On graph norms for complex-valued functions

Joonkyung Lee, Alexander Sidorenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For any given graph (Formula presented.), one may define a natural corresponding functional (Formula presented.) for real-valued functions by using homomorphism density. One may also extend this to complex-valued functions, once (Formula presented.) is paired with a 2-edge-colouring (Formula presented.) to assign conjugates. We say that (Formula presented.) is real-norming (respectively complex-norming) if (Formula presented.) (respectively (Formula presented.) for some (Formula presented.)) is a norm on the vector space of real-valued (respectively complex-valued) functions. These generalise the Gowers octahedral norms, a widely used tool in extremal combinatorics to quantify quasi randomness. We unify these two seemingly different notions of graph norms in real- and complex-valued settings. Namely, we prove that (Formula presented.) is complex-norming if and only if it is real-norming and simply call the property norming. Our proof does not explicitly construct a suitable 2-edge-colouring (Formula presented.) but obtains its existence and uniqueness, which may be of independent interest. As an application, we give various example graphs that are not norming. In particular, we show that hypercubes are not norming, which resolves the last outstanding problem posed in Hatami's pioneering work on graph norms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1501-1538
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of the London Mathematical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The first author is supported by the research fund of Hanyang University (HY‐202100000003086). Part of this work was also carried out while the first author was supported by IMSS Research Fellowship and ERC Consolidator Grant PEPCo 724903.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. The publishing rights in this article are licensed to the London Mathematical Society under an exclusive licence.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mathematics(all)


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