Stirling numbers of the first kind
The Stirling numbers of the first kind, frequently denoted as
Here is the table of some initial values.
There is also a strong connection with the generalized binomial formula, which furnishes us with the following generating function:
This generating function implies a number of identities. Taking the derivative of both sides with respect to and equating powers, leads to the recurrence relation described above. Taking the derivative of both sides with respect to gives
This is because the derivative of the left side of the generating funcion equation with respect to is
The absolute value of the Stirling number of the first kind, , counts the number of permutations of objects with exactly orbits (equivalently, with exactly cycles). For example, , corresponds to the fact that the symmetric group on 4 objects has permutations of the form
and permutations of the form
(see the entry on cycle notation for the meaning of the above expressions.)
Let us prove this. First, we can remark that the unsigned Stirling numbers of the first are characterized by the following recurrence relation:
To see why the above recurrence relation matches the count of permutations with cycles, consider forming a permutation of objects from a permutation of objects by adding a distinguished object. There are exactly two ways in which this can be accomplished. We could do this by forming a singleton cycle, i.e. leaving the extra object alone. This accounts for the term in the recurrence formula. We could also insert the new object into one of the existing cycles. Consider an arbitrary permutation of object with cycles, and label the objects , so that the permutation is represented by
To form a new permutation of objects and cycles one must insert the new object into this array. There are, evidently ways to perform this insertion. This explains the term of the recurrence relation. Q.E.D.
|Title||Stirling numbers of the first kind|
|Date of creation||2013-03-22 12:33:44|
|Last modified on||2013-03-22 12:33:44|
|Last modified by||rmilson (146)|