Quantitative estimates for the size of an intersection of sparse automatic sets

Speaker: Sedanur Albayrak

Date: Tue, Sep 26, 2023

Location: PIMS, University of Lethbridge, Online, Zoom

Conference: Lethbridge Number Theory and Combinatorics Seminar

Subject: Mathematics, Number Theory

Class: Scientific


In 1979, Erdős conjectured that for $k \ge 9$, $2^k$ is not the sum of distinct powers of 3. That is, the set of powers of two (which is 2-automatic) and the 3-automatic set consisting of numbers whose ternary expansions omit 2 has finite intersection. In the theory of automata, a theorem of Cobham (1969) says that if $k$ and $\ell$ are two multiplicatively independent natural numbers then a subset of the natural numbers that is both $k-$ and $\ell$-automatic is eventually periodic. A multidimensional extension was later given by Semenov (1977). Motivated by Erdős' conjecture and in light of Cobham's theorem, we give a quantitative version of the Cobham-Semenov theorem for sparse automatic sets, showing that the intersection of a sparse k-automatic subset of $\mathbb{N}^d$ and a sparse $\ell$-automatic subset of $\mathbb{N}^d$ is finite. Moreover, we give effectively computable upper bounds on the size of the intersection in terms of data from the automata that accept these sets.