Visual algebraic proofs for unknot detection

Andrew Fish, Alexei Lisitsa, Alexei Vernitski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


A knot diagram looks like a two-dimensional drawing of aknotted rubberband. Proving that a given knot diagram can be untangled(that is, is a trivial knot, called an unknot) is one of the most famousproblems of knot theory. For a small knot diagram, one can try to finda sequence of untangling moves explicitly, but for a larger knot diagramproducing such a proof is difficult, and the produced proofs are hardto inspect and understand. Advanced approaches use algebra, with anadvantage that since the proofs are algebraic, a computer can be usedto produce the proofs, and, therefore, a proof can be produced evenfor large knot diagrams. However, such produced proofs are not easy toread and, for larger diagrams, not likely to be human readable at all.We propose a new approach combining advantages of these: the proofsare algebraic and can be produced by a computer, whilst each part ofthe proof can be represented as a reasonably small knot-like diagram(a new representation as a labeled tangle diagram), which can be easilyinspected by a human for the purposes of checking the proof and findingout interesting facts about the knot diagram.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication10th International Conference on Theory and Applications of Diagrams
EditorsP. Chapman, G. Stapleton, A. Moktefi , S. Perez-Kriz, F. Bellucci
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
ISBN (Electronic)9783319913766
ISBN (Print)9783319913759
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2018
Event10th International Conference on Theory and Applications of Diagrams - Edinburgh, UK, 18-22 June 2018
Duration: 1 Jan 2018 → …

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


Conference10th International Conference on Theory and Applications of Diagrams
Period1/01/18 → …

Bibliographical note

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