A semigroup is a set $S$ together with a binary operation that is associative. Examples of semigroups are the set of finite strings over a fixed alphabet (under concatenation) and the positive integers (under addition, maximum, or minimum). Of course, any monoid or group is also a semigroup.

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3k views

How many binary operations are associative?

Let $X$ be a finite set of $n$ elements, and consider a binary operation $\odot: X \times X \rightarrow X$. There are $n^{n^2}$ such binary operations, as the $n \times n$ table entries can each be ...
26
votes
3answers
806 views

What is the probability two random maps on n symbols commute?

It is well known that two randomly chosen permutations of $n$ symbols commute with probability $p_n/n!$ where $p_n$ is the number of partitions of $n$. This is a special case of the fact that in a ...
20
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2answers
661 views

Mapping from a finite index subgroup onto the whole group

Dear All, here is the question: Does there exist a finitely generated group $G$ with a proper subgroup $H$ of finite index, and an (onto) homomorphism $\phi:G\to G$ such that $\phi(H)=G$? My guess ...
14
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12answers
3k views

Why semigroups could be important?

There is known a lot about the use of groups -- they just really appear a lot, and appear naturally. Is there any known nice use of semigroups in Maths to sort of prove they are indeed important in ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Do these conditions on a semigroup define a group?

As is well known, if $S$ is a semigroup in which the equations $a=bx$ and $a=yb$ have solutions for all $a$ and $b$, then $S$ is a group. This question arose when someone misunderstood the conditions ...
13
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2answers
869 views

Economical hard word problem

Can anyone give me an example of a very simple word problem, where by "simple" I mean that it has very few generators and relations, that is nevertheless insoluble. To make the question easier, I am ...
13
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1answer
472 views

Automorphisms of $P(\Bbb N)$

I believe I've proved that the power semigroup of non-negative integers with addition has a trivial automorphism group. The proof is a bit long, completely elementary and rather unremarkable (as the ...
13
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0answers
267 views

A functional inequality about log-concave functions

Let $f,g$ be smooth even log-concave functions on $\mathbb{R}^{n}$, i.e.,$f=e^{-F(x)}, g=e^{-G(x)}$ for some even convex functions $F(x),G(x)$. Is it true that: $$ \int_{\mathbb{R}^{n}} \langle ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Non-abelian Grothendieck group

By general nonsense the forgetful functor from groups to monoids has a left adjoint. It maps a monoid $(X,\cdot,1)$ to the free group on $\{\underline{x} : x \in X\}$ modulo the relations ...
10
votes
3answers
279 views

Does the generator of a 1-parameter group of Banach space isometries know which elements are entire?

Let $X$ be a complex Banach space. Let $(\sigma_t)_{t \in \mathbb{R}}$ be a 1-parameter group of linear isometries of $X$ which is strongly continuous i.e. $t \mapsto \sigma_t(x)$ is continuous for ...
10
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2answers
341 views

Iterated sumset inequalities in cancellative semigroups

This question is motivated by the following well-known theorems: Thm (Plünnecke): If $A$ is a finite nonempty subset of an abelian group, then for every $n$ we have $|A^n| \le ...
9
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3answers
554 views

The concept “conjugate class” in monoids.

Is there any concept in monoids that is similar to the concept "conjugate class" in groups? For example, are there any such similar concept in symmetric inverse monoids? Thank you very much.
9
votes
3answers
693 views

What is the smallest variety of algebras containing all fields?

A field is a ring whose nonzero elements form a commutative group under multiplication. A field is also a commutative inverse semigroup with respect to multiplication. The unique multiplicative ...
9
votes
5answers
662 views

References/literature for pushouts in category of commutative monoids? [ed. - amalgams]

This is more of a request for pointers to relevant literature than a question per se. I am, erm, looking at a paper which uses a kind of iterated pushout construction to obtain a commutative monoid ...
9
votes
1answer
106 views

A generalisation of $C_0$-semigroups

A $C_0$-semigroup is a strongly continuous family $\{T(t)\}$ of bounded linear operators on a normed space $X$, indexed in $\mathbb R_+$ and with two additional properties that make it look like an ...
9
votes
0answers
185 views

Embedding $\beta\mathbb{N}$ into a product of Cantor sets

Let us consider $\beta\mathbb{N}$, the Stone-Czech compactification of the natural numbers (where we do not take $0$ to be a natural number, so the only idempotent elements are nonprincipal ...
8
votes
5answers
953 views

Examples of left reversible semigroups

I am looking for concrete examples of cancellative, left reversible semigroups. Left reversible semigroups are also called "Ore semigroups". See this wikipedia page for the definition of a left ...
8
votes
1answer
517 views

Magma “actions” (or alternatively, “What is the Yoneda lemma for magmas?”)

