of C. As Q(A) is integral, by

[17, Corollary 3.13] we have that I i = I (i) for i ≥ 1, where

I i = ({xa | a ∈ iB ∩ Zn })

and B = Qn+ + conv(v1 , . . . , vq ), see [31]. Thus we have the equality R[It] =

Rs (I), where R[It] is the integral closure of R[It] in its ﬁeld of fractions. Take any

SYMBOLIC REES ALGEBRAS OF EDGE IDEALS 159

9

b = α0 (C a ). By Theorem 2.6 m is a minimal generator of Rs (I). Now, according

to [14, Corollary 3.11], a minimal generator of R[It] has degree in t at most n − 1,

i.e., b ≤ n − 1.

We end this section showing some very basic properties of indecomposable

clutters. If e is a edge of a clutter C, we denote by C \ {e} the spanning subclutter

of C obtained by deleting e and keeping all the vertices of C.

Definition 2.14. A clutter C is called vertex critical if α0 (C \ {xi }) < α0 (C)

for all xi ∈ V (C). A clutter C is called edge critical if α0 (C \ {e}) < α0 (C) for all

e ∈ E(C).

The next lemma is not hard to prove.

Lemma 2.15. Let xi be a vertex of a clutter C and let e be an edge of C.

(a) If α0 (C \ {xi }) < α0 (C), then α0 (C \ {xi }) = α0 (C) − 1.

(b) If α0 (C \ {e}) < α0 (C), then α0 (C \ {e}) = α0 (C) − 1.

Definition 2.16. A clutter C is called connected if there is no U ⊂ V (C) such

that ∅ U V (C) and such that e ⊂ U or e ⊂ V (C) \ U for each edge e of C.

Proposition 2.17. If a clutter C is indecomposable, then it is connected and

vertex critical.

Proof. Assume that C is disconnected. Then there is a partition X1 , X2 of

V (C) such that

(2.7) E(C) ⊂ E(C[X1 ]) ∪ E(C[X2 ]).

For i = 1, 2, let Ci be a minimal vertex cover of C[Xi ] with α0 (C[Xi ]) vertices. Then,

by Eq. (2.7), C1 ∪ C2 is a minimal vertex cover of C. Hence α0 (C[X1 ]) + α0 (C[X2 ])

is greater than or equal to α0 (C). So α0 (C) is equal to α0 (C[X1 ]) + α0 (C[X2 ]), a

contradiction to the indecomposability of C. Thus C is connected.

We now show that α0 (C \ {xi }) < α0 (C) for all i. If α0 (C \ {xi }) = α0 (C), then

V (C) = X1 ∪X2 , where X1 = V (C)\{xi } and X2 = {xi }. Note that C[X1 ] = C\{xi }.

As α0 (C[X1 ]) = α0 (C) and α0 (C[X2 ]) = 0, we contradict the indecomposability of

C. Thus α0 (C \ {xi }) < α0 (C) and C is vertex critical.

Proposition 2.18. If C is a connected edge critical clutter, then C is indecom-

posable.

Proof. Assume that C is decomposable. Then there is a partition X1 , X2 of

V (C) into nonempty vertex sets such that α0 (C) = α0 (C[X1 ]) + α0 (C[X2 ]). Since

C is connected, there is an edge e ∈ E(C) intersecting both X1 and X2 . Pick a

minimal vertex cover C of C \ {e} with less than α0 (C) vertices. As E(C[Xi ]) is a

subset of E(C \ {e}) = E(C) \ {e} for i = 1, 2, we get that C covers all edges of

C[Xi ] for i = 1, 2. Hence C must have at least α0 (C) vertices, a contradiction.

From Propositions 2.17 and 2.18 we obtain:

Corollary 2.19. The following hold for any connected clutter :

edge critical =⇒ indecomposable =⇒ vertex critical.

The next result can be used to build indecomposable clutters.

160

10 MARTÍNEZ-BERNAL, RENTERÍA-MÁRQUEZ, AND VILLARREAL

a new vertex v and some new edges containing v and some vertices of V (C). If

a = (1, . . . , 1) ∈ Nn is an indecomposable α0 (C)-cover of Υ(C) such that α0 (D) =

α0 (C) + 1, then a = (a, 1) is an indecomposable α0 (D)-cover of Υ(D).

Proof. Clearly a is an α0 (D)-cover of Υ(D). Assume that a = a1 + a2 ,

where ai

= 0 is a bi -cover of Υ(D) and b1 + b2 = α0 (D). We may assume that

a1 = (1, . . . , 1, 0, . . . , 0) and a2 = (0, . . . , 0, 1, . . . , 1). Let ai be the vector in Nn

obtained from ai by removing its last entry. Set v = xn+1 . Take a minimal vertex

cover Ck of C and consider Ck = Ck ∪{xn+1 }. Let uk (resp. uk ) be the characteristic

vector of Ck (resp. Ck ). Then

a1 , uk = a1 , uk ≥ b1 and a2 , uk + 1 = a2 , uk ≥ b2 ,

and consequently a1 is a b1 -cover of Υ(C). If b2 = 0, then a1 is an α0 (D)-cover of

Υ(C), a contradiction; because if u is the characteristic vector of a minimal vertex

cover of C with α0 (C) elements, then we would obtain α0 (C) ≥ u, a1 ≥ α0 (D),

which is impossible. Thus b2 ≥ 1, and a2 is a (b2 −1)-cover of Υ(C) if a2

= 0. Hence

a2 = 0, because a = a1 + a2 and a is indecomposable. This means that a2 = en+1 is

a b2 -cover of Υ(D), a contradiction. Therefore a is an indecomposable α0 (D)-cover

of Υ(D), as required.

Let C be a clutter with vertex set X = {x1 , . . . , xn } and let C1 , . . . , Cs be the

minimal vertex covers of C. For 1 ≤ k ≤ n, we denote the characteristic vector of

Ck by uk .

The Simis cone of I = I(C) is the rational polyhedral cone:

Cn(I) = He+1 ∩ · · · ∩ He+n+1 ∩ H(u

+

1 ,−1)

∩ · · · ∩ H(u

+

s ,−1)

.

Here Ha+ denotes the closed halfspace Ha+ = {x| x, a ≥ 0} and Ha stands for the

hyperplane through the origin with normal vector a. Simis cones were introduced

in [14] to study symbolic Rees algebras of square-free monomial ideals. The term

Simis cone is intended to do homage to Aron Simis [26, 27, 28]. The Simis cone

is a pointed rational polyhedral cone. By [24, Theorem 16.4] there is a unique

minimal ﬁnite set of integral vectors

H = {h1 , . . . , hr } ⊂ Zn+1

such that Zn+1 ∩ R+ H = NH and Cn(I) = R+ H (minimal relative to taking

subsets), where R+ H denotes the cone generated by H consisting of all linear com-

binations of H with non-negative real coeﬃcients and NH denotes the semigroup

generated by H consisting of all linear combinations of H with coeﬃcients in N.

The set H is called the Hilbert basis of Cn(I). The Hilbert basis of Cn(I) has the

following useful description.

Theorem 3.1. [24, p. 233] H is the set of all integral vectors 0

= h ∈ Cn(I)

such that h is not the sum of two other non-zero integral vectors in Cn(I).

Corollary 3.2. Let H be the Hilbert basis of Cn(I). Then

(3.1) H = {(a, b)| xa tb is a minimal generator of Rs (I)}

(3.2) = {(a, α0 (C))| C a is an indecomposable parallelization of C}

and Rs (I) is equal to the semigroup ring K[NH] of NH.

SYMBOLIC REES ALGEBRAS OF EDGE IDEALS 161

11

Proof. The ﬁrst equality follows from Lemma 2.1 and Theorem 3.1. The

second equality follows from Theorem 2.6. The equality K[NH] = NH was ﬁrst

observed in [14, Theorem 3.5].

This result is interesting because it allows to compute all indecomposable par-

allelizations of C and all indecomposable induced subclutters of C using Hilbert

bases. In particular, as is seen in Corollary 3.3, we can use this result to decide

whether any given graph or clutter is indecomposable (see Example 3.4).

The indecomposable subclutters can be computed using the next consequence

of Corollary 3.2.

Corollary 3.3. Let C be a clutter and let α = (a1 , . . . , an , b) be a vector in

{0, 1}n × N. Then α is in the Hilbert basis of Cn(I(C)) if and only if the induced

subclutter H = C[{xi | ai = 1}] is indecomposable with b = α0 (H).

Example 3.4. Consider the graph G shown below. Let I be the edge ideal

of G and let H be the Hilbert basis of Cn(I). Using Corollary 3.2, together with

Normaliz [4], it is seen that G has exactly 61 indecomposable parallelizations and

49 indecomposable subgraphs. Since α0 (G) = 6 and the vector (1, . . . , 1, 6) is not

in H we obtain that G is a decomposable graph.

x x

s9 s 10

Q Q

Q Q

s

x5 Qs x s x7

Qs x8

A x2 s A x

6

x1As As 3 s x

4

covering number 7.

s x10

sx9

J sx10

Q

J Q

Q Q

s

x5 Qs

x Js x7 Qs x8

A x2 6

A x

x1As s As 3 sx4

The next result, together with Corollary 3.3, allows to locate all induced odd

cycles (odd holes) and all induced complements of odd cycles (odd antiholes).

Lemma 3.5. Let Cn = {x1 , . . . , xn } be a cycle. (a) If n ≥ 5 is odd, then the

complement Cn of Cn is an indecomposable graph, (b) if n is odd, then Cn is an

indecomposable cycle, and (c) any complete graph is indecomposable.

Proof. (a) Assume that G = Cn is decomposable. Then there are disjoint

sets X1 , X2 such that V (G) = X1 ∪ X2 and α0 (G) = α0 (G[X1 ]) + α0 (G[X2 ]).

Since β0 (G) = 2, it is seen that G[Xi ] is a complete graph for i = 1, 2. We

may assume that x1 ∈ X1 . Then x2 must be in X2 , otherwise {x1 , x2 } is an

162

12 MARTÍNEZ-BERNAL, RENTERÍA-MÁRQUEZ, AND VILLARREAL

in X1 . Consequently {x1 , xn } is an edge of G[X1 ], a contradiction. Thus G is

indecomposable. (b) This was observed in [19]. (c) Follows readily from the fact

that the covering number of a complete graph in r vertices is r − 1.

Example 3.6. Consider the graph G of Fig. 6, where vertices are labeled

with i instead of xi . Using Corollary 3.2, together with Normaliz [4], it is seen

that G has exactly 21 indecomposable parallelizations, 20 of which correspond to

indecomposable subgraphs. Apart from the seven vertices, the nine edges, one

triangle and three pentagons, the only indecomposable parallelization of G which

is not a subgraph is the duplication shown in Fig 7.

t

1 1

t

@@ @@

@ t1

X @

X XXX

5 t 6 t @t2 5 t @

@6 t @t2

7 t 7 t

HH

HH

4 t HHt3 4 t HHt3

Example 3.7. Consider the graph G of Fig. 8. Using Corollary 3.2 and

Normaliz [4], it is seen that G has exactly 103 indecomposable parallelizations,

92 of which correspond to indecomposable subgraphs. The only indecomposable

parallelization Ga which do not delete vertices is that obtained by duplication of

the ﬁve outer vertices, i.e., a = (2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1) and α0 (Ga ) = 11.

s1

@ L

L@

!6s L @

a

! ! D a L a@

5s! ! 10 s D Ls7 aa @s2

LZZ @ D D

L Z @ D D

L Z9 s @D s

8

D

H

H

L @ D

H

4 Ls HDs 3

@

Fig. 8. Decomposable graph G

We now turn our attention to the indecomposability of graphs and its connec-

tion with the theory of perfect graphs. Examples of indecomposable graphs include

complete graphs, odd cycles, and complements of odd cycles of length at least 5

(see Lemma 3.5).

Let us recall the notion of a perfect graph that was introduced by Berge [2,

Chapter 16]. A colouring of the vertices of a graph G is an assignment of colours

to the vertices of G in such a way that adjacent vertices have distinct colours.

The chromatic number of G is the minimal number of colours in a colouring of G.

A graph is perfect if for every induced subgraph H, the chromatic number of H

SYMBOLIC REES ALGEBRAS OF EDGE IDEALS 163

13

equals the size of the largest complete subgraph of H. We refer to [6, 18, 25] for

the theory of perfect graphs.

The next result shows that indecomposable graphs occur naturally in the theory

of perfect graphs.

Proposition 4.1. [12, Proposition 2.13] A graph G is perfect if and only if

the indecomposable parallelizations of G are exactly the complete subgraphs of G

Let G be a graph. We denote a complete subgraph of G with r vertices by Kr .

The empty set is regarded as an independent set of vertices whose characteristic

vector is the zero vector. A clique of G is a subset of the set of vertices that induces

a complete subgraph. The support of a monomial xa = xa1 1 · · · xann , denoted by

supp(xa ), is the set supp(xa ) = {xi | ai > 0}. If ai ∈ {0, 1} for all i, xa is called a

square-free monomial.

The next major result shows that the symbolic Rees algebra of the edge ideal

of a perfect graph G is completely determined by the cliques of G. This was ﬁrst

shown in [32] using polyhedral geometry.

Corollary 4.2. [32, Corollary 3.3] If G is a perfect graph, then

Rs (I(G)) = K[{xa tb | xa is square-free ; G[supp(xa )] = Kb+1 }].

Proof. Let xa tb be a minimal of Rs (I(G)). By Theorem 2.6 Ga is an inde-

composable graph and b = α0 (Ga ). As G is perfect, by Proposition 4.1, we obtain

that Ga is a complete subgraph of G with b + 1 vertices.

Since complete graphs are perfect, an immediate consequence is:

Corollary 4.3. [1] If G is a complete graph, then

Rs (I(G)) = K[{xa tb | xa is square-free ; deg(xa ) = b + 1}].

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of rings arising from linear optimization problems, Bull. Math. Soc. Sci. Math. Roumanie

(N.S.) 51 (2008), no. 4, 279–305.

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Available from http://www.math.uos.de/normaliz.

5. M. Chudnovsky, N. Robertson, P. Seymour and R. Thomas, The strong perfect graph theorem,

Ann. of Math. (2) 164 (2006), no. 1, 51–229.

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ference Series in Applied Mathematics 74, SIAM (2001).

7. R. Diestel, Graph Theory, Graduate Texts in Mathematics 173, Springer-Verlag, New York,

2nd ed., 2000.

8. L. A. Dupont, C. Renterı́a and R. H. Villarreal, Systems with the integer rounding property

in normal monomial subrings, An. Acad. Brasil. Ciênc 82 (2010), no. 4, 801-811.

9. L. A. Dupont, E. Reyes and R. H. Villarreal, Cohen-Macaulay clutters with combinatorial

optimization properties and parallelizations of normal edge ideals, São Paulo J. Math. Sci. 3

(2009), no. 1, 61–75.

10. L. A. Dupont and R. H. Villarreal, Edge ideals of clique clutters of comparability graphs and

the normality of monomial ideals, Math. Scand. 106 (2010), no. 1, 88–98.

11. L. A. Dupont and R. H. Villarreal, Algebraic and combinatorial properties of ideals and

algebras of uniform clutters of TDI systems, J. Comb. Optim. 21 (2011), no. 3, 269-292.

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12. L. A. Dupont and R. H. Villarreal, Symbolic Rees algebras, vertex covers and irreducible

representations of Rees cones, Algebra Discrete Math. 10 (2010), no. 2, 64–86.

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Magyar Tud. Akad. Mat. Kutató Int. Közl. 6 (1961), 181–203.

14. C. Escobar, R. H. Villarreal and Y. Yoshino, Torsion freeness and normality of blowup rings

of monomial ideals, Commutative Algebra, Lect. Notes Pure Appl. Math. 244, Chapman &

Hall/CRC, Boca Raton, FL, 2006, pp. 69–84.

15. C. A. Francisco, H. T. Hà and A. Van Tuyl, Associated primes of monomial ideals and odd

holes in graphs, J. Algebraic Combin. 32 (2010), no. 2, 287-301.

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some links to combinatorial optimization problems, Rocky Mountain J. Math. 39 (2009), no.

1, 71–102.

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Beiträge Algebra Geom. 48 (2007), no. 1, 141–150.

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Discrete Mathematics 57, Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, 2004.

19. F. Harary and M. D. Plummer, On indecomposable graphs, Canad. J. Math. 19 (1967),

800–809.

20. J. Herzog, T. Hibi and N. V. Trung, Symbolic powers of monomial ideals and vertex cover

algebras, Adv. Math. 210 (2007), 304–322.

21. G. Lyubeznik, On the arithmetical rank of monomial ideals, J. Algebra 112 (1988), 86–89.

22. J. Martı́nez-Bernal, E. O’Shea and R. H. Villarreal, Ehrhart clutters: regularity and max-ﬂow

min-cut, Electron. J. Combin. 17 (2010), no. 1, R52.

23. A. Schrijver, On total dual integrality, Linear Algebra Appl. 38 (1981), 27–32.

24. A. Schrijver, Theory of Linear and Integer Programming, John Wiley & Sons, New York,

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Berlin, 2003.

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(Apendice. Palimpsesto 2: Potencias simbolicas, 2.1).

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28. A. Simis, W. V. Vasconcelos and R. H. Villarreal, On the ideal theory of graphs, J. Algebra,

167 (1994), 389–416.

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del IPN, Apartado Postal 14–740, 07000 Mexico City, D.F.

E-mail address: jmb@math.cinvestav.mx

tuto Politécnico Nacional, 07300 Mexico City, D.F.

E-mail address: renteri@esfm.ipn.mx

del IPN, Apartado Postal 14–740, 07000 Mexico City, D.F.

E-mail address: vila@math.cinvestav.mx

Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

and Szpiro proved a Riemann-Roch formula for graded modules; we show that

this agrees with the Hirzebruch-Riemann-Roch formula in the case of graded

modules over polynomial rings.

tion multiplicities of graded modules, using a formula that they developed for the

Hilbert polynomials of such modules. This formula was considered to be a kind

of Riemann-Roch formula, and indeed it was one of the inspirations for the lo-

cal Chern characters and the Riemann-Roch formula for local rings, developed by

Baum, Fulton, and MacPherson [BFM].

