The University of Michigan Combinatorics Seminar
Fall 2009
October 23, 4:10-5:00, 3866 East Hall

Enumeration of plane curves and labeled floor diagrams

Sergey Fomin

University of Michigan


Floor diagrams are a class of weighted oriented graphs introduced by E. Brugallé and G. Mikhalkin. Tropical geometry arguments yield combinatorial descriptions of (ordinary and relative) Gromov-Witten invariants of projective spaces in terms of floor diagrams and their generalizations. In the case of the projective plane, these descriptions can be used to obtain new formulas for the corresponding enumerative invariants. In particular, we give a proof of Göttsche's polynomiality conjecture for plane curves, and enumerate plane rational curves of given degree passing through given points and having maximal tangency to a given line. On the combinatorial side, we show that labeled floor diagrams of genus 0 are equinumerous to labeled trees, and therefore counted by the celebrated Cayley's formula. The corresponding bijections lead to interpretations of the Kontsevich numbers (the genus-0 Gromov-Witten invariants of the projective plane) in terms of certain statistics on trees.

This is joint work with Grisha Mikhalkin.