Document Type




Format of Original

47 p.

Publication Date



World Scientific Publishing

Source Publication

International Journal of Algebra and Computation

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1142/S0218196713500264


The five-element Brandt semigroup B2 and its four-element subsemigroup B0, obtained by omitting one nonidempotent, have played key roles in the study of varieties of semigroups. Regarded in that fashion, they have long been known to be finitely based. The semigroup B2 carries the natural structure of an inverse semigroup. Regarded as such, in the signature {⋅, -1}, it is also finitely based. It is perhaps surprising, then, that in the intermediate signature of restriction semigroups — essentially, "forgetting" the inverse operation x ↦ x-1 and retaining the induced operations x ↦ x+ = xx-1 and x ↦ x* = x-1x — it is not only nonfinitely based but inherently so (every locally finite variety that contains it is also nonfinitely based). The essence of the nonfinite behavior is actually exhibited in B0, which carries the natural structure of a restriction semigroup, inherited from B2. It is again inherently nonfinitely based, regarded in that fashion. It follows that any finite restriction semigroup on which the two unary operations do not coincide is nonfinitely based. Therefore for finite restriction semigroups, the existence of a finite basis is decidable "modulo monoids".

These results are consequences of — and discovered as a result of — an analysis of varieties of "strict" restriction semigroups, namely those generated by Brandt semigroups and, more generally, of varieties of "completely r-semisimple" restriction semigroups: those semigroups in which no comparable projections are related under the generalized Green relation �. For example, explicit bases of identities are found for the varieties generated by B0 and B2.


Preprint of an article published in International Journal of Algebra and Computation, Vol. 23, No. 6 (2013): 1289-1335. DOI. © World Scientific Publishing Company 2013.