In this paper we do not discuss the connections to questions on multiplicities,

but look instead at the formula of Peskine and Szpiro and examine the extent to

which it may be considered a Riemann-Roch formula; in other words, we compare

it to the Riemann-Roch formula of Hirzebruch. In the case of perfect complexes

over polynomial rings, we show that the formulae agree in a precise sense.

Let A be an N-graded ring such that A0 is a ﬁeld K, and A is generated over A0

by ﬁnitely many elements of A1 . For n an integer, A(n) will denote the module A

with the shifted grading A(n)k = An+k for each k. By a perfect complex F• we

mean a bounded complex

(1.1) 0 −→ Fs −→ Fs−1 −→ · · · −→ F0 −→ 0 ,

where each Fi is a ﬁnite direct sum of copies of A(n)—for varying n—and such that

the homomorphisms in F• preserve degrees. Set

βi

Fi = A(nij ) for each i .

j=1

2010 Mathematics Subject Classiﬁcation. Primary 14C40; Secondary 13A02, 13D22, 13H15.

P.R. and A.K.S. were supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation.

2011

c 0000

c Mathematical

American (copyright Society

holder)

1

165

166

2 PAUL ROBERTS AND ANURAG K. SINGH

of M is the polynomial PM (x) with the property that PM (n) agrees with rankK Mn

for suﬃciently large integers n. The Peskine-Szpiro result is a formula for the

alternating sum of the Hilbert polynomials of the homology modules of F• in terms

of the integers nij :

For each integer k 0, set

1

s βi

i

ρk = (−1) nkij .

k! i=0 j=1

s (k)

(1.2) (−1)i PHi (x) = ρk PA (x) ,

i=0 k0

(k)

where Hi denotes the i-th homology module of the complex F• and PA (x) is the

k-th derivative of the polynomial PA (x).

2. Chern classes

We brieﬂy review some material that may be found in [Ha] or [Fu]. Let X be

a nonsingular projective variety of dimension d over a ﬁeld K. A cycle of codimen-

sion k on X is an element of the free abelian group generated by closed irreducible

subvarieties of X having codimension k. The group CHk (X) consists of cycles

of codimension

k modulo rational equivalence. Cycles of codimension d have the

form i ni Pi for points Pi of X, and one has a group homomorphism

(2.1) deg : CHd (X) −→ Z where deg ni Pi = ni .

i i

The intersection pairing on X provides

d

CHr (X)

r=0

with the structure of a commutative ring, the Chow ring of X, denoted CH(X).

Extending the correspondence between invertible sheaves and divisors, for each

locally free sheaf F on X—say of rank r—there exist Chern classes ci = ci (F)

in CHi (X), where c0 = 1 and ci = 0 for all i > r. The Chern polynomial of F is

ct (F) = 1 + c1 t + c2 t2 + · · · + cr tr .

For an exact sequence of locally free sheaves

(2.2) 0 −→ F −→ F −→ F −→ 0 ,

the Whitney sum formula states that

ct (F) = ct (F )ct (F ) .

For the purposes of a Riemann-Roch formula, one wants to associate to locally free

sheaves, invariants that are additive on exact sequences. Towards this, factor the

polynomial ct (F) formally as

r

ct (F) = (1 + αi t) ;

i=1

RECONCILING RIEMANN-ROCH RESULTS 167

3

the αi are the Chern roots of F. Working in CH(X)Q = CH(X) ⊗Z Q, deﬁne the

Chern character of F as

r

1

ch(F) = eαi , where ex = 1 + x + x2 + · · · .

i=1

2

Since ch(F) is a symmetric function of the Chern roots α1 , . . . , αr , and the Chern

classes c1 , . . . , cr are precisely the elementary symmetric polynomials in α1 , . . . , αr ,

one can express ch(F) in terms of the Chern classes; the ﬁrst few terms, as may be

found in [Ha, page 432] or [Fu, Example 3.2.3], are

1 1

ch(F) = r + c1 + (c21 − 2c2 ) + (c31 − 3c1 c2 + 3c3 ) + · · · .

2 6

The Whitney sum formula now yields

ch(F) = ch(F ) + ch(F ) ,

i.e., Chern characters are additive on short exact sequences.

The Chern character of a tensor product of locally free sheaves is

(2.3) ch(F ⊗ F ) = ch(F) ch(F ) .

The formal power series

1 − e−x x x2 x3

= 1− + − + ···

x 2! 3! 4!

is an invertible element of Q[[x]]; we denote its inverse by

(2.4) Q(x) = x/(1 − e−x ) .

The occurrence of this power series will be justiﬁed in Example 3.1. For now, we

conclude this section with one last deﬁnition: the Todd class of a locally free sheaf

F with Chern roots α1 , . . . , αr is

r

td(F) = Q(αi ) .

i=1

Once again, this is a symmetric function of α1 , . . . , αr , so it can be expressed in

terms of the Chern classes; indeed, one has

1 1 1

td(E) = 1 + c1 + (c21 + c2 ) + (c1 c2 ) + · · · .

2 12 24

For an exact sequence (2.2), the Whitney sum formula implies

(2.5) td(F) = td(F ) td(F ) .

Let F be a locally free sheaf on a nonsingular projective variety X of dimen-

sion d. The Euler characteristic of F is the alternating sum of the ranks of the

sheaf cohomology groups H i (X, F), i.e.,

d

χ(F) = (−1)i rankK H i (X, F) .

i=0

Let TX be the tangent sheaf of X. The Riemann-Roch theorem of Hirzebruch states

χ(F) = deg [ch(F) td(TX )]d ,

168

4 PAUL ROBERTS AND ANURAG K. SINGH

where [−]d denotes the component in CHd (X)Q and deg : CHd (X)Q −→ Q extends

the homomorphism deg : CHd (X) −→ Z of (2.1); see [Ha, Appendix A].

Let L• be a bounded complex of locally free sheaves on X, say

0 −→ Ls −→ Ls−1 −→ · · · −→ L0 −→ 0 .

The Euler characteristic of L• is

s

χ(L• ) = (−1)i χ(Li ) .

i=0

i

Setting ch(L• ) = i (−1) ch(Li ), the Riemann-Roch theorem takes the form

χ(L• ) = deg [ch(L• ) td(T )]d .

Example 3.1. We examine the Riemann-Roch theorem in the case X is projec-

tive space Pd , and provide some justiﬁcation for the choice of the power series Q(x)

used in the deﬁnition of the Todd class; see (2.4).

Any subvariety of degree k in Pd is linearly equivalent to k times a linear space

of the same dimension, so

CH(Pd )Q = Q[h]/(hd+1 ) ,

where h is the class of a hyperplane; the class of a point in Pd is identiﬁed with

hd ∈ CHd (Pd )Q .

By the exact sequence

0 −→ OPd −→ OPd (1)d+1 −→ TPd −→ 0

and (2.5), one has

td(TPd ) = td OPd (1)d+1 = td(h)d+1 .

Taking F to be OPd in the Riemann-Roch theorem, we see that

1 = deg [td(TPd )]d = deg [td(h)d+1 ]d .

Thus, td(h) is a power series such that xd occurs with unit coeﬃcient in td(h)d+1 .

It turns out that

Q(x) = x/(1 − e−x )

is the only power series in Q[[x]] with the property that xd occurs with unit coeﬃ-

cient in Q(x)d+1 for each d 0; this can be proved using the recursion (4.3).

It follows from the above discussion that

td(TPd ) = Q(h)d+1 .

4. A comparison

We now reconcile the Riemann-Roch theorem of Hirzebruch with the formula

of Peskine and Szpiro; ﬁrst, some notation:

We use p(x) to denote the coeﬃcient of xk in a polynomial or formal power

k

series p(x).

Let A be a standard graded polynomial ring over a ﬁeld. A perfect complex of

A-modules (1.1) deﬁnes a complex of locally free sheaves on Proj A, which is Pd .

The sheaves that occur are direct sums of OPd (n) for varying n.

RECONCILING RIEMANN-ROCH RESULTS 169

5

We now translate the Peskine-Szpiro formula into these terms. The modules

Fi = j A(nij ) in (1.1) deﬁne sheaves j OPd (nij ) on Pd . The complex F• thus

yields a complex L• of locally free sheaves Li , where

βi

Li = OPd (nij ) .

j=1

The Chern polynomial of OPd (1) is 1 + ht, for h the class of a hyperplane. Hence

ch(OPd (1)) = eh ,

and using (2.3), it follows that the Chern character of OPd (n) is

ch(OPd (n)) = enh

n2 h2 n3 h3 nd hd

= 1 + nh + + + ···+ in Q[h]/(hd+1 ) .

2! 3! d!

Since Chern characters are additive on short exact sequences—in particular, on

direct sums—the Chern character of L• is

s

ch(L• ) = (−1)i ch(Li )

i=0

s

βi

= (−1)i ch(OX (nij ))

i=0 j=1

s

βi

n2ij h2 ndij hd

= (−1)i 1 + nij h + + ··· + .

i=0 j=1

2! d!

s

βi

nkij

(−1)i .

i=0 j=1

k!

ch(L• ) = ρ0 + ρ1 h + ρ2 h2 + · · · + ρd hd .

Thus, the quantities ρk in the Peskine-Szpiro formula occur as the components of

the Chern character in the Riemann-Roch Theorem. We now look at the other half

of the theorem, namely the Todd class.

In the Riemann-Roch Theorem for projective space Pd , the Todd class of the

tangent bundle is td(TPd ) = Q(h)d+1 , where Q(x) = x/(1 − e−x ); see Example 3.1.

Since hd+1 = 0, this may be written as

td(TPd ) = a0 + a1 h + · · · + ad hd ,

where the ak are rational numbers. As deg hd = 1 in CHd (Pd )Q , the Riemann-Roch

Theorem states that

χ(L• ) = ρd a0 + ρd−1 a1 + · · · + ρ0 ad , where ak = Q(x)d+1 .

k

To compare this with the Peskine-Szpiro formula (1.2), we need to know the

relation between the Hilbert polynomial of A(n) and the Euler characteristic of

170

6 PAUL ROBERTS AND ANURAG K. SINGH

OPd (n). This is very simple: if M is a ﬁnitely generated graded A-module with

Hilbert polynomial PM (x) and F = M the associated coherent sheaf, then

where F(n) = F ⊗ OPd (n). In particular, the Euler characteristic χ(F) equals

PM (0). Hence, the Peskine-Szpiro formula yields

s (k)

χ(L• ) = (−1)i PHi (0) = ρk PA (0) .

i=0 k0

(d−i)

Setting bi = PA (0) for i = 0, . . . , d, we have

χ(L• ) = ρd b0 + ρd−1 b1 + · · · + ρ0 bd .

polynomial PA (x), i.e.,

bk = (d − k)! PA (x) .

d−k

x+d

Since A is the polynomial ring in d + 1 variables, its Hilbert polynomial is d ,

and so

x+d

bk = (d − k)! .

d−k d

Thus, we have two similar formulae for the Euler characteristic of L• , involving

the sequences a0 , a1 , . . . , ad and b0 , b1 , . . . , bd ; the ﬁrst sequence is given by the ﬁrst

−x

d+1 coeﬃcients of the power series Q(x)d+1 , where Q(x) = x/(1−e ); the second

x+d

sequence is derived from the coeﬃcients of the polynomial d . It is by no means

a priori obvious that these sequences are related; the remainder of this section is

devoted to giving a direct proof that these sequences are indeed the same.

with 0 k d, the coeﬃcient of xk in the formal power series

d+1

x

1 − e−x

x+d (d − k)!

(d − k)! = (x + 1)(x + 2) · · · (x + d) .

d d!

Proof. Set

x+d

q(d, k) = (d − k)! .

d−k d

Note that q(0, 0) = 1, and that q(d, k) = 0 unless 0 k d. We claim that

d−k

(4.1) q(d, k) = q(d − 1, k − 1) + q(d − 1, k) .

d

RECONCILING RIEMANN-ROCH RESULTS 171

7

d−k

q(d − 1, k − 1) + q(d − 1, k)

d

x+d−1 d−k x+d−1

= (d − k)! + (d − k − 1)!

d−k d−1 d d−k−1 d−1

(d − k)! (d − k)!

= (x + 1) · · · (x + d − 1) + (x + 1) · · · (x + d − 1)

(d − 1)! d−k d! d−k−1

(d − k)! (d − k)!

= (x + 1) · · · (x + d − 1)d + (x + 1) · · · (x + d − 1)x

d! d−k d! d−k

(d − k)!

= (x + 1) · · · (x + d − 1)(x + d)

d! d−k

= q(d, k) .

Next, consider the polynomials

qd = q(d, k)xk , where d 0 .

k

d−k

qd = q(d − 1, k − 1)xk + q(d − 1, k)xk

d

k k

kx

= x q(d − 1, k − 1)xk−1 + q(d − 1, k)xk − q(d − 1, k)xk−1

d

k k k

x

= xqd−1 + qd−1 − qd−1 ,

d

where qd−1 denotes the derivative of qd−1 with respect to x. Thus, we have

x

(4.2) qd = (1 + x)qd−1 − q for d 1 , and q0 = 1 .

d d−1

The polynomials qd —and hence the numbers q(d, k)—are determined by (4.2).

Next, we claim that the formal power series

d+1

x

Qd = , where d 0 ,

1 − e−x

satisfy a similar recursion, namely

x

(4.3) Qd = (1 + x)Qd−1 − Q for d 1 .

d d−1

The derivative of x/(1 − e−x ) may be computed as

−1

d x d 1 − e−x

=

dx 1 − e−x dx x

−2

−x

1 − e−x xe − 1 + e−x

= −

x x2

−x −x

1 − e − xe

= .

(1 − e−x )2

172

8 PAUL ROBERTS AND ANURAG K. SINGH

Hence

d

d

x x x d x

(1 + x)Qd−1 − Qd−1 = (1 + x) −

d 1 − e−x d dx 1 − e−x

d

d−1

x x 1 − e−x − xe−x

= (1 + x) − x

1 − e−x 1 − e−x (1 − e−x )2

d

x 1 − e−x − xe−x

= 1 + x −

1 − e−x 1 − e−x

d+1

x

= ,

1 − e−x

which proves (4.3).

The proposition asserts that the coeﬃcients of xk in Qd and qd agree for each

k with 0 k d, i.e., that

Qd − qd ∈ xd+1 Q[[x]] .

We prove this by induction on d; the case d = 0 is readily checked. Assuming the

result for d − 1, we have

Qd−1 − qd−1 = xd E for some E ∈ Q[[x]] .

But then, using (4.3) and (4.2), we have

x

Qd − qd = (1 + x) Qd−1 − qd−1 − Q − qd−1

d d−1

x d

= (1 + x)xd E − x E

d

x

= (1 + x)xd E − dxd−1 E + xd E

d

1

= x d+1

E− E .

d

References

[BFM] P. Baum, W. Fulton, and R. MacPherson, Riemann-Roch for singular varieties, Inst.

Hautes Études Sci. Publ. Math. 45 (1975), 101–145.

[Fu] W. Fulton, Intersection Theory, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1984.

[Ha] R. Hartshorne, Algebraic geometry, Graduate Texts in Mathematics 52, Springer-Verlag,

New York-Heidelberg, 1977.

[PS] C. Peskine and L. Szpiro, Syzygies et multiplicités, C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris Sér. A Math.

278 (1974), 1421–1424.

[Sz] L. Szpiro, Sur la théorie des complexes parfaits, in: Commutative algebra (Durham 1981),

London Math. Soc. Lecture Note Series 72 1982, 83–90.

Department of Mathematics, University of Utah, 155 South 1400 East, Salt Lake

City, UT 84112, USA

E-mail address: roberts@math.utah.edu

Department of Mathematics, University of Utah, 155 South 1400 East, Salt Lake

City, UT 84112, USA

E-mail address: singh@math.utah.edu

Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

at the School in Commutative Algebra and its Connections to Geometry, Uni-

versidade Federal de Pernambuco, Olinda (Brasil), August 2009, in honor of

V.W. Vasconcelos.

Contents

Introduction

1. Basic facts

2. Superﬁcial elements

3. 1-dimensional local Cohen-Macaulay rings

4. Hilbert coeﬃcients and classical bounds

5. Hilbert Functions of Artinian Gorenstein rings

References

Bibliography

Introduction

algebraic geometry and is becoming increasingly important in combinatorics and in

computational algebra. The Hilbert function of the homogeneous coordinate ring

of a projective variety V was classically called the postulation of V and it is a rich

source of discrete invariants of V and of its embedding. The dimension, the degree

and the arithmetic genus of V, can be computed from the Hilbert function or from

the Hilbert polynomial of its coordinate ring.

In this survey we mainly deal with the Hilbert function of Cohen-Macaulay

local rings and our aim is to introduce the reader to some aspects of this area of

dynamic mathematical activity.

Key words and phrases. Hilbert function, associated graded ring, Cohen-Macaulay ring,

Gorenstein local ring, superﬁcial sequence, multiplicity, Hilbert coeﬃcients.

The author is personally grateful to the organizers of the School for giving her the opportunity

to teach the favorite topic. A particular thank you goes to W. Vasconcelos because his teaching

and his example have inﬂuenced her mathematical life greatly.

1 2011

c American Mathematical Society

173

174

2 MARIA

MARIA EVELINA

EVELINA ROSSI

ROSSI

The Hilbert function of a local ring (A, m, k) is, by deﬁnition, the Hilbert func-

tion of the associated graded ring grm (A). The standard graded k-algebra grm (A)

arises from a relevant geometric construction and it has been studied extensively.

Namely, if A is the localization at the origin of the coordinate ring of an aﬃne

variety V passing through 0, then grm (A) is the coordinate ring of the tangent cone

of V , which is the cone composed of all lines that are limiting positions of secant

lines to V in 0. The P roj of this algebra can also be seen as the exceptional set of

the blowing-up of V in 0.

