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DOI: 10.32604/cmes.2022.019941


Partial Bell Polynomials, Falling and Rising Factorials, Stirling Numbers, and Combinatorial Identities

Siqintuya Jin1, Bai-Ni Guo2,* and Qi Feng3,*

1College of Mathematics and Physics, Inner Mongolia Minzu University, Tongliao, 028043, China
2School of Mathematics and Informatics, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo, 454010, China
3School of Mathematical Sciences, Tiangong University, Tianjin, 300387, China
*Corresponding Authors: Bai-Ni Guo. Email: bai.ni.guo@gmail.com; Feng Qi. Email: qifeng618@gmail.com
Received: 25 October 2021; Accepted: 24 January 2022

Abstract: In the paper, the authors collect, discuss, and find out several connections, equivalences, closed-form formulas, and combinatorial identities concerning partial Bell polynomials, falling factorials, rising factorials, extended binomial coefficients, and the Stirling numbers of the first and second kinds. These results are new, interesting, important, useful, and applicable in combinatorial number theory.

Keywords: Connection; equivalence; closed-form formula; combinatorial identity; partial Bell polynomial; falling factorial; rising factorial; binomial coefficient; Stirling number of the first kind; Stirling number of the second kind; problem

1  Preliminaries

In this paper, we use the notation

={1,2,},   ={1,2,},0={0,1,2,},={0,±1,±2,},  =(,),   ={x+iy:x,y,i=1}.

The partial Bell polynomials, also known as the Bell polynomials of the second kind, in combinatorics can be denoted and defined by


for nkN0. See TheoremA on page 134 in [1]. The partial Bell polynomials satisfy the identity


for nkN0. See page 135 in [1].

The double factorial of negative odd integers −(2k+1) is defined by


The falling factorial zn and the rising factorial (z)n for nN0 and zC can be defined by




respectively. It is easy to verify that




See page 167 in [2] and related texts in the paper [3].

The Stirling numbers of the first kind s(n, k) for nkN0 can be analytically generated (see page 51 in [1]) by


and can be explicitly computed (see Corollary 2.3 in [4]) by


for nkN. The Stirling numbers of the second kind S(n, k) for nkN0 can be analytically generated (see page 51 in [1]) by


and can be explicitly computed (see TheoremA on page 204 in [1]) by


For more information on the Stirling numbers of the first and second kinds s(n, k) and S(n, k), please refer to the papers [5,6] and the monographs [7,8].

The extended binomial coefficient (zw) for z,wC is defined in [9] by

(zw)={Γ(z+1)Γ(w+1)Γ(zw+1),zN,w,zwN0,zN,wN or zwNzww!,zN,wN0zzw(zw)!,z,wN,zwN00,z,wN,zwN,zN,wZ

in terms of the falling factorial zw, which is defined by (3), and the classical Euler’s gamma function Γ(z), which can be defined (see Chapter3 in [10]) by


On page 206 in [1] and on page 165 in [7], there are two relations




The falling factorial zn and the rising factorial (z)n can be represented by


for zC and nN0.

In this paper, we will collect, discuss, and find out several connections, equivalences, closed-form formulas, and combinatorial identities concerning partial Bell polynomials 𝐁n,k, falling factorials zn, rising factorials (z)n, extended binomial coefficients (zw), and the Stirling numbers of the first and second kinds s(n, k) and S(n, k).

2  Equivalences

Among the Stirling numbers of the first and second kinds s(n, k) and S(n, k), the falling factorial αn, and extended binomial coefficient (αn), there are the following beautiful equivalences.

Theorem 2.1. For nkN0 and αC, we have




Proof. In Remark 3.1 of [11], the formula


for nkN0 and λC was concluded. An equivalence of the formula (11) is


for nkN0 and αC, which was proved in Theorems 2.1 and 4.1 of [2].

The formulas (11) and (12) can be rewritten respectively as




for nkN0 and α,λC, as done in Remark 7 of [12].

Considering the formulas (6), (7), and (8) in the formulas (12) or (13), we can derive


for nkN0 and αC.

Combining (12), (13), and (14) results in


for nkN0 and αC. The equivalences in (9) and (10) are thus proved. The proof of Theorem 2.1 is complete.

3  Simpler Closed-Form Formulas

When taking α=±1,±2,12 in (9) and (10) respectively, we can derive several simpler closed-form combinatorial identities.

