Wilf-Equivalence on $k$-ary Words, Compositions, and Parking Functions

  • Vít Jelínek
  • Toufik Mansour


In this paper, we study pattern-avoidance in the set of words over the alphabet $[k]$. We say that a word $w\in[k]^n$ contains a pattern $\tau\in[\ell]^m$, if $w$ contains a subsequence order-isomorphic to $\tau$. This notion generalizes pattern-avoidance in permutations. We determine all the Wilf-equivalence classes of word patterns of length at most six.

We also consider analogous problems within the set of integer compositions and the set of parking functions, which may both be regarded as special types of words, and which contain all permutations. In both these restricted settings, we determine the equivalence classes of all patterns of length at most five.

As it turns out, the full classification of these short patterns can be obtained with only a few general bijective arguments, which are applicable to patterns of arbitrary size.

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