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Category Theory of Symbolic Dynamics

Ville Salo, Ilkka Törmä, Category Theory of Symbolic Dynamics. Theoretical Computer Science 567, 21–45, 2015.



We study the central objects of symbolic dynamics, that is, subshifts and block maps, from the perspective of basic category theory, and present several natural categories with subshifts as objects and block maps as morphisms. Our main goals are to find universal objects in these symbolic categories, to classify their block maps based on their category theoretic properties, to prove category theoretic characterizations for notions arising from symbolic dynamics, and to establish as many natural properties (finite completeness, regularity etc.) as possible. Existing definitions in category theory suggest interesting new problems in symbolic dynamics. Our main technical contributions are the solution to the dual problem of the Extension Lemma and results on certain types of conserved quantities, suggested by the concept of a coequalizer.

BibTeX entry:

  title = {Category Theory of Symbolic Dynamics},
  author = {Salo, Ville and Törmä, Ilkka},
  journal = {Theoretical Computer Science},
  volume = {567},
  publisher = {Elsevier},
  pages = {21–45},
  year = {2015},
  keywords = {symbolic dynamics, category theory, subshift},
  ISSN = {0304-3975},

Belongs to TUCS Research Unit(s): FUNDIM, Fundamentals of Computing and Discrete Mathematics

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