Despite the fact that the Hilbert function of a Cohen-Macaulay graded standard

algebra is well understood by means of Macaulay’s Theorem, very little is known

in the local case. One of the main problems is whether geometric and homological

properties of the local ring A can be carried on the corresponding tangent cone

grm (A). For example if a given local domain has fairly good properties, such as

normality or Cohen-Macaulayness, its depth provides in general no information on

the depth of the associated graded ring. It could be interesting to remind that a

still wide open problem is to characterize the Hilbert function of an aﬃne curve

in A3 whose deﬁning ideal is a complete intersection, while the Hilbert function

of any complete intersection of homogeneous forms is well known in terms of the

degrees of the generators.

In this presentation basic facts will be introduced, the use of fruitful techniques

will be stressed in order to present easier proofs of known facts and to get a taste of

some open problems. Starting from classical results by S. Abhyankar, D. Northcott

and J. Sally, we present results on the coeﬃcients of the Hilbert polynomial and, in

several cases, we discuss algebraic and geometric properties of the local ring in terms

of this asymptotic information. We shall focus our attention on the one-dimensional

case because it plays an important role in our approach, in particular we provide

tricky proofs proving the non-decreasing of the Hilbert function for several classes

of one-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay local rings. The survey ends with results and

techniques concerning the Hilbert function of Artinian Gorenstein local k-algebras.

This investigation is strongly motivated by the interest related to the study of the

Punctual Hilbert scheme and of the rationality of the Poincaré series of Gorenstein

local rings (see for example [6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17, 36]).

For more details and complete proofs we will refer to the monograph [47] writ-

ten jointly with G. Valla, and to a recent paper [14] with J. Elias. For further

reading on the same topic we would also suggest a series of lectures on problems

and results on Hilbert functions of graded algebras given by G. Valla in Bellaterra

(Spain) (see [56]), a survey by A. Corso and C. Polini on the Hilbert coeﬃcients

with a view toward blowup algebras (see [10]) and a survey on the Hilbert Func-

tions of ﬁltered modules by the author, 4-th Joint Seminar Japan-Vietnam, Meij

University (2009) (see [40]). We present here several examples, all performed with

the help of CoCoA [61].

1. Basic facts

Let (A, m, k) be a Noetherian local ring with maximal ideal m and residue ﬁeld

k. Denote by μ(I) the minimal number of generators of an ideal I of A. The Hilbert

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HFA (n) := dimk mn /mn+1 = μ(mn )

for every n ∈ N. Hence HFA is also the Hilbert function of the homogeneous

k-standard algebra

grm (A) = ⊕n≥0 mn /mn+1

which is the associated graded ring of m.

The generating function of HFA is a power series HSA (z) = n≥0 HFA (n)z n .

This series, by the Hilbert-Serre Theorem, is rational and it can be written as

hA (z)

HSA (z) = ,

(1 − z)d

where hA (z) is a polynomial with integer coeﬃcients such that hA (1) = 0. More-

over, d is the Krull dimension of A, which is also the Krull dimension of grm (A).

The numerator hA (z) is also called the h-polynomial of A. For large n, HFA (n)

agrees with a polynomial HPA (X) with rational coeﬃcients and degree d − 1. It is

called the Hilbert polynomial of A. We will denote by λ(M ) the length of M as A-

module. Classically, another polynomial has been introduced, the Hilbert-Samuel

polynomial of A, that is λ(A/mn+1 ) for n 0. It is denoted by PA (X) and

d

i X +d−i

(1.1) PA (X) = (−1) ei (m)

i=0

d−i

where X+j j := (X+j)(X+j−1)···(X+1)

j! .

The integers e0 (m), e1 (m), . . . , ed (m) are uniquely determined by m and are known

as the Hilbert coeﬃcients of A. In particular e0 (m) is the multiplicity of A. If there

is not risk of confusion, we shall simply write ei instead of ei (m). We can prove that

for every i ≥ 0

(i)

h (1)

ei = A

i!

(0)

where 0! = 1 and hA (1) = hA (1).

m)

If (A, denotes the completion of A with respect to the m-adic ﬁltration, it

is well-known that

(A) grm (A)

grm

as graded rings, hence studying the Hilbert function we may assume that A is

complete. If A is equicharacteristic (for example if A is a k-algebra), we also

assume A = R/I where I is an ideal in the power series R = k[[x1 , . . . , xn ]]. This

assumption is not restrictive by the well-known Cohen’s theorem.

If a ∈ A is a non zero element and a ∈ mr , a ∈ mr+1 , then we denote by

∗

a := a ∈ mr /mr+1 and call it the initial form of a in grm (A). If (R, n) is a local

ring and A = R/I, it is easy to prove that

grm (A) grn (R)/I ∗

where I ∗ is the ideal generated by the initial forms of elements of I in grn (R). If

R = k[[x1 , . . . , xn ]], then nr /nr+1 k[x1 , . . . , xn ]r , the k-vector space generated by

all the forms of degree r, hence grn (R) k[x1 , . . . , xn ].

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understood: its Hilbert series is

hA (z)

HSA (z) =

(1 − z)d

where, by Macaulay’s theorem, hA (z) is the Hilbert series of an Artinian graded

k-algebra. The same does not hold true if A is a Cohen-Macaulay local ring.

The following example gives a measure of the complexity of the problem.

Example 1.1. Consider the coordinate ring A of the monomial curve parametrized

by (t6 , t7 , t15 ). Then A is a Cohen-Macaulay local domain of dimension one. In par-

ticular, A = k[[x, y, z]]/I where I = (y 3 − xz, x5 − z 2 ) is generated by a regular

sequence. Now, grm (A) k[x, y, z]/I ∗ where I ∗ = (xz, z 2 , y 3 z, y 6 ). Hence:

(1) A is a domain, but grm (A) is not even reduced;

(2) A is a complete intersection, but grm (A) is not a complete intersection;

(3) A is a 1-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay ring, but depth grm (A) = 0.

(4) The Hilbert series of A is

1 + 2z + z 2 + z 3 + z 5

HSA (z) =

1−z

and A is Cohen-Macaulay, but its Hilbert function is not admissible for a

Cohen-Macaulay graded algebra.

Another interesting example (dim A = 2) was given by J. Herzog, M.E. Rossi and

G. Valla in [22].

Example 1.2. Let A = k[[x, y, w, t]]/I be where I = (x3 − y 7 , x2 y − xt3 − w6 ).

Then A is a 2-dimensional complete intersection, I ∗ = (x3 , x2 y, x2 t3 , xt6 , x2 w6 , xy 9 −

xw6 t3 , xy 8 t3 , y 7 t9 ), dim grm (A) = 2, but depth grm (A) = 0.

always symmetric, this is no longer true in the local case.

S. Kleiman proved that there is a ﬁnite number of admissible Hilbert func-

tions for graded domains with ﬁxed multiplicity and dimension. The analogous of

Kleiman’s result does not hold in the local case. The following example shows that

the class of local domains of dimension two and multiplicity 4 does not have a ﬁnite

number of Hilbert functions.

Example 1.3. Let r > 1 and

Ar := k[[x, y, w, t]]/℘r

where

℘r = (wr tr − xy, x3 − w2r y, y 3 − t2r x, x2 tr − y 2 wr )

is a prime ideal in k[[x, y, w, t]]. The associated graded ring of Ar is the standard

graded algebra

grm (Ar ) = k[x, y, w, t]/(xy, x3 , y 3 , x2 tr − y 2 wr ),

and

1 + 2z + 2z 2 − z r+2

HSAr (z) = .

(1 − z)2

Hence, for all r, we have e0 = 4, d = 2, but the Hilbert function depends on r.

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Nevertheless, V. Srinivas and V. Trivedi in [53] and [54] proved that the number

of Hilbert Functions of Cohen-Macaulay local rings with given multiplicity and

dimension is ﬁnite (a diﬀerent proof was given by M.E. Rossi, N.V. Trung and G.

Valla in [42]). This is a very interesting result and it produces upper bounds on

the Hilbert coeﬃcients. If (A, m) is a Cohen-Macaulay local ring of dimension d

and multiplicity e0 , then

3(i!)−i

|ei | ≤ e0 − 1 for all i ≥ 1

(see [53] Theorem 1, [42], Corollary 4.2). The result had been extended by several

authors without assuming the Cohen-Macaulyness of A and in terms of homological

degrees.

The problem of characterizing the admissible numerical functions for Cohen-

Macaulay local rings is largely open. M. E. Rossi, G. Valla and W. Vasconcelos

in [48] proved that, if (A, m) is a Cohen-Macaulay local ring of dimension d and

multiplicity e0 , then

1 + (e0 − 1)z

HSA (z) ≤

(1 − z)d

and the equality has been characterized. From this result we achieve other bounds,

unfortunately very far from being sharp.

After the pionering work of D. G. Northcott in the 50’s, several papers were

written in order to better understand the Hilbert function of a Cohen-Macaulay

local ring in relation with its Hilbert coeﬃcients. Here we shall present some of

them.

2. Superﬁcial elements

A fundamental tool in local algebra is the notion of superﬁcial element. This notion

goes back to the work of P. Samuel ([60] p.296).

Definition 2.1. An element a ∈ m, is said to be superﬁcial for m if there exists

a non-negative integer c such that

(mn+1 : a) ∩ mc = mn

for all n ≥ c.

For every a ∈ m and n ≥ c, mn is contained in (mn+1 : a) ∩ mc . It is the other

inclusion that makes superﬁcial elements special. It is clear that, if A is Artinian,

then every element is superﬁcial, hence, in this section we will assume dim A =

d > 0. From the very deﬁnition, we deduce that, if a is a superﬁcial element, then

a ∈ m \ m2 . We give now equivalent conditions for an element to be superﬁcial. The

following development of the theory of superﬁcial elements basically follows Kirby’s

work in [31].

Consider N := Hm 0

(A) = {x ∈ A | ∃ n, mn x = 0A } the 0-th local cohomology of

A with support in m. Let G = grm (A) and denote by H the 0-th local cohomology

HG0

+

(G) of G with support in G+ = ⊕i>0 mi /mi+1 . Further Ass(G) will denote the

set of the associated primes of G.

Theorem 2.2. Let a ∈ m \ m2 , the following conditions are equivalent:

1. a is superﬁcial for m.

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m

2. a∗ ∈

/ i=1 Pi with Pi ∈ Ass(G), Pi = G+ .

3. H :G a∗ = H.

4. N : a = N and mj+1 ∩ (a) = amj for all large j.

5. (0 :G a∗ )j = 0 for all large j.

6. mj+1 : a = mj + (0 :A a) and mj ∩ (0 :A a) = 0 for all large j.

We notice that, if the residue ﬁeld A/m is inﬁnite, the existence of superﬁcial

elements is given by Condition 2. Hence from now on it will be useful to assume

that the residue ﬁeld is inﬁnite. With regard to this, we read the following standard

fact which says that our assumption is not restrictive.

Proposition 2.3. Let (A, m) be a local ring, B = A[x] where x is an indeter-

minate and ℘ = mB. Then, for every integer n ≥ 0,

HFA (n) = HFB℘ (n).

Since A and B℘ have the same Hilbert function, they have same dimension,

multiplicity and embedding dimension. Moreover, since B℘ is a ﬂat extension of A,

if A is Cohen-Macaulay, then B℘ is Cohen-Macaulay with a larger residue ﬁeld.

If depth A > 0, then every superﬁcial element for m is also A-regular and a is

superﬁcial for m if and only if mj+1 : a = mj for all large j. Moreover Proposition

2.2 5. says that a is superﬁcial if and only if a∗ is an homogeneous ﬁlter-regular

element in G. We refer to [55] for the deﬁnition and the properties of homogeneous

ﬁlter-regular elements. As the geometric meaning of superﬁcial elements we refer

to the papers by Bondil and Le (see [4], [5]).

They will be very useful in order to control numerical invariants of A under generic

hyperplane sections.

Theorem 2.4. Let a be a superﬁcial element for m and let d > 0 be the dimen-

sion of A. We have

1. dim(A/aA) = d − 1

2. a is A-regular ⇐⇒ depth A > 0

3. j ≥ 1, depth A/aA ≥ j ⇐⇒ depth A ≥ j + 1

4. a∗ is grm (A)-regular ⇐⇒ depth grm (A) > 0

5. Sally’s machine: j ≥ 1, depth grm/(a) (A/(a)) ≥ j ⇐⇒ depth grm (A) ≥

j+1

6. ej (A) = ej (A/(a)) for every j = 0, . . . , d − 2

7. ed−1 (A/(a)) = ed−1 (A) + (−1)d−1 λ(0 : a)

HSA/(a) (z)

8. a∗ is a grm (A)-regular element ⇐⇒ HSA (z) = 1−z ⇐⇒ a is

A-regular and ed (A) = ed (A/(a)).

ej (A) = ej (A/(a)) for every j = 0, . . . , d − 1.

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We recall that Property 5. is also named Sally’s machine because it was proved

by J. Sally in dimension one and stated in the same paper for higher dimension.

It is a very useful trick in inductive arguments and it was proved by S. Huckaba

and T. Marley in [24]. Property 3. is well known when a is a regular element,

but it seems ignored in literature for superﬁcial elements, a proof can be found in

[46]. The remaining properties can be easily proved by the deﬁnition of superﬁcial

element and by means of the following result due to B. Singh. First, we recall the

deﬁnition of the Hilbert-Samuel function

j

HFA1 (j) := λ(A/mj+1 ) = HFA (n).

n=0

In particular HFA1 (n) − HFA1 (n − 1) = HFA (n). We will denote by PA (X) the

corresponding polynomial function which is called the Hilbert-Samuel polynomial.

Lemma 2.5. Let a ∈ m. Then, for every j ≥ 0,

1

HFA (j) = HFA/aA (j) − λ(mj+1 : a/mj ).

In the following we let h be the embedding codimension of A (embcodim(A)),

namely

h := HFA (1) − d.

Remark that if a is a superﬁcial element, then embcodim(A) = embcodim(A/(a)).

An usual trick in reducing problems to positive depth is the following. Let

Asat := A/Hm 0 0

(A) where Hm (A) denotes the 0-th local cohomology of A. We remark

that e0 (A ) = e0 (A). If a ∈ m is a superﬁcial element for m, then a ∈ Asat is a

sat

0

superﬁcial element for m/Hm (A).

We relate the Hilbert coeﬃcients of A with those of Asat :

• ei (A) = ei (Asat ) 0 ≤ i ≤ d − 1;

• ed (A) = ed (Asat ) + (−1)d λ(Hm

0

(A))

0

If A is 1-dimensional, S. Goto and K. Nishida gave a nice interpretation of λ(Hm (A))

in terms of the ﬁrst Hilbert coeﬃcient of an ideal generated by a parameter of A,

see [20] Lemma 2.4. Concerning the problem in higher dimension, very interesting

results by L. Ghezzi, S. Goto, J. Hong, K. Ozeki, T. Phuong and W. Vasconcelos

were recently proved, see [19]. On this topic we point out also [32] by M. Mandal

and J. Verma.

j = 1, . . . , r the element aj is superﬁcial for m/(a1 , . . . , aj−1 ).

Let a1 , . . . , ad be a (maximal) superﬁcial sequence for m and let J = (a1 , . . . , ad ),

then

(2.1) mn+1 = Jmn for n 0.

The above equality says that J is a minimal reduction of m. If the residue ﬁeld is

inﬁnite, there is a 1-1 correspondence between maximal superﬁcial sequences and

minimal reductions (see for example [26]). Every minimal reduction J of m can be

generated by a maximal superﬁcial sequence and, conversely, the ideal generated

by a maximal superﬁcial sequence is a minimal reduction of m.

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The above results can be extended from the m-adic ﬁltrations to the q-good

(or stable) ﬁltrations, where q is an m-primary ideal. In particular to the classical

q-adic ﬁltration (see [47]).

Assume (A, m) to be a Cohen-Macaulay local ring of dimension one and embed-

ding codimension h. J. Elias (see [12]) characterized the admissible Hilbert-Samuel

polynomials

PA (X) = e0 (X + 1) − e1

for any pair (e0 , e1 ) such that e0 − 1 ≤ e1 ≤ e20 − h2 . Nevertheless the problem of

determining the admissible Hilbert functions of one-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay

local rings is still far from being solved. The question has a clear geometric meaning

related to singularities of aﬃne curves which are arithmetically Cohen-Macaulay.

In the following theorem we collects some classical results due to J. Herzog and R.

Waldi, D.G. Northcott and D. Kirby giving easier proofs.

Theorem 3.1. Let (A, m) be a one-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay local ring.

For every j ≥ 0 we set vj = λ(mj+1 /a mj ) where a is a superﬁcial element for m.

Then

(1) HFA (j) = e0 − vj (≤ e0 ).

(2) If HFA (n) = e0 for some integer n, then HFA (j) = e0 for every j ≥ n.

(3) e1 = j≥0 vj .

(4) HFA (j) ≥ min{e0 , j + 1}.

(5) If HFA (n) = n + 1 for some integer n > 0, then HFA (j) = min{j + 1, e0 }

for every j ≥ n.

(6) e0 − 1 ≤ e1 ≤ e20 .

Proof. Recall that e0 = λ(A/aA). From the diagram

A ⊃ mj+1

∪ ∪

aA ⊃ amj

we easily get

(3.1) HFA (j) = e0 − vj

where vj = λ(mj+1 /amj ). It is clear that HFA (j) ≤ e0 and if HFA (n) = e0 for

some integer n, then HFA (j) = e0 for every j ≥ n. since vj = 0 for every j ≥ n.

n

Moreover for n 0, vn = 0. As a consequence, HFA1 (n) = j=0 HFA (j) =

e0 (n + 1) − j≥0 vj = e0 (n + 1) − e1 . Hence, e1 = j≥0 vj and (1) (2) and (3) are

proved.

Now if there exists j < e0 such that HFA (j) ≤ j, then by Macaulay’s Theorem

(see e.g. Theorem 1.3 [56]), we should have HFA (n) ≤ j < e0 for every n, which

is a contradiction because HFA (n) = e0 for large n. Hence (4) and (5) follow. We

remark that by (3), e1 ≥ v0 = λ(m/(a)) = e0 − 1 and hence

0 −1

e

e0

e0 − 1 ≤ e1 = vj = (e0 − HFA (j)) ≤ (e0 − (j + 1)) = .

j=0

2

j≥0 j≥0

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We remark that Theorem 3.1 (5) was also proved by J. Herzog and V. Waldi

(see [23]) by using diﬀerent methods.

