Classifying SL2-tilings

Short, Ian (2021). Classifying SL2-tilings. Transactions of the American Mathematical Society (In Press).


Recently there has been significant progress in classifying integer friezes and SL2-tilings. Typically, combinatorial methods are employed, involving triangulations of regions and inventive counting techniques. Here we develop a unified approach to such classifications using the tessellation of the hyperbolic plane by ideal triangles induced by the Farey graph. We demonstrate that the geometric, numeric and combinatorial properties of the Farey graph are perfectly suited to classifying tame SL2-tilings, positive integer SL2-tilings, and tame integer friezes - both finite and infinite. In so doing, we obtain geometric analogues of certain known combinatorial models for tilings involving triangulations, and we prove several new results of a similar type too. For instance, we determine those bi-infinite sequences of positive integers that are the quiddity sequence of some positive infinite frieze, and we give a simple combinatorial model for classifying tame integer friezes, which generalises the classical construction of Conway and Coxeter for positive integer friezes.

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