Balandraud, Eric; Queyranne, Maurice; Tardella, Fabio - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE), … - 2015

We solve two related extremal problems in the theory of permutations. A set Q of permutations of the integers 1 to n is inversion-complete (resp., pair-complete) if for every inversion (j, i), where 1 <= i < j <= n, (resp., for every pair (i, j), where i not= j) there exists a permutation in Q where j is before i. It is minimally inversion-complete if in addition no proper subset of Q is inversion-complete; and similarly for paircompleteness. The problems we consider are to determine the maximum cardinality of a minimal inversion-complete set of permutations, and that of a minimal pair-complete set of permutations. The latter problem arises in the determination of the Carathéodory numbers for certain abstract convexity structures on the (n - 1)-dimensional real and integer vector spaces. Using Mantel's Theorem on the maximum number of edges in a triangle-free graph, we determine these two maximum cardinalities and we present a complete description of the optimal sets of permutations for each problem. Perhaps surprisingly (since there are twice as many pairs to cover as inversions), these two maximum cardinalities coincide whenever n >= 4.