Visual decompositions of Coxeter groups

  • Michael Mihalik

    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, United States
  • Steven Tschantz

    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, United States


A Coxeter system is an ordered pair (W,S) where S is the generating set in a particular type of presentation for the Coxeter group W. A subgroup of W is called special if it is generated by a subset of S. Amalgamated product decompositions of a Coxeter group having special factors and special amalgamated subgroup are easily recognized from the presentation of the Coxeter group. If a Coxeter group is a subgroup of the fundamental group of a given graph of groups, then the Coxeter group is also the fundamental group of a graph of special subgroups, where each vertex and edge group is a subgroup of a conjugate of a vertex or edge group of the given graph of groups. A vertex group of an arbitrary graph of groups decomposition of a Coxeter group is shown to split into parts conjugate to special groups and parts that are subgroups of edge groups of the given decomposition. Several applications of the main theorem are produced, including the classification of maximal FA subgroups of a finitely generated Coxeter group as all conjugates of certain special subgroups.

Cite this article

Michael Mihalik, Steven Tschantz, Visual decompositions of Coxeter groups. Groups Geom. Dyn. 3 (2009), no. 1, pp. 173–198

DOI 10.4171/GGD/53