Generic properties of subgroups of free groups and finite presentations

Abstract : Asymptotic properties of finitely generated subgroups of free groups, and of finite group presentations, can be considered in several fashions, depending on the way these objects are represented and on the distribution assumed on these representations: here we assume that they are represented by tuples of reduced words (generators of a subgroup) or of cyclically reduced words (relators). Classical models consider fixed size tuples of words (e.g. the few-generator model) or exponential size tuples (e.g. Gromov's density model), and they usually consider that equal length words are equally likely. We generalize both the few-generator and the density models with probabilistic schemes that also allow variability in the size of tuples and non-uniform distributions on words of a given length. Our first results rely on a relatively mild prefix-heaviness hypothesis on the distributions, which states essentially that the probability of a word decreases exponentially fast as its length grows. Under this hypothesis, we generalize several classical results: exponentially generically a randomly chosen tuple is a basis of the subgroup it generates, this subgroup is malnormal and the tuple satisfies a small cancellation property, even for exponential size tuples. In the special case of the uniform distribution on words of a given length, we give a phase transition theorem for the central tree property, a combinatorial property closely linked to the fact that a tuple freely generates a subgroup. We then further refine our results when the distribution is specified by a Markovian scheme, and in particular we give a phase transition theorem which generalizes the classical results on the densities up to which a tuple of cyclically reduced words chosen uniformly at random exponentially generically satisfies a small cancellation property, and beyond which it presents a trivial group.
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Contributor : Pascal Weil <>
Submitted on : Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 2:31:38 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 5:53:11 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-01171484, version 2
  • ARXIV : 1507.01088


Frédérique Bassino, Cyril Nicaud, Pascal Weil. Generic properties of subgroups of free groups and finite presentations. Delaram Kahrobaei, Bren Cavallo, David Garber. Algebra and Computer Science, 677, American Mathematical Society, pp.1-44, 2016, Contemporary Mathematics, 978-1-4704-2303-2. ⟨hal-01171484v2⟩



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