On the Davenport constant and group algebras

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Smertnig, Daniel
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For a finite abelian group $G$ and a splitting field $K$ of $G$, let $d(G, K)$ denote the largest integer $l \in \N$ for which there is a sequence $S = g_1 \cdot ... \cdot g_l$ over $G$ such that $(X^{g_1} - a_1) \cdot ... \cdot (X^{g_l} - a_l) \ne 0 \in K[G]$ for all $a_1, ..., a_l \in K^{\times}$. If $D(G)$ denotes the Davenport constant of $G$, then there is the straightforward inequality $D(G)-1 \le d (G, K)$. Equality holds for a variety of groups, and a standing conjecture of W. Gao et.al. states that equality holds for all groups. We offer further groups for which equality holds, but we also give the first examples of groups $G$ for which $D(G) -1 < d(G, K)$ holds. Thus we disprove the conjecture.
Comment: 12 pages; fixed typos and clearer proof of Lemma 3.9
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Mathematics - Combinatorics, Mathematics - Number Theory, 11P70, 11B50, 20K01, 11B30
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