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# Acta Mathematica

## Volume 218 (2017)

### Number 2

### Enumeration of points, lines, planes, etc.

Pages: 297 – 317

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4310/ACTA.2017.v218.n2.a2

#### Authors

#### Abstract

One of the earliest results in enumerative combinatorial geometry is the following theorem of de Bruijn and Erdős: Every set of points $E$ in a projective plane determines at least $\lvert E \rvert$ lines, unless all the points are contained in a line. The result was extended to higher dimensions by Motzkin and others, who showed that every set of points $E$ in a projective space determines at least $\lvert E \rvert$ hyperplanes, unless all the points are contained in a hyperplane. Let $E$ be a spanning subset of an $r$-dimensional vector space. We show that, in the partially ordered set of subspaces spanned by subsets of $E$, there are at least as many $(r-p)$-dimensional subspaces as there are $p$-dimensional subspaces, for every $p$ at most $\frac{1}{2} r$. This confirms the “top-heavy” conjecture by Dowling and Wilson for all matroids realizable over some field. The proof relies on the decomposition theorem package for $\ell$-adic intersection complexes.

June Huh was supported by a Clay Research Fellowship and NSF Grant DMS-1128155.

Received 9 October 2016

Received revised 30 January 2017

Published 27 November 2017