Generalized Designs on Graphs: Sampling, Spectra, Symmetries

Stefan Steinerberger

Spherical Designs are finite sets of points on the sphere $\mathbb{S}^{d}$ with the property that the average of certain (low-degree) polynomials in these points coincides with the global average of the polynomial on $\mathbb{S}^{d}$. They are evenly distributed and often exhibit a great degree of regularity and symmetry. We point out that a spectral definition of spherical designs easily transfers to finite graphs -- these 'graphical designs' are subsets of vertices that are evenly spaced and capture the symmetries of the underlying graph (should they exist). Our main result states that good graphical designs either consist of many vertices or their neighborhoods have exponential volume growth. We show several examples, describe ways to find them and discuss problems.

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