Scale-invariant groups Academic Article uri icon


  • Motivated by the renormalization method in statistical physics, Itai Benjamini defined a finitely generated infinite group G to be scale-invariant if there is a nested sequence of finite index subgroups Gn that are all isomorphic to G and whose intersection is a finite group. He conjectured that every scale-invariant group has polynomial growth, hence is virtually nilpotent. We disprove his conjecture by showing that the following groups (mostly finite-state self-similar groups) are scale-invariant: the lamplighter groups F , where F is any finite Abelian group; the solvable Baumslag-Solitar groups BS.1; m/; the affine groups A d, for any A GL(; d). However, the conjecture remains open with some natural stronger notions of scale-invariance for groups and transitive graphs. We construct scale-invariant tilings of certain Cayley graphs of the discrete Heisenberg group, whose existence is not immediate just from the scale-invariance of the group. We also note that torsion-free non-elementary hyperbolic groups are not scale-invariant. European Mathematical Society.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Nekrashevych, V., & Pete, G.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Nekrashevych, Volodymyr||Pete, Gabor

publication date

  • January 2011