Lattice point methods for combinatorial games
Abstract
We encode arbitrary finite impartial combinatorial games in terms of lattice points in rational convex polyhedra. Encodings provided by these \emph{lattice games} can be made particularly efficient for octal games, which we generalize to \emph{squarefree games}. These additionally encompass all heap games in a natural setting, in which the SpragueGrundy theorem for normal play manifests itself geometrically. We provide an algorithm to compute normal play strategies. The setting of lattice games naturally allows for mis`ere play, where 0 is declared a losing position. Lattice games also allow situations where larger finite sets of positions are declared losing. Generating functions for sets of winning positions provide data structures for strategies of lattice games. We conjecture that every lattice game has a \emph{rational strategy}: a rational generating function for its winning positions. Additionally, we conjecture that every lattice game has an \emph{affine stratification}: a partition of its set of winning positions into a finite disjoint union of finitely generated modules for affine semigroups.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 August 2009
 arXiv:
 arXiv:0908.3473
 Bibcode:
 2009arXiv0908.3473G
 Keywords:

 Mathematics  Combinatorics;
 Mathematics  Commutative Algebra;
 91A46;
 91A05;
 52B20;
 05A15 (Primary);
 05E40;
 06F05;
 20M14;
 68W30 (Secondary)
 EPrint:
 18 pages, no figures