Discrete Mathematics & Theoretical Computer Science |
To each finite subset of a discrete grid $\mathbb{N}×\mathbb{N}$ (a diagram), one can associate a subvariety of a complex Grassmannian (a diagram variety), and a representation of a symmetric group (a Specht module). Liu has conjectured that the cohomology class of a diagram variety is represented by the Frobenius characteristic of the corresponding Specht module. We give a counterexample to this conjecture.However, we show that for the diagram variety of a permutation diagram, Liu's conjectured cohomology class $\sigma$ is at least an upper bound on the actual class $\tau$, in the sense that $\sigma - \tau$ is a nonnegative linear combination of Schubert classes. To do this, we consider a degeneration of Coskun's rank varieties which contains the appropriate diagram variety as a component. Rank varieties are instances of Knutson-Lam-Speyer's positroid varieties, whose cohomology classes are represented by affine Stanley symmetric functions. We show that the cohomology class of a rank variety is in fact represented by an ordinary Stanley symmetric function.