79 Artin-Tits braid groups

Let W be a Coxeter group, with presentation [ langle s_1, ldots , s_n mid s_i^2=1, underbraces_is_js_icdots_m(i,j)text factors = underbraces_js_is_jcdots_m(i,j)text factors quad textfor all i, j with i neq j rangle ] for some Coxeter matrix M= {m(i,j)}_{i,j} such that the Coxeter group is finite. The braid group B=B(M) associated to W is the group defined by the presentation [ langle bs_1, ldots , bs_n mid underbracebs_ibs_jbs_icdots_m(i,j)text factors = underbracebs_jbs_ibs_jcdots_m(i,j)text factors quad textfor all i, j with i neq jrangle ]

Usually, we will use the same symbols for generators and elements of W and of B, except that we will use bold letters for elements of B. This is justified by the fact that there is a canonical section to the natural quotient map B rightarrow W given as follows. Let w in W and choose a reduced expression w=s_1 cdots s_m. Then the corresponding product bw=bs_1 cdots bs_m in B is independent of the chosen minimal expression. Let B^+ be the submonoid of B consisting of all words in the generators bs_i of B (words with no inverses); in this way, we can identify W with the subset B^+_{text{red}} of B^+ which consists of the elements of B^{+} of the same length as their image in~W.

If W is a real reflection group in the vector space V with root system R, then B has also a topological definition as the fundamental group Pi^1 of the space ((V-bigcup_{r in R} H_r) otimes CC)/W, where H_r is the hyperplane orthogonal to the root r; however, we will not use this here.

We will represent in GAP words of the braid group associated to the Coxeter group W using a normal form based on theorems of Deligne Del72 (which extend previous work of Brieskorn, Saito BS72 and Garside Gar69):

renewcommandlabelenumi(romanenumi) item Let bw_0 be the element in B^+ which lifts the longest element of W, as explained above. Then, given any element bb in B, there is some power bw_0^i such that bw_0^ibb in B^+. item Let bb in B^+. Then there is a unique longest element alpha(bb) of B^+_{text{red}} which divides bb on the left (which means that bb=alpha(bb)by for some by in B^+).

We use (i) and (ii) to represent an element bb in B: we first compute the smallest power of bw_0 such that bw_0^ibb in B^+, and we represent bb by the couple (i,bw_0^ibb). We are thus reduced to the case where bb in B^+. We then represent bb by the sequence of elements of the Coxeter group alpha(bb), alpha(alpha(bb)^{-1}bb), ldots. Given a Coxeter group W, the function Braid(W) constructs an element of the associated braid group from a list of generators. Here is an example:

    gap> W := CoxeterGroup( "A", 4 );;
    gap> w := Braid( W )( 1, 2, 3, 4 );
    gap> w ^ 3;
    gap> w ^ 4;
    gap> w ^ -1;

How the element is printed exactly is controlled by the variable PrintBraid. This variable is a component of the global file CHEVIE, and the user can change its value whenever he or she wants during a GAP session. When you load the CHEVIE package, CHEVIE.PrintBraid is initialized to the string "Deligne", as in the above examples. If it is set to "GAP", then the element is printed in a form which after assigning B:=Braid(W); can be input back into GAP:

    gap> CHEVIE.PrintBraid;
    gap> CHEVIE.PrintBraid := "GAP";
    gap> w;
    B([ 1, 2, 3, 4 ])
    gap> w ^ 3;
    B([ 1, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1, 4, 3, 2, 3, 4, 3 ])
    gap> w ^ -1;
    B([ 2, 3, 2, 4, 3, 2 ],-1) 

The third possible value "Charney" for CHEVIE.PrintBraid is based on an idea of Ruth Charney Cha92 to find the smallest element by in B^+ such that by.bb in B^+, and print bb by printing (by)^{-1} followed by the Deligne normal form of by.bb :

    gap> CHEVIE.PrintBraid := "Charney";
    gap> w ^ -1;


  1. Construction of braid elements
  2. Operations for braid elements
  3. PermBraid
  4. WordBraid
  5. GoodCoxeterWord

79.1 Construction of braid elements

Braid( W )( s1, .., sn )

Braid( W )( list [, pw0 ])

Braid( W )( p [, pw0 ])

Let W be a Coxeter group and let w be an element of W, represented as a permutation p of the roots, or as a sequence s_1,..,s_n of integers representing a (non necessarily reduced) word in the generators of W. The calls above return the element of the braid monoid of W defined by w. If pw0 (a positive or negative integer) is given, the resulting element is multiplied in the braid group by bw_0^{pw0}. The result of Braid(W) is a braid-making function, which can be assigned to make conveniently braid elements as in the example below.