The following statements follow by Theorem 3.1 and they underline the general

philosophy that extremal values of the Hilbert coeﬃcients (with respect to some

bound) answer to the whole Hilbert function. The proof is an easy exercise.

Exercise 3.2. Let (A, m) be a Cohen-Macaulay local ring of dimension one

and multiplicity e0 . The following facts hold:

e0 −1 i

z

(1) e1 = e20 ⇐⇒ HSA (z) = i=0 1−z

e0 e0 −1 i

1+2z+ i=2 z

(2) e1 = 2 − 1 ⇐⇒ HSA (z) = 1−z

It is clear that, if we introduce more invariants of A, we can get more precise bounds.

For example if we involve the embedding codimension of A, h = HFA (1) − 1, then

we have v1 = λ(m2 /am) = λ(m/(a)) + λ((a)/am) − λ(m/m2 ) = e0 − 1 − h. Hence

(3.2) e1 ≥ v0 + v1 = 2e0 − (h + 2).

By using sophisticated devices introduced by Matlis in [33], J. Elias proved

that

e0 h

(3.3) e1 ≤ −

2 2

and, for every triple (e0 , e1 , h) satisfying the inequalities (3.2) and (3.3), one can

produce an aﬃne curve with such invariants (see [12]).

In a more general setting, a diﬀerent proof of (3.3) was given by G. Valla and the

author, by using the Ratliﬀ-Rush ﬁltration (see [45]). In both proofs the techniques

are quite complicate and we do not present here them. Nevertheless, the inequality

(3.3) is an easy exercise assuming an extra (unnecessary) condition.

Exercise 3.3. Let (A, m) be a one-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay local ring,

with embedding dimension h and multiplicity e0 . Assume that the Hilbert function

of A is not decreasing, i.e. HFA (n+1) ≥ HFA (n) for every n. Then e1 ≤ e20 − h2 .

If HFA (n + 1) ≥ HFA (n) for every n, we say that the Hilbert function is

non-decreasing. It is a natural question to ask whether the Hilbert function of a

one-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay ring is not decreasing. Clearly, this is the case if

grm (A) is Cohen-Macaulay, but this is not a necessary requirement (see Example

1.1).

Unfortunately, it can happen that HFA (2) = μ(m2 ) < HFA (1) = μ(m). The

ﬁrst example was given by J. Herzog and R. Waldi in 1975. If we consider the

semigroup ring

A = k[[t30 , t35 , t42 , t47 , t148 , t153 , t157 , t169 , t181 , t193 ]]

of multiplicity e0 = 30 and embedding dimension HFA (1) = 10, we have HFA (2) =

9 < HFA (1). In 1980 F. Orecchia proved that, for all embedding dimension b ≥ 5,

there exists a reduced one-dimensional local ring of embedding dimension b and

decreasing Hilbert function. L. Roberts in 1982 built ordinary singularities with

locally decreasing Hilbert function and embedding dimension at least 7.

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We recall that Gupta and Roberts proved that there exists a one-dimensional

Cohen-Macaulay local ring of embedding dimension 4 and multiplicity 32 with

locally decreasing Hilbert function.

It is interesting to ask what happens if the embedding dimension is < 4. It is

clear that if HFA (1) = 1, then A is regular. If HFA (1) = 2, then by Theorem 3.1

(5) we conclude that HFA (n) = min{n + 1, e0 }, hence it is non-decreasing. The

only unknown case seems to be HFA (1) = 3.

Conjecture: If A is a one-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay local ring with embedding

dimension three, then HFA is non-decreasing.

J. Elias gave a positive answer to the problem stated by J. Sally for the equichar-

acteristic rings of embedding dimension three (see [13]). Following the geometrical

idea by J. Elias, we present here an elementary, but tricky proof.

We assume A = R/I where R = k[[x1 , . . . , xn ]] with maximal ideal n =

(x1 , . . . , xn ). We may assume k inﬁnite and I ⊆ n2 . Denote by t(I) the initial

degree of I, namely

n+j−1

t(I) = min{j : HFA (j) = }.

j

It is well known that grm (A) grn (R)/I ∗ = k[X1 , . . . , Xn ]/I ∗ where I ∗ is the ideal

generated by the initial forms of the elements of I.

Let P = (a1 , . . . , an ) = (0, . . . , 0) in kn and, if ai = 0, denote by L = L(P ) the ideal

of R generated by the elements ai xj − aj xi for j = 1, . . . , n. Remark that L∗ is the

ideal of k[X1 , . . . , Xn ] generated by the elements ai Xj − aj Xi . In particular L∗ is

the deﬁning ideal of the point P = (a1 , . . . , an ) ∈ Pn−1 k , we will write L∗ = L∗ (P ).

With the above notation we can prove the following result.

Lemma 3.4. Let A = R/I be a one-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay local ring.

There exists P = (a1 , . . . , an ) ∈ kn such that if we let J = I ∩ L(P ) then

HFR/J (j) = HFA (j) + 1 for every j ≥ t(I).

∗

Proof. Denote by I<t(I)> the ideal generated by the homogeneous part of

∗

degree t(I) of I . First we prove that there exists P = (a1 , . . . , an ) = (0, . . . , 0) ∈ kn

∗

such that I<t(I)> ⊆ L∗ (P ). Let X = {P1 , . . . , Ps } be a set of s ≥ n+t(I)−1

t(I)

points of

Pn−1

k with maximal Hilbert function (it is well known that for every integers n, t(I)

such X exists). Since the ideal I(X) = ∩si=1 L∗ (Pi ) has initial degree t(I) + 1, there

∗

exists P ∈ X such that I<t(I)> ⊆ L∗ (P ). We may assume P = (a1 , . . . , an ) with

a1 = 0. Hence L = L(P ) = (a2 x1 − a1 x2 , . . . , an x1 − a1 xn ) and n = (x1 ) + L.

∗

From I<t(I)> ⊆ L∗ (P ) we deduce that there exists a generator f of I such that

t(I)

f = x1 + α with α ∈ L ∩ nt(I) . It follows

t(I)

(3.4) I + L = (x1 ) + L.

t(I) t(I)

In fact I ⊆ nt(I) ⊆ (x1 ) + L. On the other hand we remark that x1 = f − α ∈

I + L. Hence, by (3.4), dimk R/(I + L) = t(I). Now we claim that, for every

j ≥ t(I) − 1, we have

(3.5) nj+1 + J = (nj+1 + L) ∩ (nj+1 + I).

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(nj+1 + L) ∩ (nj+1 + I) = nj+1 + L ∩ (nj+1 + I) = nj+1 + L ∩ ((xj+1

1 ) + I)

and the conclusion still follows by the modular law since, by (3.4), xj+1

1 ∈ I+L∩nj+1

for every j ≥ t(I) − 1. Using (3.5), it is well deﬁned the following exact sequence of

R-modules (of ﬁnite length):

0 → R/(nj+1 + J) → R/(nj+1 + I) ⊕ R/(nj+1 + L) → R/(nj+1 + I + L) → 0.

Since the length is an additive function:

1

HFR/J 1

(j) = HFR/I 1

(j) + HFR/L (j) − t(I) = HFR/I

1

(j) + j − t(I).

1

It follows HFR/J (j) = HFR/J (j) − HFR/J

1

(j − 1) = HFR/I (j) + 1 for every j − 1 ≥

t(I) − 1, hence j ≥ t(I).

The above Lemma has a clear geometric meaning. It describes the behavior of

the Hilbert function by adding to the curve corresponding to Spec(R/I), a straight

line Spec(R/L).

We remark that R/I ∩ L is still one-dimensional and Cohen-Macaulay (primes

avoidance) of the same embedding dimension of R/I.

Theorem 3.5. Let A = R/I be a one-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay local ring

of embedding dimension three. Then the Hilbert function of A is non-decreasing.

Proof. Assume that there exists n0 such that HFA (n0 ) > HFA (n0 + 1). By

a repeated use of Lemma 3.4, we may assume that n0 = t(I) − 1. It follows

t(I) + 2 t(I) + 2

μ(I) ≥ − HFA (t(I)) ≥ − HFA (t(I) − 1) + 1 =

2 2

t(I) + 2 t(I) + 1

= − + 1 = t(I) + 2.

2 2

On the other hand, from the Hilbert-Burch Theorem, we deduce that μ(I) ≤ t(I) +

1, a contradiction.

rings with non-decreasing Hilbert function. By Theorem 3.1 (1), we deduce that

for every superﬁcial element a ∈ m we have:

(3.6) e0 = μ(m) + λ(m2 /am) = h + 1 + λ(m2 /am)

where h is the embedding codimension, hence

e0 ≥ h + 1 = μ(m) = HFA (1)

which is the one-dimensional version of the well-known Abhyankar’s inequality (see

[1]). We prove now that the Hilbert function of a one-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay

local ring of small multiplicity is non-decreasing.

Theorem 3.6. Let A = R/I be a one-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay local ring

of multiplicity e0 ≤ h + 3. Then the Hilbert function of A is non-decreasing.

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Artinian reduction B = A/aA. If we assume HFB (3) = 0, equivalently m3 ⊆ am,

then λ(m2 /am) = λ(m2 /am + m3 ) ≤ 2 by (3.6). Consider the standard graded

k-algebra

T = ⊕i≥0 mi /(a mi−1 + mi+1 ).

Because HFT (2) = λ(m2 /am) ≤ 2, by Macaulay’s Theorem we get HFT (i) ≤ 2 for

every i ≥ 2. But if HFT (i0 ) ≤ 1 for some i0 ≥ 2, then HFT (i) ≤ 1 for every i ≥ i0 .

Hence HFT is not locally increasing and we conclude by Theorem 3.1 (1), indeed

for i ≥ 2 HFA (i) = e0 − λ(mi+1 /ami ) = e0 − HFT (i).

Assume now HFB (3) = 0, since e0 = i≥0 HFB (i) = h + 3, necessarily HFB (2) =

HFB (3) = 1. Hence λ(m2 /am) = 2 by (3.6) and λ(m2 /am+m3 ) = HFB (2) = 1. We

deduce that m2 /am is a cyclic module (it is not a k-vector space) and there exists

w ∈ m \ m2 such that m2 = am + (w2 ). In fact if w2 ∈ am for every w ∈ m \ m2 ,

then it is easy to prove that m3 ⊆ am. Therefore for every j ≥ 1

mj+1 = amj + (wj+1 ).

·w

Since the map mj+1 /amj → mj+2 /amj+1 is an epimorphism, we conclude because

HFA (j) = e0 − λ(mj+1 /amj ) ≤ HFA (j + 1) = e0 − λ(mj+2 /amj+1 )

for every j.

and G. Tamone produced the following example with multiplicity e0 = h + 4 and

locally decreasing Hilbert function. Consider

A = k[[t13 , t19 , t24 , t44 , t49 , t54 , t55 , t59 , t60 , t66 ]].

Then HFA (2) = 9 < HFA (1) = 10.

ing Hilbert functions, it is possible to produce examples with several peaks and val-

leys. The technique had been pointed out by J. Elias. Let A = k[[x1 , . . . , xr ]]/I and

B = k[[y1 , . . . , ys ]]/J be one dimensional Cohen-Macaulay local rings and consider

the ideal

K = [I + (y1 , . . . , ys )] ∩ [J + (x1 , . . . , xr )] ⊆ k[[x1 , . . . , xr , y1 , . . . , ys ]] = C

Then

HFC/K (n) = HFA (n) + HFB (n)

for every n ≥ 1. The crucial point is that

K ∗ = [I +(y1 , . . . , ys )]∗ ∩[J +(x1 , . . . , xr )]∗ = [I ∗ +(y1∗ , . . . , ys∗ )]∩[J ∗ +(x∗1 , . . . , x∗r )].

the local ring is Gorenstein. We state the following problem:

Problem 3.7. Is the Hilbert function of a Gorenstein local ring of dimension

one not decreasing?

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The problem is open even if we consider complete intersections. Very partial results

have been proved. Puthenpurakal gave a positive answer in codimension two case

(see [37]). Some results appeared for Gorenstein monomial curves in A4 (see [2]).

In this section we will extend the interest to higher dimensions. After the pio-

neering work done by Northcott (see [35]), several eﬀorts have been made also to

better understand the Hilbert function of a d-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay local

ring (A, m) starting from the asymptotic information given by the Hilbert coeﬃ-

cients. J. Sally carried on Northcott’s work (see for example [49], [50]) by proving

interesting results on this topic and by asking challenging questions as well. Sev-

eral improvements along this line have been obtained in the last years (J. Elias,

C. Huneke, S. Itoh, A. Ooishi, C. Polini, T. Puthenpurakal, M. E. Rossi, G. Valla,

W. Vasconcelos, J. Verma, etc.), often extending the framework to Hilbert func-

tions associated to an m-primary ideal or, more in general, to a stable ﬁltration of

A-modules (see [47]).

The ﬁrst Hilbert coeﬃcient e0 is the multiplicity and, due to its geometric mean-

ing, has been studied very deeply. From the algebraic point of view e0 = λ(A/J)

where J is the ideal generated by a maximal superﬁcial sequence, in particular a

minimal reduction of m. The other coeﬃcients are not as well understood, either

geometrically or in terms of how they are related to algebraic properties of the local

ring.

We present here elementary proofs of two classical bounds due to Abhyankar

and Northcott respectively (see [1] and [35]). As usual, we denote by ei the Hilbert

coeﬃcients and by h the embedding codimension of A, i.e. h = HFA (1) − d =

μ(m)−d. We recall that, since (A, m) is Cohen-Macaulay, every superﬁcial sequence

is also a regular sequence in A.

Theorem 4.1. (Abhyankar’s inequality) Let (A, m) be a d-dimensional Cohen-

Macaulay local ring. Then

e0 ≥ h + 1.

Proof. Since e0 and h do not change modulo a superﬁcial sequence (see The-

orem 2.4 (7)), we may assume d = 0. Then

HSA (z) = 1 + hz + · · · + hs z s

where s ≥ 1 and hi ≥ 0. Thus e0 = 1 + h + · · · + hs ≥ 1 + h.

A is regular. We remark that being A Cohen-Macaulay is essential. Let A =

k[[x, y]]/(x2 , xy), then A is not Cohen-Macaulay and e0 = 1 < h + 1 = 2. Hence

we deduce that the standard graded k-algebra G = k[x, y]/(x2 , xy) cannot be the

associated graded ring of a Cohen-Macaulay local ring.

Theorem 4.1 extends to the local Cohen-Macaulay rings the well known lower

bound for the degree of a reduced and irreducible non-degenerate variety X in Pn :

deg X ≥ codim X + 1.

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The varieties for which the bound is attained are called varieties of minimal degree

and they are completely classiﬁed. In particular, they are always arithmetically

Cohen-Macaulay.

In the following result, the ﬁrst inequality has been proved by J. Elias and G.

Valla in [15], the second is a classical result due to Northcott (see [35]).

Theorem 4.2. Let (A, m) be a d-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay local ring. Then

e1 ≥ 2e0 − h − 2 ≥ e0 − 1.

Proof. By Theorem 2.4, parts 6. and 7. and the fact that the embedding

codimension h does not change modulo superﬁcial elements, we may assume d = 1.

Then the result follows by (3.2). The second inequality is a consequence of Theorem

4.1.

Theorem 4.3. Let (A, m) be a d-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay local ring. The

following facts are equivalent:

(1) e0 = h + 1

(2) mn+1 = Jmn for every n ≥ 1 and for every minimal reduction J of m.

1+hz

(3) HSA (z) = (1−z)d

(4) e1 = e0 − 1

Proof. Let J be a minimal reduction of m (or equivalently the ideal generated

by a maximal superﬁcial sequence). From the diagram

m ⊃ m2

∪ ∪

J ⊃ Jm

we get λ(m/J) = e0 − 1 = HFA (1) − d + λ(m2 /Jm). Hence, if e0 = h + 1, then m2 =

Jm and therefore (1) implies (2). If we assume (2), by the well-known Valabrega-

Valla criterion, we have that grm (A) is Cohen-Macaulay. Hence by Theorem 2.4,

part 8., we may reduce the computation of HSA to that of the Artinian reduction

B = A/J. Since the embedding codimension does not change and (m/J)2 = 0 we

get (3). The implication (3) =⇒ (4) is clear. If we assume (4), by Theorem 4.2,

we get e1 = 2e0 − h − 2 = e0 − 1, therefore e0 = h + 1.

Hence the next step will be the study of the Hilbert functions of Cohen-Macaulay

local rings of almost minimal multiplicity, that is e0 = h + 2. The problem is con-

siderably more diﬃcult. Also from the geometric point of view, varieties satisfying

deg X = codim X + 2 are not necessarily arithmetically Cohen-Macaulay.

We propose in the following exercise the easy part of the general result.

Exercise 4.4. Let (A, m) be a d-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay local ring. The

following facts are equivalent:

(1) e0 = h + 2 and grm (A) is Cohen-Macaulay

2

(2) HSA (z) = 1+hz+z

(1−z)d

(3) e1 = e0

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consider A = k[[t4 , t5 , t11 ]], then e0 = 4 = h + 2, but grm (A) is not Cohen-Macaulay

3

and HSA (z) = 1+hz+z

(1−z) .

We come now to a result proved by G. Valla and the author [45], and indepen-

dently by Wang [59], which gives a positive answer to a longstanding conjecture

stated by J. Sally in [50].

Theorem 4.5. Let (A, m) be a d-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay local ring. The

following facts are equivalent:

(1) e0 = h + 2

1+hz+z s

(2) HSA (z) = (1−z)d

for some integer 2 ≤ s ≤ h + 1.

Further, if either of the above conditions holds, then depthgrm (A) ≥ d − 1.

