## Abstract

A classical theorem of Edmonds provides a min-max formula relating the maximal size of a set in the intersection of two matroids to a "covering" parameter. We generalize this theorem, replacing one of the matroids by a general simplicial complex. One application is a solution of the case r = 3 of a matroidal version of Ryser's conjecture. Another is an upper bound on the minimal number of sets belonging to the intersection of two matroids, needed to cover their common ground set. This, in turn, is used to derive a weakened version of a conjecture of Rota. Bounds are also found on the dual parameter - the maximal number of disjoint sets, all spanning in each of two given matroids. We study in detail the case in which the complex is the complex of independent sets of a graph, and prove generalizations of known results on "independent systems of representatives" (which are the special case in which the matroid is a partition matroid). In particular, we define a notion of k-matroidal colorability of a graph, and prove a fractional version of a conjecture, that every graph G is 2Δ(G)-matroidally colorable. The methods used are mostly topological.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 4895-4917 |

Number of pages | 23 |

Journal | Transactions of the American Mathematical Society |

Volume | 358 |

Issue number | 11 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Nov 2006 |

Externally published | Yes |

## Keywords

- Edmonds' theorem
- Isr
- Matroids
- Rota's conjecture
- Ryser's conjecture
- Topology

## ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Mathematics (all)
- Applied Mathematics