Positivity Problems for Linear Recurrence Sequences

6 June 2013
Ben Worrell

 We consider two decision problems for linear recurrence sequences (LRS) 
over the integers, namely the Positivity Problem (are all terms of a given 
LRS positive?) and the Ultimate Positivity Problem (are all but finitely 
many terms of a given LRS positive?). We show decidability of both 
problems for LRS of order 5 or less, and for simple LRS (i.e. whose 
characteristic polynomial has no repeated roots) of order 9 or less. Our 
results rely on on tools from Diophantine approximation, including Baker's 
Theorem on linear forms in logarithms of algebraic numbers. By way of 
hardness, we show that extending the decidability of either problem to LRS 
of order 6 would entail major breakthroughs on Diophantine approximation 
of transcendental numbers.

This is joint with work with Joel Ouaknine and Matt Daws.

  • Advanced Class Logic