Sally proved the above result in dimension one and, for every integer s, she gave

an example:

A2 = k[[te , te+1 , te+3 , . . . , t2e−1 ]]

e e+1 e+s+1 e+s+2

As = k[[t , t , t ,t , . . . , t2e−1 , t2e+3 , t2e+4 , . . . , t2e+s ]], 3 ≤ s ≤ e − 2

Ae−1 = k[[t2 , te+1 , t2e+3 , t2e+4 , . . . , t3e−1 ]].

Sally’s conjecture can be proved by reducing the problem to the two-dimensional

case. In spite of the fact that in the one-dimensional case the proof of Theorem 4.5

is very easy, in dimension two the result is complicated and a crucial tool in the

proof given in [45] involves the use of the Ratliﬀ-Rush ﬁltration (see [38]) which

we recall below.

Let (A, m) be a Cohen-Macaulay local ring. For every n ≥ 0 we consider the chain

of ideals

This chain stabilizes at an ideal which we will denote by

n :=

m (mn+k : mk ).

k≥1

n = mn+k : mk

for every k ≥ t. It is clear that m = A and, for every non negative integers i and j,

0

i , m

mi ⊆ m

j ⊆ m

i m

i+j , m

i .

i+1 ⊆ m

m

i .

i+1 : a = m

i = mi for large integers i. If J is an

It is easy to prove that if depth A > 0, then m

ideal generated by a maximal superﬁcial sequence, we may deﬁne, for every i ≥ 0,

σi := λ(m

i+1 /J mi+1 ).

For example σ0 = e0 − 1. With the above notation one can prove the following

equalities, proved by S. Huckaba and T. Marley (see [24]) in the case dim A ≤ 2.

(4.1) e1 = σi and e2 = iσi

i≥0 i≥1

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i /m

:= ⊕i≥0 m

The main tool is to consider the graded k-algebra G i+1 . The Hilbert

polynomial of G is the Hilbert polynomial of A and the advantage is that G has

positive depth even if grm (A) has depth zero.

The crucial point in the proof of Theorem 4.5 is to show that, for every Cohen-

Macaulay local ring of dimension at most two, the reduction number r(m) of m is

bounded by the following linear function of e1 and e0

r(m) ≤ e1 − e0 + 2,

equivalently we have

me1 −e0 +3 = Jme1 −e0 +2

for every minimal reduction J of m (see [39]).

More in general, it is natural to ask the following problem

Problem 4.6. Let (A, m) be a Cohen-Macaulay local ring of dimension d. Does

there exist a linear function f (e0 , e1 , . . . , ed−1 , d) such that the reduction number of

m is bounded by f (e0 , e1 , . . . , ed−1 , d)?

easy proof of a lower bound on e2 proved by J. Sally in [52].

Proposition 4.7. Let (A, m) be a Cohen-Macaulay local ring of dimension

d ≥ 2. Then

e2 ≥ e1 − e0 + 1 ≥ 0.

Proof. By Theorem 2.4 we prove the result in the case d = 2. Then by (4.1)

we have

e2 = iσi = σi − σ0 + (i − 1)σi ≥ e1 − e0 + 1.

i≥1 i≥0 i≥1

By Theorem 4.2 it follows that e2 ≥ 0.

the Hilbert function of A is known and grm (A) is Cohen-Macaulay. The following

example (due to H. J. Wang) shows that the only equality e2 = e1 − e0 + 1 does

not force grm (A) to be Cohen-Macaulay.

Example 4.8. Consider the two-dimensional Cohen-Macaulay local ring

A = k[[x, y, t, u, v]]/(t2 , tu, tv, uv, yt − u3 , xt − v 3 )

with maximal ideal m. We have

1 + 3z + 3z 3 − z 4

HSA (z) = .

(1 − z)2

Hence one has e0 = h + 3 = 6, e1 = 8, e2 = 3 = e1 − e0 + 1. The associated graded

ring gr m (A) has depth zero. Notice that e3 < 0.

It seems that the normality of the ideal m (i.e. mn is integrally closed for every

n) yields non trivial consequences on the Hilbert coeﬃcients of A and, ultimately,

on depth grm (A) and the Hilbert function.

In [11] A. Corso, C. Polini and M.E. Rossi proved the following result.

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Assume m is a normal ideal and e2 = e1 − e0 + 1, then

1 + hz + (e0 − h − 1)z 2

HSA (z) = and m3 = Jm2

(1 − z)d

for every minimal reduction J of m. In particular grm (A) is Cohen-Macaulay.

This result gives a positive answer to a question raised by G. Valla in [56]. The

key point is a theorem proved by S. Itoh on the normalized Hilbert coeﬃcients of

ideals generated by a system of parameters (see [29], [30]).

M. Narita showed that e3 can be negative (see also Example 4.8). However, a

remarkable result of S. Itoh says that e3 ≥ 0 provided m is normal (see [29]). If

equality holds, then grm (A) is Cohen-Macaulay. A nice proof of this result was

also given by S. Huckaba and C. Huneke in [25] where the ideal is assumed to be

asymptotically normal. A diﬀerent proof has been also produced by A. Corso, C.

Polini and M.E. Rossi by using techniques developed in this survey (see Theorem

4.1. in [11]).

As far as we know there are not negative answers to the following natural question.

Problem 4.10. If m is normal, then is ei ≥ 0 for every i ?

graded ring of the powers of the maximal ideal and it has some relation with the

Grauert-Riemenschneider Vanishing Theorem. For interesting questions related to

the Hilbert coeﬃcients of normal ideals we refer to [29] and [30].

Finally, we remark that if e0 = h + 3, then Example 4.8 shows that it is no

longer true that depth gr m (A) ≥ d − 1. J. Sally proved that if A is Gorenstein and

e0 = h + 3, then grm (A) is Cohen-Macaulay (see [51]). Later M.E. Rossi and G.

Valla (see [44]) proved the following result

Theorem 4.11. Let (A, m) be a Cohen-Macaulay local ring of dimension d and

Cohen-Macaulay type τ. If e0 = h + 3 and τ < h, then

1 + hz + z 2 + z s

HSA (z) =

(1 − z)d

where 2 ≤ s ≤ τ + 2. In particular depth grm (A) ≥ d − 1.

We state the following problem.

multiplicity e0 = h + 3. Then is depth grm (A) ≥ d − 2?

τ = h, h + 1.

Interesting problems on the Hilbert functions also come from the Artinian case,

under the assumption that A is Gorenstein or, more in general, level. In the next

section we present an interesting approach by using Macaulay’s Inverse System.

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0. The local ring A is s-level of type τ if

integer for which ms =

0 : m = ms and dimk ms = τ

A is Gorenstein if A has type 1.

Since HFA (n) = 0 for n > s, we will write the Hilbert function of the Artinian

local ring A as a ﬁnite sequence of integers HFA = {HFA (0), . . . , HFA (s)}.

Very little is known about the Hilbert function of A, if we assume that A

is Gorenstein or level. We recall that, in the graded case, the Hilbert function

of an Artinian Gorenstein standard k-algebra is symmetric, but this is no longer

true if we assume that A is local. For instance, consider the complete intersection

I = (xy, x2 − y 3 ) ∈ R = k[[x, y]], then A = R/I has Hilbert function {1, 2, 1, 1}

which is not symmetric.

It is interesting to recall that, however we ﬁx an integer e ≥ 4, there exists

an ideal I = (f, g) which is a complete intersection of two elements of valuation

two in R with multiplicity e0 (R/I) = e (for example see [3]). In the corresponding

homogeneous setting the multiplicity would be 4!

In the following we will consider numerical functions H = {1, h1 , h2 , . . . , hs }, hi

positive integers, which verify Macaulay’s theorem and our aim is to characterize

those which are admissible for an Artinian Gorenstein local ring. The following

nice result has been proved by several authors, among others by A. Iarrobino, S.

Kotari, S. Goto et al.

Theorem 5.1. A numerical function H = {1, 2, h2 , . . . , hs }, hi positive inte-

gers, is admissible for an Artinian Gorenstein local ring A = k[[x, y]]/I if and only

if

|hi+1 − hi | ≤ 1

for every i = 1, . . . , s (consider h1 = 2 and hi = 0 if i > s).

An interesting generalization to level algebras was presented by V. Bertella (see

[3]). She proved that a numerical function H = {1, 2, h2 , . . . , hs } is admissible for

a s-level Artinian local ring of type τ if and only if

|hi+1 − hi | ≤ τ.

A very short proof of the above results was recently given by M.E. Rossi and L.

Sharifan as a consequence of a result on the minimal free resolutions of local rings

of given Hilbert Function (see [41]).

A characterization of the Hilbert functions of Artinian Gorenstein local rings

of codimension three (H = {1, 3, h2 , . . . , hs }) is still an open problem, even if we

assume A = k[[x, y, z]]/I where I is a complete intersection.

Another motivation concerning the study of Artinian local rings comes from

recent papers by J. Elias and G. Valla (see [16], [17] ), by G. Casnati and R.

Notari (see [7], [8]), by D.A. Cartwright, D. Erman, M. Velasco and B. Viray (see

[6]) and by B. Poonen (see [36]), where the authors studied the classiﬁcation up to

isomorphisms of the Artinian Gorenstein k-algebras of a given Hilbert function.

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For example an Artinian Gorenstein local ring A with Hilbert function {1, 2, 2, 1}

allows only two models, namely those corresponding to the ideals I = (x2 , y 3 ) and

I = (xy, x3 − y 3 ) and both are homogneous. But if we move to the next case with

symmetric Hilbert function {1, 2, 2, 2, 1} we will see that one has three diﬀerent

models, namely two ideals which are homogeneous I = (x2 , y 4 ), I = (xy, x4 − y 4 )

and one which is not homogeneous, the ideal I = (x4 + 2x3 y, y 2 − x3 ). It is in-

teresting to say that there is a ﬁnite number of isomorphism classes of Artinian

Gorenstein algebras of multiplicity ≤ 9. The ﬁrst case with a 1-dimensional family

of models corresponds to e0 = 10 and Hilbert function {1, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1}. This case

has been studied by Elias and Valla in [17].

This classical problem has an important motivation related to the study of the

Hilbert scheme Hilbd (PkN ) parametrizing scheme of dimension 0 and ﬁxed degree

d in PkN . Since it is known that any zero-dimensional Gorenstein scheme of degree

d can be embedded as an arithmetically Gorenstein non-degenerate subscheme in

Pkd−2 , it is natural to study the open locus

HilbaG d−2

d (Pk ) ⊆ Hilbd (Pkd−2 ).

d−2

The scheme HilbaG d (Pk ) has a natural stratiﬁcation which reduce the problem

to understand the intrinsic structure of Artinian Gorenstein k-algebras of degree

d. Since such an algebra is the direct sum of local, Artinian, Gorenstein k-algebras

of degree at most d, it is natural to begin with the inspection of some elementary

bricks.

The aim of this section is to investigate these problems by means of the In-

verse System. In 1916 Macaulay established a one-to-one correspondence between

Gorenstein Artin algebras and suitable polynomials. This correspondence has been

deeply studied in the homogeneous case, among other authors, by A. Iarrobino in

a long series of papers. For a modern treatment and a list of references, we refer

to a book by Iarrobino and Kanev [28]. Every Artinian Gorenstein graded algebra

A = k[x1 , . . . , xn ]/I of socle degree s, corresponds, up to scalar, to a form of degree

s in a polynomial ring P = k[y1 , . . . , yn ]. In particular this correspondence is bi-

jective and it is compatible with the action of the linear group GLn (k). The study

of the geometric objects arising from this correspondence between forms and ideals

is a classical theme in algebraic geometry and commutative algebra. Notice that

from a categorial point of view, Macaulay’s correspondence is a particular case of

Matlis duality.

J. Emsalem and A. Iarrobino presented the role of Macaulay’s Inverse System

in the study of Artinian local algebras (see [30] and [18]). We follow their approach.

Let R = K[[x1 , . . . xn ]] be the ring of the formal power series with maximal ideal

n = (x1 , . . . , xn ) and let P = K[y1 , . . . , yn ] be a polynomial ring. P has a structure

of R-module by means of the following action

◦: R×P −→ P

(f, g) → f ◦ g = f (∂y1 , . . . , ∂yn )(g)

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where ∂yi denotes the partial derivative with respect to yi . This action can be

deﬁned bilinearly from that for monomials. If we denote by xα = xα 1 · · · xn then

1 αn

⎧

⎨ (β−α)! y β−α if βi ≥ αi for i = 1, · · · , n

β!

x ◦y =

α β

⎩

0 otherwise

β! n βi !

(β−α)! = i=1 (βi −αi )! .

be a positive integer and denote by P≤s the set of polynomials of degree ≤ s. Thus

ns+1 ◦ g = 0 if and only if g ∈ P≤s .

, : R×P −→ k

(f, g) → (f ◦ g)(0)

which will give a canonic bijection between the ideals of R and R-submodules of P.

Let I ⊂ R be an ideal, we deﬁne

I ⊥ := {g ∈ P | f, g = 0 ∀f ∈ I}.

Since (nI ◦ g)(0) = 0 if and only if I ◦ g = 0, it follows that

I ⊥ = {g ∈ P | I ◦ g = 0 }.

In particular I ⊥ is an R-submodule of P. In fact if g ∈ I ⊥ , then f ◦ g ∈ I ⊥ for every

f ∈ R. Observe that, if I = ns+1 , then I ⊥ coincides with P≤s . Notice that I ⊥ is

ﬁnitely generated if and only if A = R/I has ﬁnite length.

AnnR (M ) := {g ∈ R | g, f = 0 ∀f ∈ M }.

Since M is an R-submodule of P one can prove that

AnnR (M ) = {g ∈ R | g ◦ M = 0 }.

It is easy to see that AnnR (M ) is an ideal of R. If M is cyclic, i.e. M = f R = R◦f

with f ∈ P, then we will write AnnR (f ). We remark that M = f R is a k-vector

space generated by the polynomial f and all its derivatives of every order.

Let I be an ideal of R such that A = R/I has ﬁnite length. Let m = n/I be the

maximal ideal of A. The action , induces the following isomorphism of k-vector

spaces (see [18] Proposition 2 (a)):

(5.1) (R/I)∗ I ⊥

where ( )∗ denotes the dual induced by , . Hence dimk R/I(= e0 (R/I)) =

dimk I ⊥ .

is Artinian and the ﬁnitely generated R-submodules M of P. The correspondence

is deﬁned sending I to I ⊥ , conversely M goes to AnnR (M ). For a reference, see

also [18] Proposition 2, Corollary 2.

A more precise result can be formulated for Artinian Gorenstein rings as follows

(see [27], Lemma 1.2.).

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of socle degree s if and only if its dual module I ⊥ is a cyclic R-submodule of P

generated by a polynomial F ∈ P of degree s.

In other words, the above result says that there is the following one-to-one corre-

spondence of sets:

⎧ ⎫ ⎧ ⎫

⎨ I ⊆ R ideal such that ⎬ ⎨ M = R ◦ F R-cyclic submodule of P ⎬

R/I is Artinian Gorenstein ←→ with degree F = s.

⎩ ⎭ ⎩ ⎭

with socledegree(R/I) = s.

I −→ I⊥

AnnR (F ) ←− M =< F >R

If F, G ∈ P, then < F >R =< G >R if and only if G = u ◦ F for some unit u in R.

Now, let AF denote the Artinian Gorenstein algebra associated to F ∈ P, i.e.

AF = R/AnnR (F ).

The isomorphism (5.1) preserves the length and the Hilbert function (see [27]

page 10). As in the graded case, it is possible to compute the Hilbert function via

the Inverse System.

If we let

I ⊥ ∩ P≤i + P<i

(5.2) (I ⊥ )i :=

P<i

then, by (5.1), we can prove

(5.3) HFR/I (i) = dimk (I ⊥ )i .

Example 5.3. Let R = k[[x, y]] and P = k[x, y]. Consider the R-submodule of

P generated by F = y 6 + xy 4 and G = x4 + y 3 . We have

I = AnnR (< F, G >R ) = AnnR (< F >R )∩AnnR (< G >R ) = (x2 y, x5 , y 5 −30xy 3 ).

An easy computation shows that

< F, G >R =< F, G, x4 , y 4 , x3 , xy 2 , y 3 , x2 , xy, y 2 , x, y, 1 >k

as k-vector space. Hence by (5.3) we get

HFR/I (z) = 1 + 2z + 3z 2 + 3z 3 + 2z 4 + z 5 + z 6 .

We remark that A is a Cohen-Macaulay local ring of type 2 and the generators of

its socle are in degrees 4 and 6, respectively the degrees of F and G.

Example 5.4. Let I = (xy, y 2 − x3 ) ⊆ R = k[[x, y]]. It is easy to see that

I ⊥ =< x3 + 3y 2 >R

and < x3 + 3y 2 >R =< x3 + 3y 2 , x2 , x, y, 1 >k as k-vector space. Hence

HFR/I (z) = 1 + 2z + z 2 + z 3

We remark that the Hilbert function of A = R/I is not symmetric even if A is

Gorenstein.

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k is algebraically closed of characteristic zero. In [27] A. Iarrobino studied a special

ﬁltration of G = grm (A) consisting of a descending sequence of ideals:

G = C(0) ⊇ C(1) ⊇ · · · ⊇ C(s − 2)

whose successive quotients

Q(a) = C(a)/C(a + 1),

a = 0, . . . , s−2, are reﬂexive G-modules (see [27], Theorem 1.5). In particular Q(a)

has symmetric Hilbert function HFQ(a) with oﬀset center s−a 2 (see also Proposition

1.9 [27]). The reﬂexivity of Q(a) as k-vector space is induced from the nonsingular

pairing on A where the ideals (0 : mi ) of A correspond to (mi )⊥ . In the graded case

0 : mi = ms+1−i , hence the Hilbert function of A is symmetric. When A is not

graded, (0 : mi ) = ms+1−i but the duality still gives some information.

The homogeneous ideals C(a) of G are deﬁned piecewise as

0 : ms+1−a−i ∩ mi

C(a)i =

0 : ms+1−a−i ∩ mi+1

Theorem 5.5. Let (A, m) be an Artinian Gorenstein local ring with socle degree

s ≥ 2. With the above notation, we have:

(1) HFQ(a) (i) = HFQ(a) (s − a − i) for every i ≥ 0

s−2

(2) HFA (i) = a=0 HFQ(a) (i) for every i ≥ 0.

