Steiner systems \(S(2, 4, \frac{3^m-1}{2})\) and 2-designs from ternary linear codes of length \(\frac{3^m-1}{2}\)

  • Chunming TangEmail author
  • Cunsheng Ding
  • Maosheng Xiong


Coding theory and t-designs have close connections and interesting interplay. In this paper, we first introduce a class of ternary linear codes and study their parameters. We then focus on their three-weight subcodes with a special weight distribution. We determine the weight distributions of some shortened codes and punctured codes of these three-weight subcodes. These shortened and punctured codes contain some codes that have the same parameters as the best ternary linear codes known in the database maintained by Markus Grassl at These three-weight subcodes with a special weight distribution do not satisfy the conditions of the Assmus–Mattson theorem and do not admit 2-transitive or 2-homogeneous automorphism groups in general. By employing the theory of projective geometries and projective generalized Reed–Muller codes, we prove that they still hold 2-designs. We also determine the parameters of these 2-designs. This paper mainly confirms some recent conjectures of Ding and Li regarding Steiner systems and 2-designs from a special type of ternary projective codes.


Cyclic code Linear code t-design Steiner system 

Mathematics Subject Classification

94B05 94B15 05B05 



The authors are grateful to the reviewers and the editors for their comments and suggestions that improved the quality of this paper.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mathematics and InformationChina West Normal UniversityNanchongChina
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringThe Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyKowloonChina
  3. 3.Department of MathematicsThe Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyKowloonChina

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