Counting symbol switches in synchronizing automata [article]

Henk Don, Hans Zantema
2018 arXiv   pre-print
Instead of looking at the lengths of synchronizing words as in Černý's conjecture, we look at the switch count of such words, that is, we only count the switches from one letter to another. Where the synchronizing words of the Černý automata C_n have switch count linear in n, we wonder whether synchronizing automata exist for which every synchronizing word has quadratic switch count. The answer is positive: we prove that switch count has the same complexity as synchronizing word length. We give
more » ... some series of synchronizing automata yielding quadratic switch count, the best one reaching 2/3 n^2 + O(n) as switch count. We investigate all binary automata on at most 9 states and determine the maximal possible switch count. For all 3≤ n≤ 9, a strictly higher switch count can be reached by allowing more symbols. This behaviour differs from length, where for every n, no automata are known with higher synchronization length than C_n, which has only two symbols. It is not clear if this pattern extends to larger n. For n≥ 12, our best construction only has two symbols.
arXiv:1812.04050v1 fatcat:3n3vcp2xyvhizd2pbzud4tqyga