# Maximum size of a Sperner family containing a set of a given size

Given a set $A$ of $n$ elements and an positive integer $k\le n$, what is the size of the largest Sperner family $\mathcal{F}$ of subsets of $A$ such that $\mathcal{F}$ contains a set $B\subseteq A$ of size $k$?

I wonder whether it is just the family made of all subsets of $A$ of size $k$ (and why) or one can build a larger one.

• If $k$ is much smaller than $n$, we can build set systems that contain a $k$-subset and larger than $\binom{n}{k}$. Keep the $k$-set apart. There will be a sperner family of length $\binom{n-k}{\lfloor \frac{n-k}{2} \rfloor}$. Then, append the $k$-set to it. (for example note that when $n=10,k=2$, this gives a longer antichain). But we need not stop here, much more subsets can be appended. The final answer might be broken into cases depending on $k$. Thanks for a good problem, it deserves special attention. Jun 8 '14 at 17:04
• @talegari: thank you (again)! Jun 8 '14 at 18:01

If k is much smaller than n, we can build set systems that contain a k-subset and larger than $$\binom{n}{k}$$. Keep the k-set apart. There will be a sperner family of length $$\binom{n-k}{\lfloor \frac{n-k}{2} \rfloor}$$. Then, append the k-set to it. (for example note that when $$n=10,k=2$$, this gives a longer antichain). But we need not stop here, much more subsets can be appended. The final answer might be broken into cases depending on k. Thanks for a good problem, it deserves special attention.