The Classification of Flag-transitive Steiner 4-Designs

Research paper by Michael Huber

Indexed on: 23 Nov '06Published on: 23 Nov '06Published in: Mathematics - Combinatorics


Among the properties of homogeneity of incidence structures flag-transitivity obviously is a particularly important and natural one. Consequently, in the last decades also flag-transitive Steiner tdesigns (i.e. flag-transitive t-(v,k,1) designs) have been investigated, whereas only by the use of the classification of the finite simple groups has it been possible in recent years to essentially characterize all flag-transitive Steiner 2-designs. However, despite the finite simple group classification, for Steiner t-designs with parameters t > 2 such characterizations have remained challenging open problems for about 40 years (cf. [11, p. 147] and [12, p. 273], but presumably dating back to around 1965). The object of the present paper is to give a complete classification of all flag-transitive Steiner 4-designs. Our result relies on the classification of the finite doubly transitive permutation groups and is a continuation of the author's work [20, 21] on the classification of all flag-transitive Steiner 3-designs.