Rewriting techniques have been applied successfully to various areas of symbolic computation. Here we consider the notion of prefix-rewriting and give a survey on its applications to the subgroup problem in combinatorial group theory. We will see that for certain classes of finitely presented groups finitely generated subgroups can be described through convergent prefix-rewriting systems, which can be obtained from a presentation of the group considered and a set of generators for the subgroup through a specialized Knuth-Bendix style completion procedure. In many instances a finite presentation for the subgroup considered can be constructed from such a convergent prefix-rewriting system, thus solving the subgroup presentation problem. Finally we will see that the classical procedures for computing Nielsen reduced sets of generators for a finitely generated subgroup of a free group and the Todd-Coxeter coset enumeration can be interpreted as particular instances of prefix-completion. Further, both procedures are closely related to the computation of prefix Gr"obner bases for right ideals in free group rings.
Groups can be studied using methods from different fields such as combinatorial group theory or string rewriting. Recently techniques from Gröbner basis theory for free monoid rings (non-commutative polynomial rings) respectively free group rings have been added to the set of methods due to the fact that monoid and group presentations (in terms of string rewriting systems) can be linked to special polynomials called binomials. In the same mood, the aim of this paper is to discuss the relation between Nielsen reduced sets of generators and the Todd-Coxeter coset enumeration procedure on the one side and the Gröbner basis theory for free group rings on the other. While it is well-known that there is a strong relationship between Buchberger's algorithm and the Knuth-Bendix completion procedure, and there are interpretations of the Todd-Coxeter coset enumeration procedure using the Knuth-Bendix procedure for special cases, our aim is to show how a verbatim interpretation of the Todd-Coxeter procedure can be obtained by linking recent Gröbner techniques like prefix Gröbner bases and the FGLM algorithm as a tool to study the duality of ideals. As a side product our procedure computes Nielsen reduced generating sets for subgroups in finitely generated free groups.
The concept of algebraic simplification is of great importance for the field of symbolic computation in computer algebra. In this paper we review somefundamental concepts concerning reduction rings in the spirit of Buchberger. The most important properties of reduction rings are presented. Thetechniques for presenting monoids or groups by string rewriting systems are used to define several types of reduction in monoid and group rings. Gröbnerbases in this setting arise naturally as generalizations of the corresponding known notions in the commutative and some non-commutative cases. Severalresults on the connection of the word problem and the congruence problem are proven. The concepts of saturation and completion are introduced formonoid rings having a finite convergent presentation by a semi-Thue system. For certain presentations, including free groups and context-free groups, theexistence of finite Gröbner bases for finitely generated right ideals is shown and a procedure to compute them is given.
A first explicit connection between finitely presented commutative monoids and ideals in polynomial rings was used 1958 by Emelichev yielding a solution tothe word problem in commutative monoids by deciding the ideal membership problem. The aim of this paper is to show in a similar fashion how congruenceson monoids and groups can be characterized by ideals in respective monoid and group rings. These characterizations enable to transfer well known resultsfrom the theory of string rewriting systems for presenting monoids and groups to the algebraic setting of subalgebras and ideals in monoid respectively grouprings. Moreover, natural one-sided congruences defined by subgroups of a group are connected to one-sided ideals in the respective group ring and hencethe subgroup problem and the ideal membership problem are directly related. For several classes of finitely presented groups we show explicitly howGröbner basis methods are related to existing solutions of the subgroup problem by rewriting methods. For the case of general monoids and submonoidsweaker results are presented. In fact it becomes clear that string rewriting methods for monoids and groups can be lifted in a natural fashion to definereduction relations in monoid and group rings.