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Concept# Presentation of a group

Summary

In mathematics, a presentation is one method of specifying a group. A presentation of a group G comprises a set S of generators—so that every element of the group can be written as a product of powers of some of these generators—and a set R of relations among those generators. We then say G has presentation
Informally, G has the above presentation if it is the "freest group" generated by S subject only to the relations R. Formally, the group G is said to have the above presentation if it is isomorphic to the quotient of a free group on S by the normal subgroup generated by the relations R.
As a simple example, the cyclic group of order n has the presentation
where 1 is the group identity. This may be written equivalently as
thanks to the convention that terms that do not include an equals sign are taken to be equal to the group identity. Such terms are called relators, distinguishing them from the relations that do include an equals sign.
Every group has a presentation, and in fact many different presentations; a presentation is often the most compact way of describing the structure of the group.
A closely related but different concept is that of an absolute presentation of a group.
A free group on a set S is a group where each element can be uniquely described as a finite length product of the form:
where the si are elements of S, adjacent si are distinct, and ai are non-zero integers (but n may be zero). In less formal terms, the group consists of words in the generators and their inverses, subject only to canceling a generator with an adjacent occurrence of its inverse.
If G is any group, and S is a generating subset of G, then every element of G is also of the above form; but in general, these products will not uniquely describe an element of G.
For example, the dihedral group D8 of order sixteen can be generated by a rotation, r, of order 8; and a flip, f, of order 2; and certainly any element of D8 is a product of rs and fs.
However, we have, for example, rfr = f−1, r7 = r−1, etc., so such products are not unique in D8.

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Word problem for groups

In mathematics, especially in the area of abstract algebra known as combinatorial group theory, the word problem for a finitely generated group G is the algorithmic problem of deciding whether two words in the generators represent the same element. More precisely, if A is a finite set of generators for G then the word problem is the membership problem for the formal language of all words in A and a formal set of inverses that map to the identity under the natural map from the free monoid with involution on A to the group G.

Presentation of a group

In mathematics, a presentation is one method of specifying a group. A presentation of a group G comprises a set S of generators—so that every element of the group can be written as a product of powers of some of these generators—and a set R of relations among those generators. We then say G has presentation Informally, G has the above presentation if it is the "freest group" generated by S subject only to the relations R. Formally, the group G is said to have the above presentation if it is isomorphic to the quotient of a free group on S by the normal subgroup generated by the relations R.

Free group

In mathematics, the free group FS over a given set S consists of all words that can be built from members of S, considering two words to be different unless their equality follows from the group axioms (e.g. st = suu−1t, but s ≠ t−1 for s,t,u ∈ S). The members of S are called generators of FS, and the number of generators is the rank of the free group. An arbitrary group G is called free if it is isomorphic to FS for some subset S of G, that is, if there is a subset S of G such that every element of G can be written in exactly one way as a product of finitely many elements of S and their inverses (disregarding trivial variations such as st = suu−1t).

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