Abstract:
We initiate a study of the zero-nonzero patterns of n by n alternating sign matrices. We characterize the row (column) sum vectors of these patterns and determine their minimum term rank. In the case of connected alternating sign matrices, we find the minimum number of nonzero entries and characterize the case of equality. We also study symmetric alternating sign matrices, in particular, those with only zeros on the main diagonal. These give rise to alternating signed graphs without loops, and we determine the maximum number of edges in such graphs. We also consider n by n alternating sign matrices whose patterns are maximal within the class of all n by n alternating sign matrices.

Abstract:
Lascoux and Sch\"utzenberger introduced a notion of key associated to any Young tableau. More recently Lascoux defined the key of an alternating sign matrix by recursively removing all -1's in such matrices. But alternating sign matrices are in bijection with monotone triangles, which form a subclass of Young tableaux. We show that in this case these two notions of keys coincide. Moreover we obtain an elegant and direct way to compute the key of any Young tableau, and discuss consequences of our result.

Abstract:
We define a higher spin alternating sign matrix to be an integer-entry square matrix in which, for a nonnegative integer r, all complete row and column sums are r, and all partial row and column sums extending from each end of the row or column are nonnegative. Such matrices correspond to configurations of spin r/2 statistical mechanical vertex models with domain-wall boundary conditions. The case r=1 gives standard alternating sign matrices, while the case in which all matrix entries are nonnegative gives semimagic squares. We show that the higher spin alternating sign matrices of size n are the integer points of the r-th dilate of an integral convex polytope of dimension (n-1)^2 whose vertices are the standard alternating sign matrices of size n. It then follows that, for fixed n, these matrices are enumerated by an Ehrhart polynomial in r.

Abstract:
An alternating sign matrix is a square matrix satisfying (i) all entries are equal to 1, -1 or 0; (ii) every row and column has sum 1; (iii) in every row and column the non-zero entries alternate in sign. The 8-element group of symmetries of the square acts in an obvious way on square matrices. For any subgroup of the group of symmetries of the square we may consider the subset of matrices invariant under elements of this subgroup. There are 8 conjugacy classes of these subgroups giving rise to 8 symmetry classes of matrices. R. P. Stanley suggested the study of those alternating sign matrices in each of these symmetry classes. We have found evidence suggesting that for six of the symmetry classes there exist simple product formulas for the number of alternating sign matrices in the class. Moreover the factorizations of certain of their generating functions point to rather startling connections between several of the symmetry classes and cyclically symmetric plane partitions.

Abstract:
Alternating sign matrices with a U-turn boundary (UASMs) are a recent generalization of ordinary alternating sign matrices. Here we show that variations of these matrices are in bijective correspondence with certain symplectic shifted tableaux that were recently introduced in the context of a symplectic version of Tokuyama's deformation of Weyl's denominator formula. This bijection yields a formula for the weighted enumeration of UASMs. In this connection use is made of the link between UASMs and certain square ice configuration matrices.

Abstract:
Alternating sign matrices (ASMs) are square matrices with entries 0, 1, or -1 whose rows and columns sum to 1 and whose nonzero entries alternate in sign. We put ASMs into a larger context by studying the order ideals of subposets of a certain poset, proving that they are in bijection with a variety of interesting combinatorial objects, including ASMs, totally symmetric self--complementary plane partitions (TSSCPPs), Catalan objects, tournaments, semistandard Young tableaux, and totally symmetric plane partitions. We use this perspective to prove an expansion of the tournament generating function as a sum over TSSCPPs which is analogous to a known formula involving ASMs.

Abstract:
The appearance of numbers enumerating alternating sign matrices in stationary states of certain stochastic processes is reviewed. New conjectures concerning nest distribution functions are presented as well as a bijection between certain classes of alternating sign matrices and lozenge tilings of hexagons with cut off corners.

Abstract:
We introduce a family of planar regions, called Aztec diamonds, and study the ways in which these regions can be tiled by dominoes. Our main result is a generating function that not only gives the number of domino tilings of the Aztec diamond of order $n$ but also provides information about the orientation of the dominoes (vertical versus horizontal) and the accessibility of one tiling from another by means of local modifications. Several proofs of the formula are given. The problem turns out to have connections with the alternating sign matrices of Mills, Robbins, and Rumsey, as well as the square ice model studied by Lieb.

Abstract:
In recent papers we have studied refined enumerations of alternating sign matrices with respect to a fixed set of top and bottom rows. The present paper is a first step towards extending these considerations to alternating sign matrices where in addition a number of left and right columns are fixed. The main result is a simple linear relation between the number of $n \times n$ alternating sign matrices where the top row as well as the left and the right column is fixed and the number of $n \times n$ alternating sign matrices where the two top rows and the bottom row is fixed. This may be seen as a first indication for the fact that the refined enumerations of alternating sign matrices with respect to a fixed set of top and bottom rows as well as left and right columns can possibly be reduced to the refined enumerations where only a number of top and bottom rows are fixed. For the latter numbers we provide a system of linear equations that conjecturally determines them uniquely.

Abstract:
The aim of this note is to prove that fluctuations of uniformly random alternating sign matrices (equivalently, configurations of the six-vertex model with domain wall boundary conditions) near the boundary are described by the Gaussian Unitary Ensemble and the GUE-corners process.