Rational subsets of Baumslag-Solitar groups [article]

Michaël Cadilhac, Dmitry Chistikov, Georg Zetzsche
2020 arXiv   pre-print
We consider the rational subset membership problem for Baumslag-Solitar groups. These groups form a prominent class in the area of algorithmic group theory, and they were recently identified as an obstacle for understanding the rational subsets of GL(2,Q). We show that rational subset membership for Baumslag-Solitar groups BS(1,q) with q> 2 is decidable and PSPACE-complete. To this end, we introduce a word representation of the elements of BS(1,q): their pointed expansion (PE), an annotated
more » ... y expansion. Seeing subsets of BS(1,q) as word languages, this leads to a natural notion of PE-regular subsets of BS(1, q): these are the subsets of BS(1,q) whose sets of PE are regular languages. Our proof shows that every rational subset of BS(1,q) is PE-regular. Since the class of PE-regular subsets of BS(1,q) is well-equipped with closure properties, we obtain further applications of these results. Our results imply that (i) emptiness of Boolean combinations of rational subsets is decidable, (ii) membership to each fixed rational subset of BS(1,q) is decidable in logarithmic space, and (iii) it is decidable whether a given rational subset is recognizable. In particular, it is decidable whether a given finitely generated subgroup of BS(1,q) has finite index.
arXiv:2006.11898v1 fatcat:y3q6p66235fwxbqumy6hrafb2q