The decomposition of the Hilbert function in symmetric functions HFQ(a) will be

called Q-decomposition.

Notice that Q(0) = G/C(1) is the unique (up to isomorphism) homogeneous quotient

of G which is Gorenstein with the same socle degree s.

It is known that if HFA (n) is symmetric, then G = Q(0) and G is Gorenstein.

Hence

G is Gorenstein ⇐⇒ HFA (n) is symmetric ⇐⇒ G = Q(0).

(see [27], Proposition 1.7 and [18], Proposition 7).

The G-module Q(0) plays a crucial role and it can be computed in terms of the

corresponding polynomial in the inverse system. Let F ∈ P be a polynomial of

degree s and denote by Fs the form of highest degree in F, that is F = Fs + . . .

terms of lower degree, then

Q(0) R/AnnR (Fs ).

Example 5.6. We consider I = (x4 , x3 − y 2 ) ⊆ R = K[[x, y]]. In this case

⊥

I =< y 3 + x3 y >R and

HSR/I (z) = 1 + 2z + 2z 2 + 2z 3 + z 4

which is symmetric, hence grm (A) is Gorenstein. Indeed in this case the associated

graded ring is grm (A) = P/(x4 , y 2 ). Notice that A = R/I is not canonically graded,

that is A grm (A) as k-algebras.

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The following example shows that the Q-decomposition is not uniquely deter-

mined by the Hilbert function.

Example 5.7. Consider the numerical function

H = {1, 3, 3, 2, 1, 1}.

It is admissible for an Artinian Gorenstein algebra. In this case s = 5 and it admits

the following Q-decompositions, a = 0, 1, 2, 3:

H 1 3 3 2 1 1

H 1 3 3 2 1 1

Q(0) 1 1 1 1 1 1

Q(0) 1 1 1 1 1 1

Q(1) 1 2 1

Q(1) 1 1 1

Q(2) 0 0

Q(2) 1 1

Q(3) 1

Both can be realized. Let R = K[[x, y, z]] and consider the following Artinian

Gorenstein rings:

(1) A = R/I where I = AnnR (x5 + x3 z + x2 y 2 + y 4 + z 3 )

(2) B = R/J where J = AnnR (x5 + x2 y 2 + xy 3 + 2y 4 + zx2 + z 2 )

Then H = HFA = HFB and they correspond respectively to the above diﬀerent

Q-decompositions, in particular we deduce that A and B are not isomorphic.

In codimension two the Hilbert function determines the Q-decomposition. Since

in codimension two being Gorenstein is equivalent being a complete intersection,

Iarrobino in [27] asked the following question.

Problem 5.8. Can there be more than one Q-decomposition for the Hilbert

function of a complete intersection?

In this last part of the survey, we shall use the Macaulay’s correspondence in

problems of classiﬁcation.

of P instead of Artinian Gorenstein algebras A. Emsalem studied this problem in

[18], Section C.

phism

φ : R/I → R/J

if and only if φ comes from an automorphism of R sending I to J. We recall that

the automorphisms of R act as replacement of xi by zi = φ(xi ), i = 1, · · · , n, such

that n = (x1 , . . . , xn ) = (z1 , . . . , zn ) (see [17]). We encode the isomorphism φ by

the list xi −→ zi , i = 1, · · · , n.

The automorphisms of R induce univocally the automorphisms of R/ns+1 which

are special homomorphisms of k-vector spaces of ﬁnite dimension. If we assume

ns+1 ⊂ I, J, we can say that there exists a k-algebras isomorphism

φ : R/I → R/J

if and only if φ comes from an automorphism of R/ns+1 sending I/ns+1 to J/ns+1 .

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Hom(φ) = φ∗ : (R/J)∗ → (R/I)∗

is an isomorphism of the k-vector spaces where (R/I)∗ = I ⊥ and (R/J)∗ = J ⊥ .

Hence, in terms of the corresponding polynomials F, G ∈ P, we can prove that

(5.4) φ(AF ) = AG if and only if (φ∗ )−1 (< F >R ) =< G >R .

We want to use this approach for the classiﬁcation of the Artinian Gorenstein

local algebras of low socle degree. Assume k is algebraically closed. It is easy

to classify, up to isomorphism, the Artinian Gorenstein local rings of socle degree

two and embedding dimension n. In fact, using the techniques of this section, the

problem can be easily rephrased in terms of the classiﬁcation of the hypersurfaces of

degree two in Pn−1 . In particular we can prove that A AF with F = y12 +· · ·+yn2 ∈

P = k[y1 , . . . , yn ].

We have thus the following result.

Proposition 5.9. An Artinian local k–algebra A of embedding dimension n is

Gorenstein with socle degree two if and only if A ∼

= R/I where

I = (xi xj , x2n − x21 )1≤i<j≤n .

Hence if m3 = 0, then A grm (A). It is very rare that a local ring is isomorphic

to its associated graded ring. Nevertheless we will see that this happens even if

m4 = 0 and the Hilbert function is symmetric.

If A grm (A), accordingly with Emsalem in [18], we say that A is canonically

graded. The following result is surprising.

local k-algebra with Hilbert function {1, n, n, 1}. Then A is canonically graded.

with Hilbert function HFA = {1, n, n, 1} is equivalent to the projective classiﬁcation

of the hypersurfaces V (F ) ⊂ Pn−1

K where F is a degree three non degenerate form

in n variables.

= K[[x]]/(x4 ), so there is a only one analytic

model. By using Theorem 5.10, here we present the classiﬁcation in the case n = 2.

function HFA = {1, 2, 2, 1}. Then A is isomorphic to one and only one of the fol-

lowing algebras

Model A = R/I Inverse system F Geometry of C = V (F ) ⊂ P1K

(x31 , x22 ) y12 y2 Double point plus a simple point

(x1 x2 , x31 − x32 ) y1 − y23

3

Three diﬀerent points

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where F ∈ K[y1 , y2 ] is a degree three form in the variables y1 , y2 . Since K is

an algebraic closed ﬁeld, F can be decomposed as product of three linear forms

L1 , L2 , L3 , i.e. F = L1 L2 L3 . We set d = dimK L1 , L2 , L3 , so we only have to

consider three cases. If d = 1, then we can assume F = y13 , but this has not the

right Hilbert function.

If d = 2, then we can assume F = y12 y2 . It is easy to see that Ann(y12 y2 ) =

(x1 , x22 ). If d = 3 then we can assume F = y13 − y23 . In this case we get Ann(y13 −

3

y23 ) = (x1 x2 , x31 −x32 ). Since V (y12 y2 ) (resp. V (y13 −y23 )) is a degree three subscheme

of P1K with two (resp. three) point basis we get that the algebras of the statement

are not isomorphic.

The classiﬁcation of Artinian Gorenstein local rings with Hilbert function HFA =

{1, 3, 3, 1} had been studied by Casnati and Notari in [7] and by Cartwright et al.

in [6]. In [14] J. Elias and the author present a diﬀerent proof by using Theorem

5.10 and the geometric models of the varieties deﬁned by them are described.

Gorenstein local rings with symmetric Hilbert function are not necessarily

canonically graded. The following exercise shows that we cannot extend the main

result of this section to higher socle degrees.

Exercise 5.13. Let A be an Artinian Gorenstein local local k-algebra with

Hilbert function HFA = {1, 2, 2, 2, 1}. Then A is isomorphic to one and only one

of the following rings:

(a) R/I with I = (x4 , y 2 ) and I ⊥ = x3 y and A is isomorphic to its associated

graded ring,

(b) R/I with I = (x4 , −x3 + y 2 ) and I ⊥ = x3 y + y 3 . The associated graded

ring is of type (a) and it is not isomorphic to R/I,

(c) R/I with I = (x2 + y 2 , y 4 ) and I ⊥ = xy(x2 − y 2 ) and A is isomorphic

to its associated graded ring.

The computation can be performed by using the techniques of this section, a dif-

ferent approach can be found in [15].

Next we consider the Artinian Gorenstein local rings A of socle degree three.

Then by using Theorem 5.5, we know that

HFA = {1, m, n, 1}

with m ≥ n. J. Elias and M.E. Rossi recently proved the following result (see [14],

Theorem 4.1.).

Theorem 5.14. There exists an isomorphism between the Artinian Gorenstein

local k-algebras (A, m) and (B, n) with Hilbert function {1, m, n, 1}, m ≥ n if and

only if QA (0) QB (0) as graded k-algebras.

Since QA (0) is Gorenstein with Hilbert function {1, n, n, 1}, we obtain the fol-

lowing result which reduces the problem of the classiﬁcation of the Artinian Goren-

stein algebras of socle degree three to the classiﬁcation of the projective cubics.

Corollary 5.15. The classiﬁcation of Artinian Gorenstein local k-algebras

with Hilbert function {1, m, n, 1}, m ≥ n, is equivalent to the projective classiﬁcation

of cubic hypersurfaces H = V (F ) ⊂ Pn−1

k .

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The crucial point in the proof of Theorem 5.14 is the following. Let A be an Artinian

Gorenstein local k–algebra with Hilbert function {1, m, n, 1}, then A ∼

= R/AnnR (F )

where

2

F = F3 + yn+1 + · · · + ym

2

∈P

with F3 a non-degenerate degree three form in Pn = k[y1 , . . . , yn ] (F = F3 if n = m).

Non-degenerate in Pn = k[y1 , . . . , yn ] means that F3 ∈ Pn and R/AnnR (F3 ) has

embedding dimension n.

Starting from the above result we can prove a structure theorem for Artinian

Gorenstein local k–algebra A = R/I with maximal ideal m, embedding dimension

m and socle degree three. Denote by Rn := k[[x1 , . . . , xn ]] with n ≤ m the subring

of R = k[[x1 , . . . , xm ]].

Theorem 5.16. Let A be an Artinian local k–algebra of embedding dimension

m and let n = HFA (2).

A is Gorenstein of socle degree three if and only if n ≤ m and there exists a non-

degenerate cubic form F3 ∈ Pn such that A ∼ = R/I where

⎧

⎨ AnnRn (F3 )R + (xi xj , x2j − 2σ(x1 , · · · , xn ))i<j, n+1≤j≤m if n < m

I=

⎩

AnnR (F3 )R if n = m

being σ ∈ Rn any form of degree 3 such that σ ◦ F3 = 1.

For a proof we refer to [9].

Taking advantage of the classiﬁcation of the cubics in P2 , from the above results

we may deduce the classiﬁcation, up to isomorphism, of the Artinian Gorenstein

local k-algebras of socle degree and embedding dimension ≤ 3 (see [14]).

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ova, Italy

E-mail address: rossim@dima.unige.it

Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 555, 2011

Abstract. We show that the residue ﬁeld k is a direct summand of the second

syzygy of the canonical module for some almost Gorenstein rings. This implies

that over a Teter ring the only totally reﬂexive modules are the free ones. We

provide an example of an almost Gorenstein ring which has inﬁnitely many

non-isomorphic totally reﬂexive modules.

Introduction

Totally reﬂexive modules are the object of extensive research activity, and yet

it is an open problem to determine conditions that are necessary and suﬃcient

for the existence of a non-free totally reﬂexive module, see for example [5]. The

starting point of our investigation was to consider the problem for some artinian

local rings, and in particular for the class of Teter rings, for which we show that

the only totally reﬂexive modules are the free ones, see Corollary 2.1.

Teter rings are a particular example of almost Gorenstein rings, deﬁned in [10]:

Definition 0.1. An artinian local ring (R, m, k) is almost Gorenstein if the

inclusion 0 :R (0 :R I) ⊆ I :R m holds for every ideal I ⊆ R.

Our investigation led us to the study of the syzygies of the canonical module

for a certain class of almost Gorenstein rings, for which we prove the following:

Gorenstein with canonical module ωR . Assume that R is not Gorenstein, and write

R = S/J, where S is an artinian Gorenstein ring. Denote by c the dimension of

the k-vector space (J :S m)/(mJ :S m) and assume c > 0. Then the vector space

kc is a direct summand of the second syzygy of the canonical module ωR .

in criteria for regularity, see [11], and ﬁnite G-dimension, see [15]. In particular

the result of [15] implies that for a local ring, the canonical module cannot appear

as a summand of a syzygy module of the residue ﬁeld unless the ring is regular.

Key words and phrases. Commutative algebra, totally reﬂexive modules, canonical module,

almost gorenstein ring.

The ﬁrst author was supported in part by NSF Grant DMS #0901427.

The second author was partly supported by NSA grant #H98230-09-1-0057.

1

201

202

2 JANET STRIULI AND ADELA VRACIU

The Main Theorem gives information on the size of the minimal free resolutions

of the canonical module for a certain class of almost Gorenstein rings. A sequence

{ai }i∈N has exponential growth if there exists an integer A > 1 such that ai ≥ Ai

for all i 0. Studies on the exponential growth of the sequence of the Betti

numbers of the canonical module can be found for example in [13], [9]. As an

immediate consequence of the above theorem, we obtain a new family of ring for

which the Betti numbers of the canonical module have exponential growth. This

follows immediately from the fact that the Betti numbers of the residue ﬁeld have

exponential growth if the ring is not a complete intersection, see for example [4].

The paper is organized in the following way. In Section 1 we prove the Main

Theorem and in Section 2 we give some examples of almost Gorenstein rings. The

connection between the Main Theorem and the existance of totally reﬂexive modules

is given in Section 3 where we also give, in contrast, an example of an almost

Gorenstein ring that admits a totally reﬂexive modules. In Section 4 we consider

almost Gorenstein rings that are quotients of a polynomial ring by a monomial

ideal, and we show that k is a direct summand of the ﬁrst or the second syzygy of

the canonical module.

In the following (R, m, k) will denote a local noetherian ring with maximal ideal

m and residue ﬁeld k.

In this section we will prove the Main Theorem. Given two ideals of R, I and

J, we will often use the colon ideal I :R J. When I is generated by a single element

I = (f ), to abbreviate the notation I :R J will be denoted by f :R J. Similarly,

when J = (f ) we will write I :R f instead of I :R (f ). We will often use that

0 :R (0 :R I) = I for every ideal I ⊂ R, provided that R is a Gorenstein artinian

ring. For easy reference, we collect two properties of the colon ideal in the following

Lemma 1.1. Let (R, m, k) a noetherian local ring and I1 and I2 two ideals of

R. Then the following hold:

(1) (0 :R I1 ) :R I2 = (0 :R I1 I2 ) = (0 :R I2 ) :R I1 ;

(2) If R is Gorenstein and artinian, then 0 :R (I1 :R I2 ) = I2 (0 :R I1 ).

Proof. (1) is straightforward. For (2), as the ring R is Gorenstein, it is enough

to show that

0 :R (0 :R (I1 :R I2 )) = 0 :R (I2 (0 :R I1 )).

But 0 :R (I2 (0 :R I1 )) = (0 :R (0 :R I1 )) :R I2 by (1) and applying twice the

assumption that R is Gorenstein, we obtain (0 :R (0 :R I1 )) :R I2 = I1 :R I2 = 0 :R

(0 :R (I1 :R I2 )).

For any artinian ring R, one may assume, by the Cohen Structure Theorem,

that R is a quotient S/J where S is a Gorenstein artinian ring. If S is a Gorenstein

ring, then 0 :S (0 :S I) = I for all ideals I in S. Therefore without loss of generality

we may assume that J = 0 :S K for some ideal K ⊆ S. The following result is an

adaptation of Proposition 4.1 in [10].

Lemma 1.2. Let (S, mS ) be a Gorenstein artinian local ring and let K be an

ideal minimally generated by f1 , . . . , fn such that the ring R = S/(0 :S K) is almost

SOME HOMOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF ALMOST GORENSTEIN RINGS 203

3

Gorenstein, but not Gorenstein. Denote by Ki the ideal (f1 , . . . , fˆi , . . . , fn ), where

the element fi is dropped from the list f1 , . . . , fn . Then the equality

mS = fi :S Ki + (Ki (fi :S Ki )) :S fi ,

holds for all i ∈ {1, . . . , n}.

In particular, the equality

mS = fi :S Ki + Ki :S fi ,

holds for all i ∈ {1, . . . , n}.

Proof. The last statement follows from the ﬁrst, as (fi :S Ki )Ki ⊂ Ki ⊂ mS .

Without loss of generality we may assume that i = 1. Let I = (0 :S f1 ) and

denote by J = (0 :S K). As J ⊆ I and S/J is almost Gorenstein, one has the

inclusion

(1.1) J :S (J :S I) ⊆ I :S mS .

We ﬁrst show that J :S (J :S I) = (0 :S K(f1 : K)). Indeed, the following equalities

hold:

J :S (J :S I) = (0 :S K) :S (J :S I), by deﬁnition of J,

= (0 :S K(J :S I)), applying Lemma 1.1 (1),

= (0 :S K((0 :S K) :S I))), by deﬁnition of J,

= (0 :S K((0 :S I) :S K)), applying Lemma 1.1(1),

= (0 :S K(f1 :S K)), as I = (0 :S f1 ) and S is Gorenstein.

On the other hand, the right hand side of inclusion (1.1) can be written as

I :S mS = (0 :S f1 ) :S mS = 0 :S f1 m,

where the ﬁrst equality holds by the deﬁnition of I and the second equality holds

by Lemma 1.1(1).

Now inclusion (1.1) becomes (0 :S K(f1 :S K)) ⊆ 0 :S f1 m and this, together

with the assumption that S is Gorenstein, implies that

f1 mS = K(f1 :S K).

n

In particular, for every element x ∈ mS we can write nxf1 = i=1 ui fi , with ui ∈

(f1 :S K) = (f1 : K1 ) and hence (x − u1 )f1 = i=2 ui fi . This implies that

(x − u1 )f1 ∈ (f1 : K1 )K1 . Finally x is an element of

((f1 :S K1 )K1 ) :S f1 + f1 :S K1 .

As x is an arbitrary element in the maximal ideal m, we have the thesis.

