Symmetry-forced rigidity of frameworks on surfaces

Nixon, Anthony and Schulze, Bernd (2016) Symmetry-forced rigidity of frameworks on surfaces. Geometriae Dedicata, 182 (1). pp. 163-201. ISSN 0046-5755

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A fundamental theorem of Laman characterises when a bar-joint framework realised generically in the Euclidean plane admits a non-trivial continuous deformation of its vertices. This has recently been extended in two ways. Firstly to frameworks that are symmetric with respect to some point group but are otherwise generic, and secondly to frameworks in Euclidean 3-space that are constrained to lie on 2-dimensional algebraic varieties. We combine these two settings and consider the rigidity of symmetric frameworks realised on such surfaces. First we establish necessary conditions for a framework to be symmetry-forced rigid for any group and any surface by setting up a symmetry-adapted rigidity matrix for such frameworks and by extending the methods in Jordán et al. (2012) to this new context. This gives rise to several new symmetry-adapted rigidity matroids on group-labelled quotient graphs. In the cases when the surface is a sphere, a cylinder or a cone we then also provide combinatorial characterisations of generic symmetry-forced rigid frameworks for a number of symmetry groups, including rotation, reflection, inversion and dihedral symmetry. The proofs of these results are based on some new Henneberg-type inductive constructions on the group-labelled quotient graphs that correspond to the bases of the matroids in question. For the remaining symmetry groups in 3-space—as well as for other types of surfaces—we provide some observations and conjectures.

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Journal Article
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Geometriae Dedicata
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19 Jan 2016 08:54
Last Modified:
29 Sep 2020 01:57