On the cyclically fully commutative elements of Coxeter groups

T. Boothby, J. Burkert, M. Eichwald, D. C. Ernst, R. M. Green, M. MacAuley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Let W be an arbitrary Coxeter group. If two elements have expressions that are cyclic shifts of each other (as words), then they are conjugate (as group elements) in W. We say that w is cyclically fully commutative (CFC) if every cyclic shift of any reduced expression for w is fully commutative (i.e., avoids long braid relations). These generalize Coxeter elements in that their reduced expressions can be described combinatorially by acyclic directed graphs, and cyclically shifting corresponds to source-to-sink conversions. In this paper, we explore the combinatorics of the CFC elements and enumerate them in all Coxeter groups. Additionally, we characterize precisely which CFC elements have the property that powers of them remain fully commutative, via the presence of a simple combinatorial feature called a band. This allows us to give necessary and sufficient conditions for a CFC element w to be logarithmic, that is, ℓ(w k )=k·ℓ(w) for all k≥1, for a large class of Coxeter groups that includes all affine Weyl groups and simply laced Coxeter groups. Finally, we give a simple non-CFC element that fails to be logarithmic under these conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-148
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Algebraic Combinatorics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Coxeter groups
  • Cyclic words
  • Fully commutative elements
  • Root automaton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Algebra and Number Theory
  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics


Dive into the research topics of 'On the cyclically fully commutative elements of Coxeter groups'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this