Remark 1.3. The conditions in Lemma 1.2 are not suﬃcient for a ring to

be almost Gorenstein. Take for example S = k[x, y, z, u]/(x2 , y 2 , z 2 , u2 ), f1 = xz,

f2 = yz, f3 = xu, f4 = yu so that R = k[|x, y, z, u|]/(x2 , y 2 , z 2 , u2 , xy, zu). For the

ideal I = (u) we obtain 0 :R (0 :R I) = mR but I :R mR = (u, yz, xz), showing that

R is not almost Gorenstein.

On the other hand it is easy to check that Ki :S fi = mS for every i = 1, . . . , 4.

204

4 JANET STRIULI AND ADELA VRACIU

Now we give the proof of the Main Theorem, Theorem 1.4. We will use ΩiR (M )

to denote the ith syzygy of an R-module M .

Theorem 1.4. Let (R, mR , k) be a local noetherian ring which is almost Goren-

stein with canonical module ωR . Assume that R is not Gorenstein, and write

R = S/J, where (S, mS , k) is an artinian Gorenstein local ring. Let c = dim[k](J :S

mS )/(mS J :S mS ) and assume c > 0. Then the vector space kc is a direct summand

of the second syzygy of the canonical module ωR .

Proof. In the following, denote by y the image in R of an element y ∈ S.

Since S is Gorenstein, we may assume that J = (0 :S K), for some ideal K =

(f1 , . . . , fn ). The canonical module ωR is given by

HomS (R, S) = HomS (S/(0 :S K), S) ∼

= 0 :S (0 :S K) = K,

where equality holds as S is Gorenstein. Let

... / Rp ∂2

/ Rm ∂1

/ Rn ∂0

/K /0

By the last statement in Lemma 1.2, we can choose a set of minimal gen-

erators x1 , . . . , xe of the maximal ideal mS , such that xi ∈ f1 :S (f2 , . . . fn ) or

xi ∈ (f2 , . . . , fn ) :S f1 for every i = 1, . . . , e.

Let u ∈ (J :S mS ) \ (mS J :S mS ). There exists an h ∈ {1, . . . , e} such that

xh u ∈ / mS J, and there is a relation a1 f1 + a2 f2 + · · · + an fn = 0 in S, such that

either a1 = xh or a2 = xh . The column vectors D = (a1 , . . . , an ) is part of a

minimal generating set for the module of ﬁrst syzygies. After a choice of basis, we

may assume that D1 = D , D2 , . . . , Dm

are the columns of ∂1 . Let D1 , D2 , . . . , Dm

denote the liftings of these vectors to S n , and let D denote the matrix with columns

D1 , . . . , Dm .

We claim that the m-tuple u ∈ Rm which has u in the ﬁrst entry and zero in

all the other entries is part of a minimal generating set for the module Ω2R (ωR ). To

prove the claim, denote by B = (bij ) the matrix representing ∂2 . It is clear by the

choice of u that u is in the kernel of ∂1 . Assume that u is not part of a minimal

set of generators of the second syzygy and denote by u the lift of u to S m where

all the entries are equal to zero except the ﬁrst entry which is equal to u. This

implies that we can write the u as follow

⎛ ⎞ ⎛ ⎞

b11 b1p

⎜ ⎟ ⎜ ⎟

u = c1 ⎝ ... ⎠ + · · · + cp ⎝ ... ⎠ + j

bm1 bmp

where ci are elements of the maximal ideal mS and j ∈ JS m . Moreover we have

b1i D1 + · · · + bmi Dm ∈ JS n

for all i = 1, . . . , p. This implies that ∂1 u = cj (b1j D1 + · · · + bmj Dm ) ∈ mJS n .

On the other hand, either the ﬁrst component or the second component of Du,

according to whether xh appears in the ﬁrst component or the second component

of D1 , is equal to xh u which by assumption is not in mS J.

If u1 , . . . , uc are elements in (J :S mS ) such that their representatives in (J :S

mS )/(mS J :S mS ) are a basis, one can then construct vectors ui ∈ Rm using the

same procedure as above, and the same argument shows that they are part of a

SOME HOMOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF ALMOST GORENSTEIN RINGS 205

5

minimal system of generators of Ω2R (ωR ). The R-module spanned by these vectors

is isomorphic to kc , and it is a direct summand of Ω2R (ωR ).

Before closing the section, we record a remark which gives a condition equivalent

to the hypothesis in the Main Theorem; it will be used in the later sections.

Remark 1.5. Assume R = S/J it is the quotient of an artinian Gorenstein

ring S, and we write J = 0 :S K, for some ideal K ⊂ S, then we have

mS J :S mS = J :S mS ⇔ mS K :S mS = K :S mS .

Indeed, one has J :S mS = mS J :S mS if and only if

(0 :S K) : mS = mS (0 :S K) :S mS ,

or equivalently, as S is Gorenstein, if and only if

(1.2) 0 :S ((0 :S K) :S mS ) = 0 :S (mS (0 :S K) :S mS ).

The ﬁrst term of the equality (1.2) is equal to 0 :S (0 :S mS K) by (1.1)(1)

applied to K and mS , and hence it is equal to mS K as S is Gorenstein.

For the second term in the equality (1.2) the following equalities hold:

0 :S (mS (0 :S K) :S mS ) = mS [0 :S mS (0 :S K)], by Lemma 1.1(2),

= mS ((0 :S (0 :S K)) :S mS ), by Lemma 1.1(1),

= mS (K :S mS ) as S is Gorenstein.

In particular (1.2) holds if and only if mS (K :S mS ) = mS K or, equivalently, if and

only if K :S mS = mS K :S mS .

Remark 2.1. A ring R is called Teter if R = S/(δ) where S is a Gorenstein

artinian ring with socle element generated by δ. By Theorem 2.1 and Proposition

1.1 of [10] a Teter ring is an almost Gorenstein ring.

In [10], the authors prove that quotiens of Cohen-Macaulay rings of ﬁnite

Cohen-Macaulay type via a special system of parameters are almost Gorenstein.

We adapt their proof to show the following

Proposition 2.2. Let (R, m, k) be a Cohen-Macaulay ring such that the equal-

ity m Ext1R (M, R) = 0 holds for all maximal Cohen-Macaulay module M . Then

R/(xx) is an almost Gorenstein ring for all systems of parameters x .

Proof. Let I be any ideal of R containing the ideal generated by x . We need

x) :R I) ⊆ I :R m. Assume that I is generated by f1 , . . . , fn

x) :R ((x

to show that (x

and consider the short exact sequence

n

R R

0→ → → N → 0,

x) : I

(x x)

(x

where the ﬁrst non-zero map is given by u → (f1 u, . . . , fn u). Applying the functor

HomR ( , R/(x x)) to the short exact sequence we obtain:

R R R n R R R

0 → HomR (N, ) → HomR ( , ) → HomR ( , ) → Ext1R (N, ).

x)

(x x)

I (x x) : I (x

(x x) x)

(x

206

6 JANET STRIULI AND ADELA VRACIU

x ) :R I

(x x) :R ((x

(x x) :R I)

⊕ →

x)

(x x)

(x

given by (u1 , . . . , un ) → f1 u1 + · · · + fn un . The cokernel is therefore isomorphic

x x):R I)

to (x ):R ((x

I and embeds in Ext1R (N, R/(x x)). As (xx) ⊆ annR Ext1R (N, (xR

x) ), we

R

1

obtain the isomorphism Ext (N, R/(x x)) ∼= Ext

R

d+1

(N, R) which is isomorphic to

x x

Ext1R (Ωd (N ), R) and therefore annihilated by m. This implies that m (xx):R ((x

I

x):R I)

=

0 and therefore the thesis.

We begin with the deﬁnition of totally reﬂexive modules.

Definition 3.1. An R-module M is totally reﬂexive if and only if M ∗∗ ∼

=M

and ExtiR (M, R) = 0 = ExtiR (M ∗ , R), for all i > 0.

The following lemma is well-known by the experts. We include the proof for

easy reference.

Lemma 3.2. Let (R, m, k) be a local ring with canonical module ωR . If k is

a direct summand of any syzygy of ωR then there are no non-free totally reﬂexive

modules.

Proof. Let X be a totally reﬂexive module. By deﬁnition, ExtiR (X, F ) = 0

for every free module F and for every i > 0. Applying the functor HomR (X, )

to the short exact sequence 0 → Ω1R (ωR ) → F → ωR → 0, one obtains the equal-

ities Ext1R (X, ωR ) = Exti+1 i

R (X, ΩR (ωR )) for every R-module M . In particular,

i+1

ExtR (X, k) = 0 if k is a direct summand of ΩiR (ωR ). This shows that X has ﬁ-

nite projective dimension and therefore it is free, by the Auslander-Bridger formula

(see for example Theorem 1.4.8 [7]) and the Auslander-Buchsbaum formula (see for

example Theorem 1.3.3 [6]).

Remark 3.3. In [12] Theorem 1.6 and Remark 1.8 (e) it is shown that if a

local ring R can be written as a quotient S/J , where (S, mS ) is a local ring such

that dimk (J :S mS )/(mS J :S mS ) ≥ 2 then there are no non-free totally reﬂexive

modules. The Main Theorem and Lemma 3.2 show that for almost Gorenstein rings

the conclusion holds even in the case when dimk (J :S mS )/(mS J :S mS ) ≥ 1.

Corollary 3.4. Let R be a Teter ring, then R does not admit totally reﬂexive

modules which are not free.

Proof. let S be an artinian Gorenstein ring such that R = S/(δ), where δ

generates the socle of S. As δ :S mS strictly contains mS δ :S mS = 0 :S mS , by

Remark 2.1 the conditions of the Main Theorem are satisﬁed and therefore the

corollary follows from Lemma 3.2.

Teter rings are the ring of smallest Gorenstein colength, for a deﬁnition see [1].

The following example shows that it is possible to have totally reﬂexive modules

over rings of Gorenstein colength 2.

Example 3.5. The ring R = k[|x, y, z|]/(x2 , y 2 , z 2 , yz) has totally reﬂexive

modules which are not free. On the other hand, let S = k[|x, y, z|]/(x2 , y 2 , z 2 ) and

J = (yz)S then J :S mS = (mS J :S mS ). The ring R has Gorenstein colength 2.

SOME HOMOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF ALMOST GORENSTEIN RINGS 207

7

admits a totally reﬂexive module, and therefore inﬁnitely many by [8]. For the

argument we use some facts which we collect in the following three remarks.

Remark 3.6. In [3], Theorem 3.1, the authors prove that if (R, m) is a local

ring and y = y1 , . . . , yd is a regular sequence in m2 then R/(yy ) has a totally reﬂexive

module.

Remark 3.7. Let (R, m) be a local ring. Let M be a ﬁnitely generated R-

module and 0 → Ω1R (M ) → F → M → 0 be the beginning of a minimal free

resolution of M . For every element x of the maximal ideal, denote by μx the

multiplication by x. If for every x in a minimal set of generators of m there exists

a linear map φx such that the diagram:

0 / Ω1 (M ) /F /M /0

yy

R

yy

μx yy

yy φx

|y

0 / Ω1 (M ) /F /M /0

R

Remark 3.8. Let (R, m) be a local Cohen-Macaulay ring with canonical mod-

ule ωR . For every R-module N , denote by N ∨ the R-module HomR (N, ωR ). Let

M and L be two maximal Cohen-Macaulay modules. There exists an isomorphism

φ : Ext1R (M, L) → Ext1R (L∨ , M ∨ ) such that φ(ξ1 ) = ξ2 where

ξ1 : 0 → L → X → M → 0

and

ξ 2 : 0 → M ∨ → X ∨ → L∨ → 0

is obtained by applying HomR ( , ωR ) to ξ1 .

Example 3.9. The ring R = C[[x, y, z, u, v]]/(xz − y 2 , xv − yu, yv − zu) is of

ﬁnite Cohen Macaulay type and its only indecomposable maximal Cohen-Macaulay

modules are R, the ideals ωR ∼ = α = (x, y), α2 = (x2 , y 2 , xy), β = (x, y, u) and the

1

R-module ΩR (β). For a proof of this see for example [14]. In the following we

show that the maximal ideal m annihilates all the R-modules Ext1R (M, R) for M

maximal Cohen-Macaulay.

For the ideal α, the ﬁrst syzygy Ω1R (α) is generated by

[−v, u], [−z, y], [−y, x].

The following list gives the maps of Remark 3.7

y z−y −y 0

φx = φy =

−x −y

+x x 0

z 0 v − y −z

φz = φv =

−y 0

−u + x y

y 0

φu =

−u 0

In particular, by Remark 3.7, we have that m Ext1R (α, N ) = 0 for every R-module

N.

For every maximal Cohen-Macaulay module M , the following holds:

annR (Ext1R (M, R)) = annR (Ext1R (ωR , M ∨ ) = annR (Ext1R (α, M ∨ )) = m,

208

8 JANET STRIULI AND ADELA VRACIU

where the second equality follows from Remark 3.8. Now the sequence x2 , v 2 , z 2 +u2

is a system of parameters of R contained in m2 . Therefore R/(x2 , v 2 , z 2 + u2 ) is

almost Gorenstein by Lemma 2.2 and has a totally reﬂexive module by Remark 3.6.

The main result of this section deals with artinian almost Gorenstein rings

which are obtained as quotients of polynomial rings by monomial ideals.

Ad

Theorem 4.1. Let S = k[x1 , . . . , xd ]/(xA

1 , . . . , xd ), and let f1 , . . . , fn be

1

the residue ﬁeld is a direct summand of the ﬁrst or second syzygy of the canonical

module ωR .

The proof of Theorem 4.1 will be given after we prove the following:

Ad

Theorem 4.2. Let S = k[x1 , . . . , xd ]/(xA 1 , . . . , xd ), and let f1 , . . . , fn be

1

(1) fi does not divide fj for every i = j;

(2) xi divides fj for all i ∈ {1, . . . , d} and for all j ∈ {1, . . . n};

n

(3) (x1 , . . . , xu ) ⊆ i=1 fi :S (f1 , . . . , fn ).

Then, one of the following conclusions holds:

(A) There exists an i ∈ {1, . . . , n} and a j ∈ {1, . . . , u} such that

fi

∈ (f1 , . . . , fn ) :S (x1 , . . . , xu );

xj

(B) There exist mutually disjoint sets S1 , . . . , Sn ⊆ {1, . . . , u} such that for all

i ∈ {1, . . . , n} and all j ∈ {1, . . . , u}, xj fi = 0 ⇔ j ∈ Si .

Proof. Before we proceed with the proof, we establish some claims that we

N

will use later. Write each fj = Πni=1 xi ji , with Nji < Ai .

Claim 1: If xi fj ∈ (fk ), for some integers i, j, k then one of the following cases hold:

Nji = Nki − 1

(i)

Njl ≥ Nkl , for every l = i

(ii) Nji = Ai − 1

Moreover, for ﬁxed j, k, the ﬁrst case can hold for at most one i.

Proof of Claim 1: Note that (ii) is equivalent to xi fj = 0 in S. If 0 = xi fj ∈ (fk ),

then (i) is obtained by comparing the exponents of each variable for xi fj and fk .

The fact that Nji = Nki − 1 is due to the assumption that fk does not divide fj .

For the last statement, assume that there are two indeces i1 and i2 such that

Nji1 = Nki1 − 1

Njl ≥ Nkl , for every l = i1

and

Nji2 = Nki2 − 1

Njl ≥ Nkl , for every l = i2

then, Nki2 − 1 = Nji2 ≥ Nki2 which is a contradiction.

Claim 2: If conclusion B holds but A does not hold, then we have the following:

(i) each set Si has cardinality at least 2;

SOME HOMOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF ALMOST GORENSTEIN RINGS 209

9

/ fj :S

(f1 , . . . , fn ) for all j = i.

Proof of Claim 2: Assume that there exist indeces i and k such that Si = {xk }.

Since xk fj = 0 for all j = i, it follows that case (A) holds, as

fi

∈ fi :S (f1 , . . . , fn ).

xk

For (ii), let k ∈ Si . Assume that xk ∈ fj :S (f1 , . . . , fn ) for some j = i. Then

0 = xk fi ∈ (fj ). As we may assume (i), there exists an l ∈ Si such that l = k. By

Claim 1, we have Nil ≥ Njl . As l ∈ / Sj , we have xl fj = 0, and thus Njl = Al − 1.

This contradicts the fact that Nil < Al − 1.

The proof of the theorem goes by induction on the number of variables d, the

case d = 1 being obvious. Assume that the theorem holds for d − 1 variables. We

now induct on the number n of polynomials. Assume that the theorem holds in the

case of n − 1 polynomials.

Claim 3: If there exists k ∈ {1, . . . , u} such that xk fi = 0 for all i ∈ {1, . . . , n},

then we are done by induction on the number of variables. In particular, whenever

conclusion B holds for a subset of {f1 , . . . , fn } with respect to a subset {x1 , . . . , xs }

of {x1 , . . . , xu }, we may assume that the sets S1 , S2 , . . . , asserted in Conclusion B

form a partition of {1, . . . , s}.

Indeed, we can write fi = xkAk −1 fi , with fi ∈ k[x1 , . . . , xˆk , . . . , xd ]. Assump-

tions (1), (2), (3) hold for {f1 , . . . , fn } viewed as monomials in d − 1 variables. If

conclusion (A) holds for {f1 , . . . , fn }, then it also holds for {f1 , . . . , fn }. Similarly,

if conclusion (B) holds for {f1 , . . . , fn }, then it also holds for {f1 , . . . , fn } (with the

same choice of the sets Si ).

Claim 4: Assume that conclusion B holds for {f1 , . . . , fn−1 } with respect to a set

of variables {x1 , . . . , xs }, with s ≤ u. Let S1 , . . . , Sn−1

⊂ {1, . . . , s} be the sets

asserted in conclusion B. Let k ∈ {1, . . . , s}, and let i ∈ {1, . . . , n − 1} be such that

k ∈ Si .

Then we have either xk ∈ fi :S (f1 , . . . , fn ), or xk ∈ fn :S (f1 , . . . , fn ). Among

the k’s for which the ﬁrst situation occurs, we can have xk fn = 0 for at most one

such k.

