Combinatorics Seminar: Divisors on matroids and their volumes

Seminar | September 17 | 12-1 p.m. | 939 Evans Hall

 Christopher Eur, UC Berkeley

 Department of Mathematics

The classical volume polynomial in algebraic geometry measures the degrees of ample (and nef) divisors on a smooth projective variety. We introduce an analogous volume polynomial for matroids, give a complete combinatorial formula, and show that it is a valuation under matroid polytope subdivisions. For a realizable matroid, we thus obtain an explicit formula for the classical volume polynomial of the associated wonderful compactification; in particular, we obtain another formula for volumes of generalized permutohedra. We then introduce a new invariant called the volume of a matroid as a particular specialization of its volume polynomial, and discuss its algebro-geometric and combinatorial properties in connection to graded linear series on blow-ups of projective spaces.