Unambiguous morphic images of strings
journal contributionposted on 04.07.2008, 11:14 by Dominik Freydenberger, Daniel Reidenbach, Johannes C. Schneider
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We study a fundamental combinatorial problem on morphisms in free semigroups: With regard to any string α over some alphabet we ask for the existence of a morphism σ such that σ(α) is unambiguous, i.e. there is no morphism T with T(i) ≠ σ(i) for some symbol i in α and, nevertheless, T(α) = σ(α). As a consequence of its elementary nature, this question shows a variety of connections to those topics in discrete mathematics which are based on finite strings and morphisms such as pattern languages, equality sets and, thus, the Post Correspondence Problem. Our studies demonstrate that the existence of unambiguous morphic images essen- tially depends on the structure of α: We introduce a partition of the set of all finite strings into those that are decomposable (referred to as prolix) in a particular manner and those that are indecomposable (called succinct). This partition, that is also known to be of major importance for the research on pattern languages and on finite fixed points of morphisms, allows to formulate our main result according to which a string α can be mapped by an injective morphism onto an unambiguous image if and only if α is succinct.
- Computer Science