returns the orbits of the points pi under the action of the elements of group.


finds the orbits under the group action given by a function f.


  • Two points belong to the same orbit under group if there is an element g in group such that the image of one point under g is the other point.
  • If a point p is fixed by all elements in group then it forms an orbit {p}.
  • GroupOrbits[group] gives all orbits in the natural domain of action of group.
  • Orbits are given as sorted lists.
  • Evaluation of f[p,g] for an action function f, a point p and a permutation g of the given group is assumed to return another point p'.
  • For permutation groups, the default group action is taken to be PermutationReplace.


open allclose all

Basic Examples  (1)

Take a permutation group:

Orbit of point 3:

Point 7 belongs to the same orbit:

Point 4 belongs to a different orbit:

Scope  (4)

Orbits of integer points under a permutation group:

Orbits of all points in the support of the group:

When the group only contains the identity permutation, all points are singletons:

A rank-4 symbolic tensor that is symmetric in the first and second pairs of indices:

A group of eight permutations:

Construct the orbit of tensors under the action of transposition. Only two elements are different:

Applications  (3)

A group acts transitively in a domain if all points of the domain belong to the same orbit:

These permutations generate a transitive group:

But these do not generate a transitive group on the same domain:

The orbit of a permutation under standard permutation action is its conjugacy class:

Check whether a simple and connected graph is distance-transitive:

These graphs are distance-transitive:

These graphs are not distance-transitive:

Properties & Relations  (8)

According to the orbit-counting lemma, the number of orbits of a permutation group is equal to the average number of fixed points of its elements.

This function returns the points fixed by a permutation:

Take a group with three orbits:

Compute how many points are fixed by each element in the group:

The average is the number of orbits:

Orbits under the action of the identity group:

Group orbits of an empty list:

The lengths of the orbits are divisors of the order of the group:

If the generators have supports of very different size then usually there is one large and several small orbits:

The orbit of point 1 under a group:

Folding PermutationReplace over the group elements does not find all orbit points:

For a general expression, an orbit under Permute action is equivalent to the action of all group elements:

However, if the expression has repeated elements, then GroupOrbits will return only distinct results:

These two expressions cannot be related by a group element because they belong to different orbits:

Permutations of an alternating group cannot change signature:

Wolfram Research (2010), GroupOrbits, Wolfram Language function,


Wolfram Research (2010), GroupOrbits, Wolfram Language function,


@misc{reference.wolfram_2021_grouporbits, author="Wolfram Research", title="{GroupOrbits}", year="2010", howpublished="\url{}", note=[Accessed: 30-November-2021 ]}


@online{reference.wolfram_2021_grouporbits, organization={Wolfram Research}, title={GroupOrbits}, year={2010}, url={}, note=[Accessed: 30-November-2021 ]}


Wolfram Language. 2010. "GroupOrbits." Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Wolfram Research.


Wolfram Language. (2010). GroupOrbits. Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Retrieved from