# Privileged Words and Sturmian Words

##### Peltomäki, Jarkko (2016-08-19)

Privileged Words and Sturmian Words

Peltomäki, Jarkko

(19.08.2016)

Turku Centre for Computer Science

**Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on:**

https://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-12-3422-4

#### Kuvaus

Siirretty Doriasta

##### Tiivistelmä

This dissertation has two almost unrelated themes: privileged words and Sturmian words. Privileged words are a new class of words introduced recently. A word is privileged if it is a complete ﬁrst return to a shorter privileged word, the shortest privileged words being letters and the empty word. Here we give and prove almost all results on privileged words known to date. On the other hand, the study of Sturmian words is a well-established topic in combinatorics on words. In this dissertation, we focus on questions concerning repetitions in Sturmian words, reproving old results and giving new ones, and on establishing completely new research directions.

The study of privileged words presented in this dissertation aims to derive their basic properties and to answer basic questions regarding them. We explore a connection between privileged words and palindromes and seek out answers to questions on context-freeness, computability, and enumeration. It turns out that the language of privileged words is not context-free, but privileged words are recognizable by a linear-time algorithm. A lower bound on the number of binary privileged words of given length is proven. The main interest, however, lies in the privileged complexity functions of the Thue-Morse word and Sturmian words. We derive recurrences for computing the privileged complexity function of the Thue-Morse word, and we prove that Sturmian words are characterized by their privileged complexity function. As a slightly separate topic, we give an overview of a certain method of automated theorem-proving and show how it can be applied to study privileged factors of automatic words.

The second part of this dissertation is devoted to Sturmian words. We extensively exploit the interpretation of Sturmian words as irrational rotation words. The essential tools are continued fractions and elementary, but powerful, results of Diophantine approximation theory. With these tools at our disposal, we reprove old results on powers occurring in Sturmian words with emphasis on the fractional index of a Sturmian word. Further, we consider abelian powers and abelian repetitions and characterize the maximum exponents of abelian powers with given period occurring in a Sturmian word in terms of the continued fraction expansion of its slope. We deﬁne the notion of abelian critical exponent for Sturmian words and explore its connection to the Lagrange spectrum of irrational numbers. The results obtained are often specialized for the Fibonacci word; for instance, we show that the minimum abelian period of a factor of the Fibonacci word is a Fibonacci number. In addition, we propose a completely new research topic: the square root map. We prove that the square root map preserves the language of any Sturmian word. Moreover, we construct a family of non-Sturmian optimal squareful words whose language the square root map also preserves.This construction yields examples of aperiodic inﬁnite words whose square roots are periodic.

The study of privileged words presented in this dissertation aims to derive their basic properties and to answer basic questions regarding them. We explore a connection between privileged words and palindromes and seek out answers to questions on context-freeness, computability, and enumeration. It turns out that the language of privileged words is not context-free, but privileged words are recognizable by a linear-time algorithm. A lower bound on the number of binary privileged words of given length is proven. The main interest, however, lies in the privileged complexity functions of the Thue-Morse word and Sturmian words. We derive recurrences for computing the privileged complexity function of the Thue-Morse word, and we prove that Sturmian words are characterized by their privileged complexity function. As a slightly separate topic, we give an overview of a certain method of automated theorem-proving and show how it can be applied to study privileged factors of automatic words.

The second part of this dissertation is devoted to Sturmian words. We extensively exploit the interpretation of Sturmian words as irrational rotation words. The essential tools are continued fractions and elementary, but powerful, results of Diophantine approximation theory. With these tools at our disposal, we reprove old results on powers occurring in Sturmian words with emphasis on the fractional index of a Sturmian word. Further, we consider abelian powers and abelian repetitions and characterize the maximum exponents of abelian powers with given period occurring in a Sturmian word in terms of the continued fraction expansion of its slope. We deﬁne the notion of abelian critical exponent for Sturmian words and explore its connection to the Lagrange spectrum of irrational numbers. The results obtained are often specialized for the Fibonacci word; for instance, we show that the minimum abelian period of a factor of the Fibonacci word is a Fibonacci number. In addition, we propose a completely new research topic: the square root map. We prove that the square root map preserves the language of any Sturmian word. Moreover, we construct a family of non-Sturmian optimal squareful words whose language the square root map also preserves.This construction yields examples of aperiodic inﬁnite words whose square roots are periodic.

##### Kokoelmat

- Väitöskirjat [2464]