Symmetry as a sufficient condition for a finite flex

Schulze, Bernd
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We show that if the joints of a bar and joint framework $(G,p)$ are positioned as `generically' as possible subject to given symmetry constraints and $(G,p)$ possesses a `fully-symmetric' infinitesimal flex (i.e., the velocity vectors of the infinitesimal flex remain unaltered under all symmetry operations of $(G,p)$), then $(G,p)$ also possesses a finite flex which preserves the symmetry of $(G,p)$ throughout the path. This and other related results are obtained by symmetrizing techniques described by L. Asimov and B. Roth in their paper `The Rigidity Of Graphs' from 1978 and by using the fact that the rigidity matrix of a symmetric framework can be transformed into a block-diagonalized form by means of group representation theory. The finite flexes that can be detected with these symmetry-based methods can in general not be found with the analogous non-symmetric methods.
Comment: 26 pages, 10 figures
Mathematics - Metric Geometry, 52C25, 70B99, 20C35