# Multiplicative partition

In number theory, a **multiplicative partition** or **unordered factorization** of an integer *n* that is greater than 1 is a way of writing *n* as a product of integers greater than 1, treating two products as equivalent if they differ only in the ordering of the factors. The number *n* is itself considered one of these products. Multiplicative partitions closely parallel the study of **multipartite partitions**, discussed in Template:Harvtxt, which are additive partitions of finite sequences of positive integers, with the addition made pointwise. Although the study of multiplicative partitions has been ongoing since at least 1923, the name "multiplicative partition" appears to have been introduced by Template:Harvtxt. The Latin name "factorisatio numerorum" had been used previously. MathWorld uses the term **unordered factorization**.

## Examples

- The number 20 has four multiplicative partitions: 2 × 2 × 5, 2 × 10, 4 × 5, and 20.
- 3 × 3 × 3 × 3, 3 × 3 × 9, 3 × 27, 9 × 9, and 81 are the five multiplicative partitions of 81 = 3
^{4}. Because it is the fourth power of a prime, 81 has the same number (five) of multiplicative partitions as 4 does of additive partitions. - The number 30 has five multiplicative partitions: 2 × 3 × 5 = 2 × 15 = 6 × 5 = 3 × 10 = 30.
- In general, the number of multiplicative partitions of a squarefree number with
**i**prime factors is the ith Bell number, B_{i}.

## Application

Template:Harvtxt describe an application of multiplicative partitions in classifying integers with a given number of divisors. For example, the integers with exactly 12 divisors take the forms *p*^{11}, *p*×*q*^{5}, *p*^{2}×*q*^{3}, and *p*×*q*×*r*^{2}, where *p*, *q*, and *r* are distinct prime numbers; these forms correspond to the multiplicative partitions 12, 2×6, 3×4, and 2×2×3 respectively. More generally, for each multiplicative partition

of the integer *k*, there corresponds a class of integers having exactly *k* divisors, of the form

where each *p*_{i} is a distinct prime. This correspondence follows from the multiplicative property of the divisor function.

## Bounds on the number of partitions

Template:Harvtxt credits Template:Harvtxt with the problem of counting the number of multiplicative partitions of *n*; this problem has since been studied by other others under the Latin name of *factorisatio numerorum*. If the number of multiplicative partitions of *n* is *a*_{n}, McMahon and Oppenheim observed that its Dirichlet series generating function ƒ(*s*) has the product representation

The sequence of numbers *a _{n}* begins

Oppenheim also claimed an upper bound on *a _{n}*, of the form

but as Template:Harvtxt showed, this bound is erroneous and the true bound is

Both of these bounds are not far from linear in *n*: they are of the form *n*^{1−o(1)}.
However, the typical value of *a _{n}* is much smaller: the average value of

*a*, averaged over an interval

_{n}*x*≤

*n*≤

*x*+

*N*, is

a bound that is of the form *n*^{o(1)} Template:Harv.

## Additional results

Template:Harvtxt observe, and Template:Harvtxt prove, that most numbers cannot arise as the number *a _{n}* of multiplicative partitions of some

*n*: the number of values less than

*N*which arise in this way is

*N*

^{O(log log log N / log log N)}. Additionally, Template:Harvtxt show that most values of

*n*are not multiples of

*a*: the number of values

_{n}*n*≤

*N*such that

*a*divides

_{n}*n*is O(

*N*/ log

^{1 + o(1)}

*N*).

## See also

## References

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## Further reading

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