The word problem and combinatorial methods for groups and semigroups

Nyberg Brodda, Carl-Fredrik (2021) The word problem and combinatorial methods for groups and semigroups. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The subject matter of this thesis is combinatorial semigroup theory. It includes material, in no particular order, from combinatorial and geometric group theory, formal language theory, theoretical computer science, the history of mathematics, formal logic, model theory, graph theory, and decidability theory.

In Chapter 1, we will give an overview of the mathematical background required to state the results of the remaining chapters. The only originality therein lies in the exposition of special monoids presented in §1.3, which the approaches by several authors.

In Chapter 2, we introduce some general algebraic and language-theoretic constructions which will be useful in subsequent chapters. As a corollary of these general methods, we recover and generalise a recent result by Brough, Cain & that the class of monoids with context-free word problem is closed under taking free products.

In Chapter 3, we study language-theoretic and algebraic properties of special monoids, and completely classify this theory in terms of the group of units. As a result, we generalise the Muller-Schupp theorem to special monoids, and answer a question posed by Zhang in 1992.

In Chapter 4, we give a similar treatment to weakly compressible monoids, and characterise their language-theoretic properties. As a corollary, we deduce many new results for one-relation monoids, including solving the rational subset membership problem for many such monoids. We also prove, among many other results, that it is decidable whether a one-relation monoid containing a non-trivial idempotent has context-free word problem.

In Chapter 5, we study context-free graphs, and connect the algebraic theory of special monoids with the geometric behaviour of their Cayley graphs. This generalises the geometric aspects of the Muller-Schupp theorem for groups to special monoids. We study the growth rate of special monoids, and prove that a special monoid of intermediate growth is a group.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Mathematics
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2022 13:23
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2022 13:23


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