Theorem 3.1. For nkN0, we have

j=kns(n,j)1jS(j,k)=(0nk), (16)

j=kns(n,j)2jS(j,k)=n!k!(knk)22kn, (17)

j=kns(n,j)(12)jS(j,k)=(1)n+k[2(nk)1]!!2n(2nk12(nk)), (18)

j=kns(n,j)(1)jS(j,k)=(1)nn!k!(n1k1), (19)



Proof. By the definition (1), we can easily deduce that, for nkN0,


where we used the relation (15). See also pages 167–168 in [2]. The identity (16), which recovers the first one in (28) below, is thus proved.

In Theorem 5.1 of [13] and in Section 3 of [14], the formula


was established for nkN0, where we assumed (00)=1 and (pq)=0 for q>pN0. Making use of the identity (2), we can derive from the formula (22) that


for nkN0. The identity (17) is thus verified.

In the proof of Theorem 3.2 in [2], it was obtained that


for nkN0. The identity (18) is thus proved.

Replacing α by α in (14) and utilizing (5) give


for nkN0 and αC. Taking α=12 in the formula (25) and making use of the identity


in Section 1.5 of [15] and in Theorem 1.2 of [16], we derive


for nkN0. The identity (18) is proved again.

Employing the relation (25) and using the identities




in Sections 1.3 and 1.9 of [15] and in Lemma 6 of [17], we acquire




The identities (19) and (20) are thus derived. The proof of Theorem 3.1 is complete.

Remark 3.1. We can regard those identities from (17) to (20) in Theorem 3.1 as generalizations of the orthogonality relations


listed on page 171 in [7].

Theorem 3.2. For nN0 and αC, we have




Proof. Combining (12) and (14) yields


Accordingly, similar to arguments in Lemma 2.2 of [18], we acquire


for nN, where we used the relation


which is a special case x = 0 and r= of the identity


in the formula (1.48) on pages 27–28 of [8], we used the relation (7) twice, and we used the equality


which is a special case r = 1 and p = m of the identity


in the formula (X.5) on page 132 of [8]. Further applying relations in (15), we conclude those relations in (29).

Replacing α by α in (29), using the identities (4), (5), and (2) in sequence, and simplifying lead to (30). The proof of Theorem 3.2 is thus complete.

Remark 3.2. The last equality in (29) can be rewritten as


Theorem 12.1 on page 171 of [7] reads that, if bα and ak are a collection of constants independent of n, then

an=α=0nS(n,α)bαif and only ifbn=k=0ns(n,k)ak.

Applying Theorem 12.1 on page 171 in [7] to the second equality in (33), we find


Considering the explicit formula (6) and utilizing (31) and (32), we arrive at


for nN. Therefore, we obtain


which is a recovery of the well-known relation


in the equation (1.27) on page 19 of [10].

4  Several Combinatorial Identities

In items (3.163) and (3.164) on pages 91–92 of [8], we find two identities




Lemma 2.2 in [18] reads that


We can also find some discussions and alternative proofs for these three identities at the sites https://math.stackexchange.com/q/1098257 and https://math.stackexchange.com/q/4235171.

Theorem 4.1. For n,kN0, the identities

=0k(1)(k)(n)={0,k>nN0;(1)kk!n!(0nk),nkN0, (35)

=0k(1)(k)(2n)={0,k>nN0;(1)k(knk)22kn,nkN0, (36)

=0k(1)(k)(n)={0,k>nN0;(1)n+k(n1k1),nkN0, (37)

=0k(1)(k)(2n)={0,k>nN0;(1)n=0k(1)(k)(n+21n),nkN0, (38)

and the identity (34) are valid.

Proof. For the case nkN0, these identities follow from Theorem 3.1, the equivalence (10), and simplifying.

For the case k>nN0, making use of the relation 8 and utilizing the explicit formula (6), we acquire


for all k,nN0 and αC, where 00 was regarded as 1. Therefore, it is clear that


The proof of Theorem 4.1 is complete.

Remark 4.1. The identity (35) can be simplified as


for n,kN0.

The identities (36), (37), and (39) in Theorem 4.1 are probably new.