Arguably the most import thing about groups, semigroups and more generally categories, is that they can act on sets (or even collections of sets in the case of a category). This is the basis for all ...
8
votes
2answers
235 views

Sets of matrices which are irreducible but not strongly irreducible

A set of $d \times d$ real or complex matrices is commonly called irreducible if those matrices do not jointly preserve a linear subspace with dimension strictly between zero and $d$. A stronger ...
8
votes
1answer
169 views

Embedding abelian cancellative Hausdorff topological semigroups into abelian Hausdorff topological groups

An abelian cancellative semigroup embeds (via a semigroup monomorphism) into an abelian group. What about an abelian cancellative Hausdorff topological semigroup that does not embed (via a ...
8
votes
1answer
109 views

Can a semigroup with zero be globally isomorphic to a semigroup without zero?

This is not a great question for sure and it may even be trivial for all I know, but a couple of years ago, when I still thought I'd be a mathematician, I spent quite a lot of time thinking about it ...
7
votes
3answers
464 views

Haar Measure on Locally Compact Semigroups

I'm reading on Haar measure and we know that every locally compact group admits a Haar measure, is the same true for semigroups? if not, is there a class of semigroups that admits a Haar measure? ...
7
votes
2answers
330 views

Is there a general result that theorems about finite structures proved in ZFC can be proved in ZF?

The title question is too vague so let me be specific. Much of modern finite semigroup theory uses profinite semigroups and properties of profinite semigroups that depend on the existence of prime ...
7
votes
1answer
352 views

About the convergence rate for an approximation to the heat kernel

Let $G(t,x)$ be the heat kernel $$ G(t,x)=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi t}}e^{-\frac{x^2}{2t}}, \quad t>0, \:x\in\mathbb{R}. $$ Here is one approximation to $G(t,x)$: $$ G_\epsilon(t,x)=e^{-t/\epsilon} ...
7
votes
1answer
663 views

How is called a semigroup…

Does anyone know, how is called a semigroup in which every equation $ax=b$ has only a finite set (maybe empty) of solutions?
7
votes
2answers
398 views

Is the class of inverse semigroups globally determined?

This question is a follow-up to this one I asked on math.stackexchange. I've decided to ask here because I believe this is a research-level question. I'm sorry if I'm wrong -- I'm not a researcher ...
7
votes
1answer
973 views

Coin problem with permutations

Let $a,b,c$ be positive integers with gcd$(a,b,c)=1$, and let $\mathbb{N}$ denote the set of nonnegative integers. It is well known that $\mathbb{N} \setminus (a \mathbb{N}+b \mathbb{N} + c ...
6
votes
2answers
273 views

For a monoid with zero $M$, how many additive operations on $M$ can there be making $M$ a ring?

Let $(M,\times)$ be a monoid with zero. Let $\Sigma(M,\times)$ be the set of binary operations $+$ on $M$ such that $(M,+,\times)$ is a ring. Let $\sim$ be an equivalence relation on ...
6
votes
2answers
325 views

Wants: Polynomial Time Algorithm for Decomposing a Multiset of Rationals into Two Additive Subsets.

First, allow me to say that this problem was posed to me by a professor in the department. It is related to his research in a way that I do not know. However, since I couldn't come up with anything ...
6
votes
1answer
197 views

Positive cone of a subgroup of Z^n

This question sounds like it should be very well known, but for some reason I failed to find a decent answer anywhere. Let $G\subset\mathbb{Z}^n$ be a subgroup, and $G_+=G\cap\mathbb{Z}_{\ge0}^n$ be a ...
6
votes
1answer
194 views

Embedding a cancellative monoid into another in such a way that a prescribed element becomes left-invertible

Let $\mathbb A = (A, +_A)$ be a cancellative, but possibly non-commutative, monoid with identity $0$, and fix an element $x \in A$. Does there always exist a cancellative monoid $\mathbb B = (B, +)$ ...
6
votes
1answer
305 views

Strongly continuous semigroups that cannot be contractions

Let $X$ be a Banach space, and $(P_t)_{t \ge 0}$ a strongly continuous semigroup of bounded operators on $X$. Using the uniform boundedness principle, it's simple to prove that there are constants ...
6
votes
2answers
608 views

Which semigroups can be linearly ordered?

As usual I consider a semigroup to be a structure $(A, +)$ such that $+$ is an associative binary function over the set $A$. The notion of linearly-ordered semigroup corresponds to structures of the ...
6
votes
2answers
296 views

need references regarding the elementary theory of free semigroup and free abelian groups

Recently, I read that two free abelian groups $S$ and $T$ have the same elementary theory if and only if rank$S$=rank$T$. Does anyone have a reference with a proof of this? Also, what is known about ...
6
votes
1answer
149 views

Is every $C_0$ semigroup on a Hilbert space automatically a $C_0$ group on a larger space?

