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We find a geometric invariant of isotopy classes of strongly irreducible Heegaard splittings of toroidal 3-manifolds. Combining this invariant with a theorem of R Weidmann, proved here in the appendix, we show that a closed, totally orientable Seifert fibered space M has infinitely many isotopy classes of Heegaard splittings of the same genus if and only if M has an irreducible, horizontal Heegaard splitting, has a base orbifold of positive genus, and is not a circle bundle. This characterizesdoi:10.2140/agt.2006.6.351 fatcat:tz7w6bys6nfgzg2zkoapnn2zjm