### Moduli spaces of abelian differentials : the principal boundary, counting problems, and the Siegel-Veech constants

A holomorphic 1-form on a compact Riemann surface S naturally defines a flat metric on S with cone-type singularities. We present the following surprising phenomenon: having found a geodesic segment (saddle connection) joining a pair of conical points one can find with a nonzero probability another saddle connection on S having the same direction and the same length as the initial one. A similar phenomenon is valid for the families of parallel closed geodesics. We give a complete description of...