Title:

Alternating sign matrices and polytopes

This thesis deals with two types of mathematical objects: alternating sign matrices and polytopes. Alternating sign matrices were first defined in 1982 by Mills, Robbins and Rumsey. Since then, alternating sign matrices have led to some very captivating research (with multiple open problems still standing), an outline of which is presented in the opening chapter of this thesis. Convex polytopes are extremely relevant when considering enumerations of certain classes of integer valued matrices. An overview of the relevant properties of convex polytopes is presented, before a connection is made between polytopes and alternating sign matrices: the alternating sign matrix polytope. The vertex set of this new polytope is given, as well as a generalization of standard alternating sign matrices to give higher spin alternating sign matrices. From a result of Ehrhart a result concerning the enumeration of these matrices is obtained, namely, that for fixed size and variable line sum the enumeration is given by a particular polynomial. In Chapter 4, we give results concerning the symmetry classes of the alternating sign matrix polytope and in Chapter 3 we study symmetry classes of the Birkhoff polytope. For this classical polytope we give some new results. In the penultimate chapter, another polytope is defined that is a valid solution set of the transportation problem and for which a particular set of parameters gives the alternating sign matrix polytope. Importantly the transportation polytope is a subset of this new polytope.
