On the incidence maps of incidence structures





Incidence structure, incidence map, diagram geometry


By using elementary linear algebra methods we exploit properties of the incidence map of certain incidence structures with finite block sizes. We give new and simple proofs of theorems of Kantor and Lehrer, and their infinitary version. Similar results are obtained also for diagrams geometries.

By mean of an extension of Block’s Lemma on the number of orbits of an automorphism group of an incidence structure, we give informations on the number of orbits of: a permutation group (of possible infinite degree) on subsets of finite size; a collineation group of a projective and affine space (of possible infinite dimension) over a finite field on subspaces of finite dimension; a group of isometries of a classical polar space (of possible infinite rank) over a finite field on totally isotropic subspaces (or singular in case of orthogonal spaces) of finite dimension.

Furthermore, when the structure is finite and the associated incidence matrix has full rank, we give an alternative proof of a result of Camina and Siemons. We then deduce that certain families of incidence structures have no sharply transitive sets of automorphisms acting on blocks.