A braid element bb corresponding to the Coxeter group W is represented as a record with fields pw0, elm and operations. elm represents an element bx in B^+, and elm and pw0 are such that bb=bw_0^{text{pw0}}bx and bw_0^{-1}bxnotin B^+. elm is a sequence of elements of W (permutations of the roots), which are the image in W of alpha(bb), alpha(alpha(bb)^{-1}bb),ldots. Operations for braid elements.

    gap> CHEVIE.PrintBraid := "Deligne";;
    gap> W := CoxeterGroup( "A", 3 );;
    gap> B := Braid( W );
    function ( arg ) ... end
    gap> B( W.generators[1] );
    gap> B( 2, 1, 2, 1, 1 );
    gap> B( [ 2, 1, 2, 1, 1 ], -1 );

This function requires the package "chevie" (see RequirePackage).

79.2 Operations for braid elements

A braid element bb corresponding to the Coxeter group W is represented as a record with fields pw0, elm and operations which contains the operations described below. All examples below are with CHEVIE.PrintBraid="Deligne".

b1 * b2

The multiplication of two braid elements is defined, if they are braid elements of the same group, returning a braid element.

    gap> W := CoxeterGroup( "A", 2 );;
    gap> a := Braid( W )( [1] );
    gap> b := Braid( W )( [2] );
    gap> a * b;

b1 ^ i

A braid element can be raised to an integral, positive or negative, power, returning a braid element.

    gap> ( a * b ) ^ 4;
    gap> ( a * b ) ^ -1;

b1 ^ b2

This returns b_1^{-1}b_2b_1.

    gap> a ^ b;

b1 / b2

This returns b_1b_2^{-1}.

    gap> a / b;

CoxeterGroup( b )

This function returns the Coxeter group for which b is a braid element.

    gap> CoxeterGroup( a );
    CoxeterGroup("A", 2) 

String( b )

Print( b )

String returns a display form of the element b, and Print prints the result of String. The way elements are printed depends on the global variable CHEVIE.PrintBraid. If set to "GAP", the elements are printed in a form which can be read in back by the function Braid(W). If set to "Deligne" (resp. "Charney") the Deligne (resp. Charney) normal form (as explained in the introduction) is printed:

    gap> CHEVIE.PrintBraid := "GAP";;
    gap> ( a * b ) ^ -1;
    B([ 2 ],-1)
    gap> CHEVIE.PrintBraid := "Charney";;
    gap> ( a * b ) ^ -1;              
    gap> CHEVIE.PrintBraid := "Deligne";;
    gap> ( a * b ) ^ -1;              

Frobenius( WF )( b )

The Frobenius of a Coxeter coset associated to CoxeterGroup(b) can be applied to b. See the Chapter on Coxeter cosets.

This function requires the package "chevie" (see RequirePackage).

79.3 PermBraid

PermBraid( b )

Returns the image of the braid element b in the Coxeter group CoxeterGroup(b) of which b is a braid element.

    gap>  W := CoxeterGroup( "A", 3 );;
    gap>  b := Braid( W )( [ 2, 1, 2, 1, 1 ] );
    gap> p := PermBraid( b );
    ( 1, 8)( 2, 7)( 3, 6)( 4,10)( 9,12)
    gap> CoxeterWord( W, p );
    [ 1, 2, 1 ] 

This function requires the package "chevie" (see RequirePackage).

79.4 WordBraid

WordBraid( b )

b is a braid element which must be in the braid monoid. WordBraid returns as a list of indices the list of generators of the braid monoid B(W) of which b is an element (the group W can be obtained by CoxeterGroup(b)).

    gap>  W := CoxeterGroup( "A", 3 );;
    gap>  b := Braid( W )( [ 2, 1, 2, 1, 1 ] );
    gap> WordBraid( b );
    [ 1, 2, 1, 1, 1 ] 

This function requires the package "chevie" (see RequirePackage).

79.5 GoodCoxeterWord

GoodCoxeterWord( W, w )

Let W be a Coxeter group with associated braid monoid B^+. GoodCoxeterWord checks if the element w of W (given as sequence of generators of W) represents a ``good element'' in the sense of Geck-Michel GM97 of the braid monoid, i.e., if bw^d (where d is the order of the element w in W, and bw is the element of B^+_{text{red}} with image w) is a product of (the braid elements corresponding to) longest elements in a decreasing chain of parabolic subgroups of W. If this is true, then a list of couples, the corresponding subsets of the generators with their multiplicities in the chain, is returned. Otherwise, false is returned.

Good elements have nice properties with respect to their eigenvalues in irreducible represen-tations of the Hecke-Iwahori algebra associated to W. The representatives in the component classtext of ChevieClassInfo(W) are all good elements of minimal length in their class.

    gap> W := CoxeterGroup( "F", 4 );;
    gap> w:=[ 2, 3, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, 3, 4 ];;
    gap> GoodCoxeterWord( W, w );
    [ [ [ 1 .. 4 ], 2 ], [ [ 3, 4 ], 4 ] ]
    gap> OrderPerm( PermCoxeterWord( W, w ) );
    gap> Braid( W )( w ) ^ 6;
    gap>  GoodCoxeterWord( W, [ 3, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, 3, 4, 2 ] );

This function requires the package "chevie" (see RequirePackage).

Previous Up Next

GAP 3.4.4
April 1997