Inductive $^*$-Semirings

Zoltán Ésik
Werner Kuich

October 2000


One of the most well-known induction principles in computer science is the fixed point induction rule, or least pre-fixed point rule. Inductive $^*$-semirings are partially ordered semirings equipped with a star operation satisfying the fixed point equation and the fixed point induction rule for linear terms. Inductive $^*$-semirings are extensions of continuous semirings and the Kleene algebras of Conway and Kozen.

We develop, in a systematic way, the rudiments of the theory of inductive $^*$-semirings in relation to automata, languages and power series. In particular, we prove that if $S$ is an inductive $^*$-semiring, then so is the semiring of matrices $S^{n \times n}$, for any integer $n \geq 0$, and that if $S$ is an inductive $^*$-semiring, then so is any semiring of power series $S\langle
\kern -.5em \langle A^* \rangle \kern -.5em \rangle$. As shown by Kozen, the dual of an inductive $^*$-semiring may not be inductive. In contrast, we show that the dual of an iteration semiring is an iteration semiring. Kuich proved a general Kleene theorem for continuous semirings, and Bloom and Ésik proved a Kleene theorem for all Conway semirings. Since any inductive $^*$-semiring is a Conway semiring and an iteration semiring, as we show, there results a Kleene theorem applicable to all inductive $^*$-semirings. We also describe the structure of the initial inductive $^*$-semiring and conjecture that any free inductive $^*$-semiring may be given as a semiring of rational power series with coefficients in the initial inductive $^*$-semiring. We relate this conjecture to recent axiomatization results on the equational theory of the regular sets

Available as PostScript, PDF, DVI.


Last modified: 2003-06-08 by webmaster.