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Symbolic dynamics, Word complexity, Automorphism groups, Locally finite groups

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College of Natural Science and Mathematics, Mathematics


We prove that for any transitive subshift X with word complexity function cn(X), if lim inf(log(cn(X)/n)/(log log log n)) = 0, then the quotient group Aut(X, σ)/〈 σ〉 of the automorphism group of X by the subgroup generated by the shift σ is locally finite. We prove that significantly weaker upper bounds on cn(X) imply the same conclusion if the gap conjecture from geometric group theory is true. Our proofs rely on a general upper bound for the number of automorphisms of X of range n in terms of word complexity, which may be of independent interest. As an application, we are also able to prove that for any subshift X, if cn(X)/n2(log n) −1 → 0, then Aut(X, σ) is amenable, improving a result of Cyr and Kra. In the opposite direction, we show that for any countable infinite locally finite group G and any unbounded increasing f : N → N, there exists a minimal subshift X with Aut(X, σ)/〈 σ〉 isomorphic to G and cn(X)/nf (n) → 0.

Publication Statement

This article was originally published as:

Pavlov, R., & Schmieding, S. (2022). Local finiteness and automorphism groups of low complexity subshifts. Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems, 1-22. doi:10.1017/etds.2022.7

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.