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A228728 a(1)=1, a(2)=2 and for n > 2, a(n) is the least integer > a(n-1) such that there is a permutation b(1), ..., b(n) of a(1), ..., a(n) with b(1) = a(1) and b(n) = a(n), and with the n numbers |b(1)-b(2)|, |b(2)-b(3)|, ..., |b(n-1)-b(n)|, |b(n)-b(1)| pairwise distinct. 8
1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 (list; graph; refs; listen; history; text; internal format)
OFFSET

1,2

COMMENTS

Conjecture:  For any n distinct real numbers a_1 < a_2 < ... < a_n, if there is a permutation b_1,b_2,...,b_n  of a_1,...,a_n with |b_1-b_2|, |b_2-b_3|, ..., |b_{n-1}-b_n|, |b_n-b_1| pairwise distinct, then there exists a permutation c_1,c_2,...,c_n of a_1,...,a_n with c_1 = a_1 and c_n = a_n such that the n numbers |c_1-c_2|, |c_2-c_3|, ..., |c_{n-1}-c_n|, |c_n-c_1| are pairwise distinct.

This conjecture is somewhat curious but we are unable to find a counterexample.

LINKS

Table of n, a(n) for n=1..23.

Zhi-Wei Sun, A problem on circular permutations, a message to Number Theory List, Sep 01 2013.

Z.-W. Sun, Some new problems in additive combinatorics, arXiv preprint arXiv:1309.1679 [math.NT], 2013-2014.

EXAMPLE

a(3) = 4 since the permutation 1,2,3 does not meet the requirement (since 2-1 = 3-2) but the permutation 1,2,4 is okay as 2-1, 4-2, 4-1 are pairwise distinct.

a(4) = 6 since none of the permutations 1,2,4,5 and 1,4,2,5 meets the requirement (since 5-4 = 2-1 and 5-2 = 4-1), but the permutation 1,4,2,6 is okay as 4-1, 4-2, 6-2, 6-1 are pairwise distinct.

a(5) = 7 due to the permutation 1,6,2,4,7.

a(6) = 8 due to the permutation 1,4,6,2,7,8.

a(7) = 9 due to the permutation 1,4,8,6,7,2,9.

a(8) = 10 due to the permutation 1,7,4,9,8,6,2,10.

a(9) = 11 due to the permutation 1,6,7,9,2,10,4,8,11.

a(10) = 12 due to the permutation 1,6,8,9,2,11,7,10,4,12.

a(11) = 13 due to the permutation 1,12,2,11,4,10,6,9,7,8,13.

a(12) = 14 due to the permutation

     1, 13, 2, 12, 4, 11, 6, 10, 7, 9, 8, 14.

a(13) = 15 due to the permutation

     1, 11, 6, 8, 12, 9, 10, 2, 14, 7, 13, 4, 15.

a(14) = 16 due to the permutation

     1, 12, 9, 8, 10, 15, 2, 11, 7, 13, 6, 14, 4, 16.

a(15) = 17 due to the permutation

     1, 12, 9, 13, 4, 16, 6, 11, 10, 8, 14, 7, 15, 2, 17.

a(16) = 18 or 19 or 20 due to the permutation

     1, 17, 2, 16, 4, 15, 6, 14, 7, 13, 8, 12, 9, 11, 10, 20.

Permutations for n = 13, 14, 15 were produced by Qing-Hu Hou at Nankai Univ. on the author's request.

From Charlie Neder, Aug 23 2018: (Start)

a(16) = 18 due to the permutation

     1, 11, 10, 12, 9, 13, 8, 14, 7, 15, 6, 17, 4, 16, 2, 18.

a(17) = 19 due to the permutation

     1, 11, 12, 10, 13, 9, 14, 8, 15, 7, 16, 2, 18, 6, 17, 4, 19.

a(18) = 20 due to

     1, 12, 11, 13, 10, 14, 9, 15, 8, 16, 7, 17, 2, 19, 6, 18, 4, 20. (End)

From Bert Dobbelaere, Sep 09 2019: (Start)

a(19) = 22 due to the permutation

     1, 18, 2, 17, 8, 19, 7, 20, 6, 16, 9, 15, 10, 14, 11, 13, 12, 4, 22.

a(20) = 23 due to the permutation

     1, 18, 7, 20, 6, 22, 4, 19, 9, 16, 8, 17, 11, 13, 12, 15, 10, 14, 2, 23.

a(21) = 24 due to the permutation

     1, 19, 10, 20, 7, 18, 4, 16, 9, 17, 11, 15, 12, 14, 13, 8, 23, 6, 22, 2, 24.

a(22) = 25 due to the permutation

     1, 22, 4, 23, 7, 24, 9, 18, 8, 20, 6, 19, 11, 15, 12, 17, 10, 16, 14, 13, 2, 25.

a(23) = 26 due to the permutation

     1, 22, 7, 25, 6, 23, 10, 24, 4, 20, 8, 19, 11, 17, 13, 18, 9, 16, 14, 15, 12, 2, 26. (End)

MATHEMATICA

A program to find a(16) in terms of the values a(1), ..., a(15):

V[i_]:=V[i]=Part[Permutations[{2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17}], i]

Do[Do[Do[If[Length[Union[{Abs[1-Part[V[i], 1]]}, Table[Abs[Part[V[i], j]-If[j<14, Part[V[i], j+1], n]], {j, 1, 14}]]]<15, Goto[aa]];

Print[n, " ", " ", V[i]]; Goto[bb]; Label[aa]; Continue, {i, 1, 14!}]; Continue, {n, 18, 20}]; Label[bb]; Break]

A228728[n_] := Module[{p, i, j, k, b, lim = 100},

  If[n <= 2, A228728[n] = n,

   j = A228728[n - 1] + 1;

    While[j < lim, A228728[n] = j;

    p = Permutations[Table[A228728[k], {k, 2, n - 1}]];

    i = 1; While[i <= Length[p],

     b = Join[{A228728[1]}, p[[i]], {A228728[n]}]; i++;

     If[Length[Union[Join[Table[Abs[b[[k]] - b[[k + 1]]], {k, 1, n - 1}], {Abs[b[[n]] - b[[1]]]}]]] == n, Return[j]]]; j++]]]

Table[A228728[n], {n, 1, 11}]  (* Robert Price, Apr 04 2019 *)

CROSSREFS

Cf. A185645, A187815.

Sequence in context: A272633 A240817 A174416 * A138888 A039240 A039183

Adjacent sequences:  A228725 A228726 A228727 * A228729 A228730 A228731

KEYWORD

nonn,more

AUTHOR

Zhi-Wei Sun, Aug 31 2013

EXTENSIONS

a(16)-a(18) from Charlie Neder, Aug 23 2018

Name clarified by Robert Price, Apr 04 2019

a(19)-a(23) from Bert Dobbelaere, Sep 09 2019

STATUS

approved

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Last modified November 22 18:54 EST 2019. Contains 329402 sequences. (Running on oeis4.)