A Finsler manifold is defined as a differentiable manifold with a metric defined on so that any well-defined curves of finite arc length is given by a generalized arc length integral of an asymmetric norm over each tangent space defined at a point. This generalizes the Riemannian manifold structure since the norm is no longer required to be induced by an inner product and therefore the Finsler manifold is not necessarily Euclidean in the tangent space structure.
A collegue of mine and I recently got into an arguement over whether or not Finsler manifolds are semi- or psuedo-Reimannian. I say no-by definition, A semi-Reimannian manifold-like an Loretzian manifold in relativity theory-is still required to have a metric tensor as it's normed structure,which is clearly an inner product. We simply weaken the condition of positive definiteness(i.e. the associated quadratic form of the norm is real valued) to nondegeneracy (i.e. the tangent space is isomorphic with its dual space). Both conditions require the distance structure to be induced by an inner product.
My colleague's argument is that the key property of semi-Riemannian manifolds is that they admit local signed coordinate structures that allow the distinction of different kinds of tangent spaces on the manifold. Local isomorphisms can be defined-especially in infinite-dimensional extensions of classical relativistic spaces-that make certain Fisler manifolds eqivilent to relativistic models of space-time.
I honestly don't know enough about the research that's been done on this. Is he right? This seems very bizarre to me, but it may indeed be possible to use specially constructed mappings to convert Finsler spaces to semi-Riemannian ones and vice-versa. I seriously doubt it could be done globally without running into serious topological barriers.
I'd like the geometers to chime in on this,particularly ones who are well-versed in relativistic geometry: Am I right? Can Finsler manifolds be defined in such a manner as to be true semi-Reimannian manifolds? Can local isomorphisms or differentiomorphisms be defined to interconvert them?