Asymptotic behavior of growth functions of D0L-systems

Cassaigne, Julien
Mauduit, Christian
Nicolas, Francois
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A D0L-system is a triple (A, f, w) where A is a finite alphabet, f is an endomorphism of the free monoid over A, and w is a word over A. The D0L-sequence generated by (A, f, w) is the sequence of words (w, f(w), f(f(w)), f(f(f(w))), ...). The corresponding sequence of lengths, that is the function mapping each non-negative integer n to |f^n(w)|, is called the growth function of (A, f, w). In 1978, Salomaa and Soittola deduced the following result from their thorough study of the theory of rational power series: if the D0L-sequence generated by (A, f, w) is not eventually the empty word then there exist a non-negative integer d and a real number b greater than or equal to one such that |f^n(w)| behaves like n^d b^n as n tends to infinity. The aim of the present paper is to present a short, direct, elementary proof of this theorem.
Comment: Might appear in the book "Combinatorics, Automata and Number Theory", which is in preparation
Computer Science - Discrete Mathematics