A {\em cyclic graph} is a graph with at each vertex a cyclic order of the edges incident with it specified. We characterize which real-valued functions on the collection of cubic cyclic graphs are partition functions of a real vertex model (P. de la Harpe, V.F.R. Jones, Graph invariants related to statistical mechanical models: examples and problems, Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series B 57 (1993) 207--227). They are characterized by `weak reflection positivity', which amounts to the positive semidefiniteness of matrices based on the `k-join' of cubic cyclic graphs (for all $k\in\oZ_+$). Basic tools are the representation theory of the symmetric group and geometric invariant theory, in particular the Hanlon-Wales theorem on the decomposition of Brauer algebras and the Procesi-Schwarz theorem on inequalities defining orbit spaces.
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Networks and Optimization

Regts, G., Schrijver, L., & Sevenster, B. (2015). On partition functions of 3-graphs. arXiv.org e-Print archive. Cornell University Library .