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Taking-and-merging games as rewrite games

by   Eric Duchene, et al.

This work contributes to the study of rewrite games where positions are words and the moves are local rewriting rules of the form u->v belonging to a finite set. We introduce and investigate taking-and-merging games where each rule is of the form a^k->epsilon. We give sufficient conditions for a game to be such that the losing positions (resp. the positions with a given Grundy value) form a regular language or a context-free language. We formulate several related open questions in parallel with the famous conjecture of Guy about the periodicity of the Grundy function of octal games. Finally we show that more general rewrite games quickly lead to undecidable problems. Namely, it is undecidable whether there exists a winning position in a given regular language, even if we restrict to games where each move strictly reduces the length of the current position.


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