Catalan numbers as discrepancies for a family of substitutions on infinite alphabets

Frettlöh, Dirk; Garber, Alexey and Mañibo, Neil (2023). Catalan numbers as discrepancies for a family of substitutions on infinite alphabets. Indagationes Mathematicae [Early Access].

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indag.2023.06.010

Abstract

In this work, we consider a class of substitutions on infinite alphabets and show that they exhibit a growth behaviour which is impossible for substitutions on finite alphabets. While for both settings the leading term of the tile counting function is exponential (and guided by the inflation factor), the behaviour of the second-order term is strikingly different. For the finite setting, it is known that the second term is also exponential or exponential times a polynomial. We exhibit a large family of examples where the second term is at least exponential in n divided by half-integer powers of n, where n is the number of substitution steps. In particular, we provide an identity for this discrepancy in terms of linear combinations of Catalan numbers.

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