Journal of Modern Dynamics (JMD)

Self-similar groups, operator algebras and Schur complement

Pages: 323 - 370, Issue 3, July 2007      doi:10.3934/jmd.2007.1.323

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Rostislav Grigorchuk - Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States (email)
Volodymyr Nekrashevych - Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States (email)

Abstract: In the first part of the article we introduce $C$*-algebras associated to self-similar groups and study their properties and relations to known algebras. The algebras are constructed as subalgebras of the Cuntz-Pimsner algebra (and its homomorphic images) associated with the self-similarity of the group. We study such properties as nuclearity, simplicity and Morita equivalence with algebras related to solenoids.
    The second part deals with Schur complement transformations of elements of self-similar algebras. We study the properties of such transformations and apply them to the spectral problem for Markov type elements in self-similar $C$*-algebras. This is related to the spectral problem of the discrete Laplace operator on groups and graphs. Application of the Schur complement method in many situations reduces the spectral problem to study of invariant sets (very often of the type of a "strange attractor'') of a multidimensional rational transformation. A number of illustrating examples is provided. Finally, we observe a relation between Schur complement transformations and Bartholdi-Kaimanovich-Virag transformations of random walks on self-similar groups.

Keywords:  self-similar groups, self-similarity, Cuntz-Pimsner algebra, Schur complement, renormalization, Markov operator, spectrum, matrix recursion, hyperbolic dynamics, rational maps, Moore diagram, Mealy automaton, amenability, random walks, Munchhausen trick, self-affinemeasure, Grigorchuk group, iteratedmonodromy groups, limit space.
Mathematics Subject Classification:   37F10, 47A10, 20E08.

Received: March 2007;      Revised: April 2007;      Available Online: April 2007.