Proof of Claim 4: By Claim 2 (ii), we cannot have xk ∈ fj :S (f1 , . . . , fn−1 )

for any i = j ≤ n − 1. Thus, we have either xk ∈ fi :S (f1 , . . . , fn ), or xk ∈

fn :S (f1 , . . . , fn ). For the last part of the claim, assume that xk1 fn ∈ (fi1 ), and

xk2 fn ∈ (fi2 ), with k1 ∈ Si1 , and k2 ∈ Si2 . We need to show that one of xk1 fn

or xk2 fn is zero. If i1 = i2 , this follows from Claim 1. Assume that i1 = i2 and

xk1 fn = 0. Then Nnk1 = Ni1 k1 − 1, Nnl ≥ Ni1 l for all l = k1 . In particular,

Nnk2 ≥ Ni1 k2 . Since k2 ∈ / Si1 , we have xk2 fi1 = 0, and thus xk2 fn = 0.

Claim 5: If

(x1 , . . . , xu ) ⊆ fl :S (f1 , . . . , fn ).

l=i

for some i ∈ {1, . . . , n}, then conclusion A holds.

n−1

Proof of Claim 5: Assume that (x1 , . . . , xu ) ⊆ i=1 fi :S (f1 , . . . , fn ). The as-

sumptions (1),(2),and (3) in the theorem are satisﬁed for {f1 , . . . , fn−1 } with re-

spect to the variables {x1 , . . . , xu }, and by the induction hypothesis either A of B

holds. If (A) holds for {f1 , . . . , fn−1 } then it also holds for {f1 , . . . , fn }, and we are

done.

210

10 JANET STRIULI AND ADELA VRACIU

Assume that (B) holds for {f1 , . . . , fn−1 }. Let {1, . . . , u} = S1 ∪ . . . ∪ Sn−1

be

the partition asserted in conclusion (B). By Claim 4, for each k ∈ {1, . . . , u} we

have either xk ∈ fi :S fn or xk ∈ fn :S fi , where i ∈ {1, . . . , n − 1} is such that

k ∈ Si .

If the ﬁrst situation occurs for all k ∈ {1, . . . , u}, then Claim 3 shows that

xk fn = 0 for all values of k except one, say k0 . Then conclusion A holds, with

fn

∈ (f1 , . . . , fn ) :S (x1 , . . . , xu ).

xk 0

Assume that there exists a k0 such that xk0 fi0 ∈ (fn ) holds, where i0 is such

that k0 ∈ Si0 . Note that xk0 fi0 = 0, so we have Ni0 l ≥ Nnl for all l = k0 . By Claim

2(i), we may assume that Si0 has cardinality at least two. Let k ∈ Si0 , k = k.

Since Nnk ≤ Ni0 k < Ak − 1, it follows that xk fn = 0 for all k0 = k ∈ Si0 .

Also, by Claim 1, we cannot have xk fi0 ∈ (fn ). The only remaining possibility

is that 0 = xk fn ∈ (fi0 ), and therefore Nnl ≥ Ni0 l for all l = k . In particular,

/ Si0 . It follows that conclusion A holds, with

xj fn = 0 for all j ∈

fn

∈ (f1 , . . . , fn ) :S (x1 , . . . , xu ).

xk 0

Indeed, for k ∈ Si0 , k = k0 we have xk fn ∈ (fi0 ), and Nnk0 = Ni0 k0 + 1, from

which we see that

fn

xk ∈ (fi0 ).

xk 0

(4.1) x 1 , . . . , xs ∈

/ fn :S (f1 , . . . , fn−1 , fn )

We apply the induction hypothesis to {f1 , . . . , fn−1 } with respect to the variables

{x1 , . . . , xs }.

Assume that conclusion B holds for {f1 , . . . , fn−1 } with respect to {x1 , . . . , xs },

but A does not. Let {1, . . . , s} = S1 ∪ . . . ∪ Sn−1

be the partition asserted by B.

We claim that

(4.3) xl f1 = . . . xl fn−1 = 0, for all s + 1 ≤ l ≤ u.

Indeed, assume by way of contradiction that there exists an l ∈ {s + 1, . . . , u} and

an i ≤ n − 1 such that xl fi = 0. Since xl fi ∈ (fn ), we must have Nik ≥ Nnk ∀k = l.

In particular, for k ∈ Si , we have Nik < Ak − 1, and thus Nnk < Ak − 1, which

means that xk fn = 0. Since we may assume that Si has cardinality at least two,

Claim 4 shows that there exists a k ∈ Si with xk fi ∈ (fn ). The fact that both xj fi

and xk fi are nonzero elements in (fn ) contradicts Claim 1.

Equation 4.1 and Claim 4 show that we have two possibilities:

(1) There exists a k ∈ {1, . . . , s} with 0 = xk fn ∈ (fi ), where k ∈ Si , and

xl fn = 0 for all l ∈ {1, . . . , s}, l = k. Then we also have xl fn = 0 for all l ∈

{s + 1, . . . , u}, because Nnl ≥ Nil , and Equation 4.3 shows that Nil = Al − 1. It

follows that conclusion A holds, as

fn

∈ (f1 , . . . , fn ) : (x1 , . . . , xu ).

xk

SOME HOMOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF ALMOST GORENSTEIN RINGS 211

11

conclusion B holds for {f1 , . . . , fn }, {x1 , . . . , xu }, with Si = Si for i ≤ n − 1, and

Sn = {s + 1, . . . , u}. Otherwise, assume that xl fn = 0 for some l ∈ {s + 1, . . . , u}.

Use Equation 4.3 to see that xl fi = 0 for all i ∈ {1, . . . , n}, and thus we are done

by induction on the number of variables, by Claim 3.

Now assume that conclusion A holds for {f1 , . . . , fn−1 } with respect to the

variables {x1 , . . . xs }. Without loss of generality, we may assume that

f1

(4.4) ∈ (f1 , f2 , . . . fn−1 ) :S (x1 , . . . , xs ).

x1

If

f1

(4.5) xl ∈ (fn ), for every s + 1 ≤ l ≤ u,

x1

then conclusion A would hold for {f1 , . . . , fn }, {x1 , . . . , xu }, and we would be done.

We know that xl f1 ∈ (fn ) for all s + 1 ≤ l ≤ u by equation 4.2. If xl f1 = 0 for all

s + 1 ≤ l ≤ u, or if N11 > Nn1 then equation 4.5 holds. Without loss of generality

we may assume that

(4.6) N11 ≤ Nn1

and xl f1 = 0 for some s + 1 ≤ l ≤ u. By Claim 1, there exists just one value of l,

say l = s + 1 such that xl f1 = 0 (since we have xl f1 ∈ (fn ) for all l ≥ s + 1). So we

may assume

(4.7) xs+1 f1 = 0, N11 = Nn1 and xl f1 = 0, for all s + 2 ≤ l ≤ u

Claim 6: With the above assumptions, the following holds:

(4.8) x2 f1 = . . . xs f1 = 0

If, say, x2 f1 = 0, then

f1

0 = x2

∈ (fi )

x1

for some i ≤ n − 1, which implies that N11 > Ni1 and N1s+1 ≥ Nis+1 . As, by

equation 4.2, xs+1 fi ∈ (fn ) then we obtain the following two possibilities:

(1) either xs+1 fi = 0, which implies xs+1 f1 = 0, contradicting 4.7; or

(2) Ni1 ≥ Nn1 , which implies N11 > Nn1 , contradicting 4.6.

This proves Claim 6.

Because of Claim 5, we may assume that there exists an index j, such that

1 ≤ j ≤ s and

(4.9) xj ∈ f1 :S (f2 , . . . , fn )

We may assume that

(4.10) x1 f1 = 0, and therefore x1 fn = 0(sinceN11 = Nn1 ).

Otherwise, by 4.7 and 4.8, xl f1 = 0 for all l ∈ {1, . . . , s, s + 2, . . . , u}, and it follows

that condition A holds:

f1

∈ (f1 , . . . , fn ) : (x1 , . . . , xu ).

xs+1

The following cases ﬁnish the proof of the theorem.

(1) Assume j = 1. Since x1 fn ∈ (f1 ) and N11 = Nn1 , by 4.7, then x1 fn = 0

contradicting 4.10.

212

12 JANET STRIULI AND ADELA VRACIU

for all l = 1, s + 1. We may assume that x1 f1 = 0, by 4.10.

(a) Assume that x2 fn = 0. We know x1 ∈ fi :S (f1 , . . . , fn ) for some

i ∈ {1, . . . , n − 1}. As 0 = x2 fn ∈ (f1 ) and x1 fn = 0, by Claim (1) it

follows that 2 ≤ i ≤ n − 1 (because N12 > Nn2 ≥ Ni2 , so i = 1). For

such an i, we claim that

fi

(4.11) ∈ (f1 , . . . , fn ) : (x1 , . . . , xu ).

x1

First notice that Ni1 = Nn1 + 1 = N11 + 1, since 0 = x1 fn ∈ (fi ) and

by 4.6. Moreover, as x2 fn = 0, by multiplying x1 fn by x2 we obtain

that 0 = x2 fi ∈ (f1 ) (we have x2 fi ∈ (f1 ) by equation 4.9, and we

x2 fi

have x2 fi = 0 because Ni2 ≤ Nn2 ). Moreover, ∈ (f1 ), since

x1

Ni1 > N11 ). If xl fi = 0 for some l ∈ / {1, 2, s + 1}, then xl f1 = 0,

contradicting 4.6 and 4.7. As xs+1 ∈ (fn ) : (f1 , . . . , fn ), we obtain

xs+1 fi ∈ (fn ) and since Ni1 = Nn1 + 1 also xs+1 xf1i ∈ (fn ).

(b) Assume that x2 fn = 0. If x2 fi = 0, for all i ∈ {1, . . . , u} then we are

done by Claim 3. So we may assume that there is a t ∈ / {1, n} such

that x2 ft = 0 and x2 ft ∈ (f1 ). Therefore N12 = Nt2 + 1. As xl ft ∈

(fn ) for every s + 1 ≤ l ≤ u, if xl ft = 0 then A2 − 1 = Nn2 ≤ Nt2

which contradicts x2 ft = 0. Therefore we have that xl ft = 0 for all

s + 1 ≤ t ≤ u. Also, as 0 = x2 ft ∈ (f1 ), we have Ntk ≥ N1k for all

k = 2. As xl f1 = 0 for all l

notin{1, s + 1}, it follows that xl ft = 0 for all l ∈ / {1, 2}. If also

x1 ft = 0 then conclusion A holds as

ft

∈ (f1 , . . . , fn ) :S (x1 , . . . , xu ).

x2

Assume that x1 ft = 0. Recall that x1 ∈ fi :S (f1 , . . . , fn ) for some

i ≤ n − 1. We claim that

fi

∈ (f1 , . . . , fn ) :S (x1 , . . . , xu ).

x1

As 0 = x1 ft ∈ (fi ), we have Nil ≤ Ntl for all l = 1. As x2 ft = 0

this implies that x2 fi = 0. As x2 fi ∈ (f1 ) by equation 4.9, and since

xl f1 = 0 for l ∈

/ {1, s+1}, we obtain that xl fi = 0 for l ∈

/ {1, 2, s+1}.

To prove the claim, it is therefore enough to prove that xf1i x2 ∈ (f1 )

and xf1i xs+1 ∈ (fn ). As 0 = x1 f1 ∈ (fi ) we obtain Ni1 = N11 + 1 =

Nn1 + 1, where the last equality follows from 4.7. This, together

with the fact that x2 fi ∈ (f1 ) by equation 4.9, and xs+1 fi ∈ (fn ) by

equation 4.2 concludes the claim.

Now we give the proof of Theorem 4.1

Proof. We may apply Theorem 4.2 to {f1 , . . . , fn }, {x1 , . . . , xd }.

Indeed, the assumption that R = S/0 :S (f1 , . . . , fn ) is almost Gorenstein

implies hypothesis (3) of Theorem 4.2 by Lemma 4.3 . We may assume without loss

of generality that (1) holds by choosing f1 , . . . , fn to be a minimal set of generators

SOME HOMOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF ALMOST GORENSTEIN RINGS 213

13

for the ideal they generate. In order to establish hypothesis (2), note that R does

not change if we replace S by S = k[x1 , . . . , xd ]/(x1A1 +1 , . . . , xdAd +1 ), and f1 , . . . , fn

by f1 , . . . , fn , where fi = (x1 · · · xd )fi .

If (A) holds, then we may apply Theorem 1.4 to conclude that a copy of the

residue ﬁeld k splits oﬀ the second syzygy of ωR . Take K = (f1 , . . . , fn ) ⊂ S. From

conclusion (A) of Theorem 4.2, we have

fi

∈ (K :S mS ) \ (mS K :S mS )

xj

which, by Remark 1.5, implies J :S mS = mS J :S mS , where J = 0 :S K, and now

Theorem 1.4 applies.

If (B) holds, we will check that k is a direct summand of the ﬁrst syzygy of ωR .

Let S1 , . . . , Sn be the sets asserted in Conclusion (B). We have

1 , . . . , xd ) :S (f1 , . . . , fn ) = (x1 , . . . , xd ) + (xj xj | j, j not in the same Si ).

Ad Ad

(xA 1 A1

Aj −1 Aj −1

(Πj∈Si xj )fi − (Πj∈Si xj )fi = 0. Note that the latter relations are killed by

the maximal ideal, thus each of them generates a copy of k which splits oﬀ the ﬁrst

syzygy.

1 , . . . , xd ) and let f1 , . . . , fn ∈ S be

Ad

Lemma 4.3. Let S = k[x1 , . . . , xd ]/(xA 1

(x1 , . . . , xd ) ⊆ Σi fi :S (f1 , . . . , fn ).

Proof. We will use Nik to denote the exponent of the variable xk in the

monomial fi .

By Lemma 1.2, the almost Gorenstein assumption implies

xi ∈ f1 :S (f2 , . . . , fn ) + [f1 :S (f2 , . . . , fn )][(f2 , . . . , fn )] :S f1

for all i = 1, . . . , d.

Without loss of generality, we will show that x1 ∈ fj :S (f1 , . . . , fn ) for some

j ∈ {1, . . . , n}.

If x1 fi = 0 for all i = 1, . . . n then the conclusion follows. So there exist a j

such that x1 fj = 0. Denote by S the set of indexes j such that x1 fj = 0. There

are two cases: either xk fj = 0 for all k = 1 and for all j ∈ S or there exists a k = 1

such that xk fj = 0 for some j ∈ S,

In the ﬁrst case we have that f1 = x1N1 1 xA 2

2 −1

. . . xdAd −1

Assume that for a such that x1 fj = 0 one has xk fj = 0 for all k = 1.

Choose a j (say j = 1) such that x1 fj = 0, and xk fj = 0 for some k = 1. If no

such j exists, it is easy to see that x1 ∈ f1 :S (f2 , . . . , fn ) (where we assume that

x1 f1 = 0 and x2 f1 = . . . = xd f1 = 0).

Assume x1 ∈ / f1 :S (f2 , . . . , fn ). Then there exists a j ∈ {2, . . . , n}, say j = 2,

such that x1 f1 = a2 f2 for some a2 ∈ f1 :S (f2 , . . . , fn ).

Assume that x2 f1 = 0.

We know that x2 f1 ∈ / (f2 ) by comparing the exponents of x1 (N1k ≥ N2k for

k = 1, and N11 = N21 − 1). So x2 ∈ / f2 :S (f1 , . . . , fn ), thus there exists a j such

that x2 f2 = aj fj with aj ∈ f2 :S (f1 , . . . , fn ). Note that j = 1, since x2 f2 ∈ / (f1 )

(by comparing the exponents of xj , j > 2 -if there are more than 2 variables).

214

14 JANET STRIULI AND ADELA VRACIU

We may assume j = 3. We will use aik to denote the exponent of the variable xk

in the monomial ai . We have a2 ∈ f1 :S (f2 , . . . , fn ), so in particular a2 f3 ∈ (f1 ).

This means that either a2 f3 = 0, or, by comparing exponents in each variable,

a2k + N3k ≥ N1k for all k.

We claim that a2 f3 cannot equal zero in S. If a2 f3 = 0, we must have a2k +

N3k ≥ Ak for some k. Since a2k = N1k − N2k for all k = 1, and since N2k ≥ N3k

for k = 2, we see that a2k + N3k ≤ N1k ≤ Ak for all k = 1, 2. For k = 1, we

have a21 = 0, so a21 + N31 = N31 < A1 . For k = 2, we have N22 = N32 − 1, so

a22 + N32 = N12 − N32 + 1 + N32 = N12 + 1, which is less that A2 since we are

assuming x2 f1 = 0. This concludes the proof of the claim.

Now we have a2k + N3k ≥ N1k for all k.

For k = 1, this means N1k − N2k + N3k ≥ N1k , thus N3k ≥ N2k . Since we

already knew the inequality in the other direction, it follows that N3k = N2k for

k = 1, 2. Thus, we have a3k = 0 for k = 1, 2, and we also know that A32 = 0,

a31 + N21 − N31 , where N21 = N11 + 1 and N31 ≥ N11 , so that a31 can be at

most one. It follows that a3 = x1 , and by our assumption on a3 we now have

x1 ∈ f2 :S (f1 , . . . , fn ) as desired.

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CT 06824

E-mail address: jstriuli@fairfield.edu

E-mail address: vraciu@math.sc.edu

This volume contains papers based on presentations given at the Pan-American Advanced

Studies Institute (PASI) on commutative algebra and its connections to geometry, which

was held August 3–14, 2009, at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco in Olinda, Brazil.

The main goal of the program was to detail recent developments in commutative algebra

and interactions with such areas as algebraic geometry, combinatorics and computer

algebra. The articles in this volume concentrate on topics central to modern commutative

algebra: the homological conjectures, problems in positive and mixed characteristic, tight

closure and its interaction with birational geometry, integral dependence and blowup alge-

bras, equisingularity theory, Hilbert functions and multiplicities, combinatorial commuta-

tive algebra, Gröbner bases and computational algebra.

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