Theorem 4.2. For nN0, we have

k=0n(1)kk!(0nk)=(1)nn!, (39)

k=0n(1)k(knk)22k=(1)n2n(n+1), (40)

k=0n(1)k(n1k1)={1,n=0;1,n=1;0,n2, (41)

k=0n(1)k(n+2k1n)(n+1k+1)={1,n=0;2,n=1;1,n=2;0,n3, (42)

=0n(1)(/2n)(n+1+1)=(1)n(2n1)!!(2n)!!, (43)

k=0nk![2(nk)1]!!(2nk12(nk))=(2n1)!!, (44)



Proof. From (29), we conclude that


for nN0 and αC.

Substituting (21) into (46) gives


The identity (39) is thus proved.

Substituting (23) into (46) results in


The identity (40) is verified.

Utilizing the relations (2) and (5), we can reformulate the identity (26) as


Substituting this equality into (46) arrives at


The formula (41) follows.

Utilizing the relations (2) and (5), we can reformulate the identity (27) as


Substituting this equality into (46) and employing (31) reveal




The fourth equality (42) in Theorem 4.2 is thus proved.

Employing (31), we can rearrange the identity (43) as


The equality (43) is deduced.

In Theorem 3.2 of [2], on page 5 in [15], and in Theorem 4.2 of [19], there is the equality


for nk0. Hence, we obtain


for nN, where we assumed 00 = 1 and used (7), (31), and (32). Hence, we acquire (44) and


Combining the last one with the relation


which is obtained by applying α=12 to the second equality in (29), yields the identity (43) again.

Substituting (24) into (46) leads to


which is a recovery of the formula (44).

For kN, let sk and Sk be two sequences independent of n such that nkN. Theorem 4.4 on page 528 in [20] reads that

sn=k=1n(knk)Skif and only if(1)nnSn=k=1n(2nk1n1)(1)kksk.(47)

Letting Sn = ( −1)n22n and sn = ( −1)n2n(n+1), considering (40), applying the inversion theorem expressed by (47), and simplifying figure out the identity (45).

Remark 4.2. The formula (44) is also alternatively established in the proof of Theorem 3.2 in [18] and in Remark 5.3 of [21].

Remark 4.3. The identity (34) established in Lemma 2.2 of [18] and recovered in Theorem 4.1, the identity (36) in Theorem 4.1, and the formula (43) in Theorem 4.2 were announced at https://math.stackexchange.com/a/4268339 and https://math.stackexchange.com/a/4268341 online.

Remark 4.4. In Remark 3.4 of [18], applying the inversion theorem expressed by (47), we obtained




5  Several Problems and Numerical Demonstrations

Can one find out simpler closed-form formulas like those in Theorem 3.1 for the quantities


for nkN0?

By the methods used in this paper, can one find out more combinatorial identities like those in Theorems (4.1) and 4.2?

In general, can one find explicit and closed-form formulas of the quantities

Bn,k(α1,α2,...,αnk+1),l=0k(1)l(kl) αl n,l=0k(1)l(kl)(αln),l=kns(n,l)αlS(l,k),l=knS(n,l)αls(l,k)

for some special values αC{0,±1,±2,±12}?

For better understanding the above problems, by the Wolfram Mathematica 12, we numerically compute the quantity


for 0kn9 and list their values as


If fixing k = 4, 5 and n = 7, 8 and regarding α as a real variable on the interval [ −9, 9], then the graphs plotted by the Wolfram Mathematica 12 are showed in Figs. 1 and 2.


Figure 1: The graphs of Q(4,7;α) and Q(4,8;α) for α[9,9]


Figure 2: The graphs of Q(5,7;α) and Q(5,8;α) for α[9,9]

6  Conclusions

In this paper, we collected, discussed, and found out significant connections, equivalences, closed-form formulas, and combinatorial identities concerning partial Bell polynomials 𝐁n,k, falling factorials zn, rising factorials (z)n, extended binomial coefficients (zw), and the Stirling numbers of the first and second kinds s(n, k) and S(n, k). These results are new, interesting, important, useful, and applicable in combinatorial number theory and other areas, as done in the papers [2227] and closely related references therein.

Acknowledgement: The authors thank anonymous referees for their careful corrections, helpful suggestions, and valuable comments on the original version of this paper.

Funding Statement: This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.12061033), by the Research Program of Science and Technology at Universities of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (Grants No. NJZY20119), and by the Natural Science Foundation of Inner Mongolia (Grant No. 2019MS01007), China.

Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest to report regarding the present study.


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