Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 April 2001
Let G be an abelian group. For a subset A ⊂ G, denote by 2 ∧ A the set of sums of two different elements of A. A conjecture by Erdős and Heilbronn, first proved by Dias da Silva and Hamidoune, states that, when G has prime order, [mid ]2 ∧ A[mid ] [ges ] min([mid ]G[mid ], 2[mid ]A[mid ] − 3).
We prove that, for abelian groups of odd order (respectively, cyclic groups), the inequality [mid ]2 ∧ A[mid ] [ges ] min([mid ]G[mid ], 3[mid ]A[mid ]/2) holds when A is a generating set of G, 0 ∈ A and [mid ]A[mid ] [ges ] 21 (respectively, [mid ]A[mid ] [ges ] 33). The structure of the sets for which equality holds is also determined.