Automatic Sequences and Decidable Properties: Implementation and Applications
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In 1912 Axel Thue sparked the study of combinatorics on words when he showed that the Thue-Morse sequence contains no overlaps, that is, factors of the form ayaya. Since then many interesting properties of sequences began to be discovered and studied. In this thesis, we consider a class of infinite sequences generated by automata, called the k-automatic sequences. In particular, we present a logical theory in which many properties of k-automatic sequences can be expressed as predicates and we show that such predicates are decidable. Our main contribution is the implementation of a theorem prover capable of practically characterizing many commonly sought-after properties of k-automatic sequences. We showcase a panoply of results achieved using our method. We give new explicit descriptions of the recurrence and appearance functions of a list of well-known k-automatic sequences. We define a related function, called the condensation function, and give explicit descriptions for it as well. We re-affirm known results on the critical exponent of some sequences and determine it for others where it was previously unknown. On the more theoretical side, we show that the subword complexity p(n) of k-automatic sequences is k-synchronized, i.e., the language of pairs (n, p(n)) (expressed in base k) is accepted by an automaton. Furthermore, we prove that the Lyndon factorization of k-automatic sequences is also k-automatic and explicitly compute the factorization for several sequences. Finally, we show that while the number of unbordered factors of length n is not k-synchronized, it is k-regular.