Abstract:

A linear transformation [math]\displaystyle{ A: (\mathbb{F}_q)^n \to (\mathbb{F}_q)^n }[/math] gives rise to a directed graph by regarding the elements of [math]\displaystyle{ (\mathbb{F}_q)^n }[/math] as vertices and drawing an edge from [math]\displaystyle{ v }[/math] to [math]\displaystyle{ w }[/math] if [math]\displaystyle{ Av = w }[/math]. In 1959, Elspas determined the "functional graphs" on [math]\displaystyle{ q^n }[/math] vertices that are realized in this way. In doing so he showed that there are many nonsimilar linear transformations which have isomorphic functional graphs (and so are conjugate by a nonlinear permutation of [math]\displaystyle{ (\mathbb{F}_q)^n) }[/math]. I review some of this work and prove an new upper bound on the number of equivalence classes of affinelinear transformations of [math]\displaystyle{ (F_q)^n }[/math] under the equivalence relation of isomorphism of functional graphs. This bound is significantly smaller than the number of conjugacy classes of [math]\displaystyle{ \operatorname{GL}_n(q) }[/math]. This is joint work with Eric Bach.