Let $\{T(t),t\ge 0\}$ be a $C_0$ semigroup on a Hilbert space $X$, does that exist a larger Hilbert space $Y$ such that $X\subset Y$, and $T(t)$ extend to a $C_0$ group $T'(t)$(so $t<0$ make sense ...
5
votes
3answers
747 views

Reference on Semigroup Theory and Parabolics PDE'S

Recently started to study Semigroup Theory. My background is equivalent to the first three chapters of the Jack Hale's book, Asymptotic Behavior of Dissipative Systems. Looking for a reference to an ...
5
votes
3answers
318 views

Locally finite varieties which are not finitely generated

Let $\Sigma$ be a signature consisting of operations with finite arity. Let $\mathcal{V}$ be a variety of algebras for this signature. Further suppose that $\mathcal{V}$ is locally finite i.e. every ...
5
votes
2answers
541 views

Do all finitely generated nilpotent semigroups have polynomial growth?

The notion of nilpotency passes nicely from groups to semigroups. Define $q_1(x,y)=xy$ and $$q_{i+1}(x,y,z_1,\cdots,z_i)=q_i(x,y,z_1,\cdots,z_{i-1})z_iq_i(y,x,z_1,\cdots,z_{i-1})$$ inductively for all ...
5
votes
1answer
244 views

Sets of natural numbers such that sums of a bounded number of its elements form a semigroup

This is a naive question and I'm afraid it might be better placed on math.se. I would like to leave it to your judgement. I would like to know what is known about sets $A$ of natural numbers such ...
5
votes
1answer
400 views

Are semigroups with finite-to-one right multiplication “moving”?

A semigroup $S$ is moving if $S$ is infinite, and for all finite $F\subseteq S$ and infinite $A\subseteq S$, there are $a_{1},\dots,a_{k}\in A$ such that, for all but finitely many $s\in S$, $$ ...
5
votes
1answer
306 views

$C_0$-semigroups applications

My graduation thesis was about stability theorems for $C_0$-semigroups (see the Wikipedia article for the definitions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C0-semigroup). I would like to know if there is ...
5
votes
1answer
458 views

an example of a semigroup with solvable word problem but unsolvable power problem

We say that a semigroup $S$ has solvable power problem if there is an algorithm that takes as input an element $s \in S$ and decides whether or not there exist $m,n \in \mathbb{N}$ with $m \neq n$ and ...
5
votes
1answer
137 views

A question about uniformly bounded semigroups

Let $A$ be an unbounded linear operator of domain $D(A)$ defined on a Banach space $X$. Suppose that $A$ generates a $C_0$-semigroup $T(t)$ which is uniformly bounded. I would like to know if there ...
5
votes
1answer
339 views

Representations of products of groups (and monoids)

I have very little knowledge of representation theory, but the following has come up in my summer undergrad research project (relates to conformal field theory and geometric function theory). Suppose ...
5
votes
1answer
204 views

Is irreducibility sufficient for uniqueness of invariant distribution for a Feller Semigroup?

Let $(T_t)$ be a strongly continuous semigroup of positive operators on $C(K)$, where $K$ is a compact space. Assume also that $T_t1 =1 $ for every $t\geq 0$. (This is also called a Feller Semigroup.) ...
5
votes
2answers
284 views

Proving that a semigroup is regular

In a number of diverse situations of interest to me (mostly associated with something called the abelian sandpile model), one can define a nonabelian semigroup generated by commuting elements ...
5
votes
2answers
312 views

Existence of a possible counterexample in automaton semigroups

In an attempt to resolve a question posed by Cain in his paper on Automaton Semigroups (open problem 6.12), I would like to know if there exists a finite semigroup $S$ satisfying the following ...
5
votes
1answer
462 views

Percolation in Cayley graphs of semigroups.

Percolation in Cayley graphs of groups are studied by many researchers. There are also the concept Cayley graphs for semigroups. Are there any research about percolation in Cayley graphs for ...
5
votes
1answer
262 views

semigroups acting as continuous functions on regular rooted trees

Let $T$ be a regular rooted tree. Make $T$ into a metric space by making each edge isometric to the unit interval. What is known about what semigroups can act as continuous functions on $T$ such ...
5
votes
0answers
325 views

Computing the pro-solvable closure of a finitely generated subgroup of a free group

The pro-solvable topology on a group $G$ is the unique group topology such that the set of normal subgroups $N\lhd G$ with $G/N$ a finite solvable group is a fundamental system of neighborhoods of the ...