We develop a general theory of bisets: sets with two commuting group actions. They naturally encode topological correspondences.
Just as van Kampen’s theorem decomposes into a graph of groups the fundamental group of a space given with a cover, we prove analogously that the biset of a correspondence decomposes into a graph of bisets: a graph with bisets at its vertices, given with some natural maps. The fundamental biset of the graph of bisets recovers the original biset.
We apply these results to decompose the biset of a Thurston map (a branched selfcovering of the sphere whose critical points have finite orbits) into a graph of bisets. This graph closely parallels the theory of Hubbard trees.
This is the first part of a series of five articles, whose main goal is to prove algorithmic decidability of combinatorial equivalence of Thurston maps.
Cite this article
Laurent Bartholdi, Dzmitry Dudko, Algorithmic aspects of branched coverings I/V. Van Kampen’s theorem for bisets. Groups Geom. Dyn. 12 (2018), no. 1, pp. 121–172DOI 10.4171/GGD/441