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Face Numbers of 4-Polytopes and 3-Spheres

Günter M. Ziegler – 2002

In this paper, we discuss f- and flag-vectors of 4-dimensional convex polytopes and cellular 3-spheres. We put forward two crucial parameters of fatness and complexity: Fatness F(P) := (f_1+f_2-20)/(f_0+f_3-10) is large if there are many more edges and 2-faces than there are vertices and facets, while complexity C(P) := (f_{03}-20)/(f_0+f_3-10) is large if every facet has many vertices, and every vertex is in many facets. Recent results suggest that these parameters might allow one to differentiate between the cones of f- or flag-vectors of -- connected Eulerian lattices of length 5 (combinatorial objects), -- strongly regular CW 3-spheres (topological objects), -- convex 4-polytopes (discrete geometric objects), and -- rational convex 4-polytopes (whose study involves arithmetic aspects). Further progress will depend on the derivation of tighter f-vector inequalities for convex 4-polytopes. On the other hand, we will need new construction methods that produce interesting polytopes which are far from being simplicial or simple -- for example, very ``fat'' or ``complex'' 4-polytopes. In this direction, I will report about constructions (from joint work with Michael Joswig, David Eppstein and Greg Kuperberg) that yield -- strongly regular CW 3-spheres of arbitrarily large fatness, -- convex 4-polytopes of fatness larger than 5.048, and -- rational convex 4-polytopes of fatness larger than 5-epsilon.

Face Numbers of 4-Polytopes and 3-Spheres
Günter M. Ziegler
Higher Education Press
Beijing, China
Erschienen in
Proceedings of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM 2002, Beijing), volume III, pages 625-634