The space of tropically collinear points is shellable

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Markwig, Hannah
Yu, Josephine
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Abstract
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The space T_{d,n} of n tropically collinear points in a fixed tropical projective space TP^{d-1} is equivalent to the tropicalization of the determinantal variety of matrices of rank at most 2, which consists of real d x n matrices of tropical or Kapranov rank at most 2, modulo projective equivalence of columns. We show that it is equal to the image of the moduli space M_{0,n}(TP^{d-1},1) of n-marked tropical lines in TP^{d-1} under the evaluation map. Thus we derive a natural simplicial fan structure for T_{d,n} using a simplicial fan structure of M_{0,n}(TP^{d-1},1) which coincides with that of the space of phylogenetic trees on d+n taxa. The space of phylogenetic trees has been shown to be shellable by Trappmann and Ziegler. Using a similar method, we show that T_{d,n} is shellable with our simplicial fan structure and compute the homology of the link of the origin. The shellability of T_{d,n} has been conjectured by Develin in 2005.
Comment: final version, minor revision, 15 pages
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Mathematics - Combinatorics, Mathematics - Algebraic Geometry, 52B22, 14N10
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