The Junta Method in Extremal Hypergraph Theory and Chvátal's Conjecture

Nathan Keller, Noam Lifshitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Numerous problems in extremal hypergraph theory ask to determine the maximal size of a k-uniform hypergraph on n vertices that does not contain an ‘enlarged’ copy H+ of a fixed hypergraph H. These include well-known open problems such as the Erdős matching conjecture, the Erdős-Sós ‘forbidding one intersection’ problem, the Frankl-Füredi ‘special simplex’ problem, etc. We present a general approach to such problems, using a ‘junta approximation method’ that originates from analysis of Boolean functions. We prove that any H+-free hypergraph is essentially contained in a ‘junta’ – a hypergraph determined by a small number of vertices – that is also H+-free, which effectively reduces the extremal problem to an easier problem on juntas. Using this approach, we obtain, for all C<k<n/C, a complete solution of the extremal problem for a large class of H's, which includes all the aforementioned problems. We apply our method to the 1974 Chvátal's conjecture, which asserts that for any d<k≤[Formula presented]n, the maximal size of a k-uniform family that does not contain a d-simplex (i.e., d+1 sets with empty intersection such that any d of them intersect) is ([Formula presented]). We prove the conjecture for all d and k, provided n>n0(d).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)711-717
Number of pages7
JournalElectronic Notes in Discrete Mathematics
StatePublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Chvátal's conjecture
  • Erdős-Ko-Rado theorem
  • Extremal hypergraph theory
  • Turán-type problems
  • discrete Fourier analysis
  • juntas


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