On the Number of Ordinary Lines Determined by Sets in Complex Space

Abdul Basit, Zeev Dvir, Shubhangi Saraf, Charles Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kelly’s theorem states that a set of n points affinely spanning C 3 must determine at least one ordinary complex line (a line incident to exactly two of the points). Our main theorem shows that such sets determine at least 3n / 2 ordinary lines, unless the configuration has n- 1 points in a plane and one point outside the plane (in which case there are at least n- 1 ordinary lines). In addition, when at most n / 2 points are contained in any plane, we prove stronger bounds that take advantage of the existence of lines with four or more points (in the spirit of Melchior’s and Hirzebruch’s inequalities). Furthermore, when the points span four or more dimensions, with at most n / 2 points contained in any three-dimensional affine subspace, we show that there must be a quadratic number of ordinary lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)778-808
Number of pages31
JournalDiscrete and Computational Geometry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Geometry and Topology
  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


  • Combinatorial geometry
  • Designs
  • Ordinary lines
  • Sylvester–Gallai


Dive into the research topics of 'On the Number of Ordinary Lines Determined by Sets in Complex Space'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this