# Self-Avoiding Walks on Cayley Graphs Through the Lens of Symbolic Dynamics

### Abstract

We study dynamical and computational properties of the set of bi-infinite self-avoiding walks on Cayley graphs, as well as ways to compute, approximate and bound their connective constant. To do this, we introduce the skeleton $X_{G,S}$ of a finitely generated group $G$ relative to a generating set $S$, which is a one-dimensional subshift made of configurations on $S$ that avoid all words that reduce to the identity. We provide a characterization of groups which have SFT skeletons and sofic skeletons: first, there exists a finite generating set $S$ such that $X_{G,S}$ is a subshift of finite type if and only if $G$ is a plain group; second, there exists $S$ such that $X_{G,S}$ is sofic if and only if $G$ is a plain group, $\mathbb{Z}\times\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$ or $\mathcal{D}_{\infty}\times\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$. We also characterize finitely generated torsion groups as groups whose skeletons are aperiodic.

For connective constants, using graph height functions and bridges, we show that Cayley graphs of finitely generated torsion groups do not admit graph height functions, and that for groups that admit transitive graph height functions, the connective constant is equal to the growth rate of periodic points of the skeleton. Finally, we take a brief look at the set of bi-infinite geodesics and introduce an analog of the connective constant for the geodesic growth.