# Rudin–Shapiro sequence

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In mathematics the Rudin–Shapiro sequence, also known as the Golay–Rudin–Shapiro sequence is an infinite automatic sequence named after Marcel Golay, Walter Rudin and Harold S. Shapiro, who independently investigated its properties.[1]

## Definition

Each term of the Rudin–Shapiro sequence is either +1 or −1. The nth term of the sequence, bn, is defined by the rules:

$a_n=\textstyle\sum \varepsilon_i \varepsilon_{i+1}$
$b_n=(-1)^{a_n}$

where the εi are the digits in the binary expansion of n. Thus an counts the number of (possibly overlapping) occurrences of the sub-string 11 in the binary expansion of n, and bn is +1 if an is even and −1 if an is odd.[2][3][4]

For example, a6 = 1 and b6 = −1 because the binary representation of 6 is 110, which contains one occurrence of 11; whereas a7 = 2 and b7 = +1 because the binary representation of 7 is 111, which contains two (overlapping) occurrences of 11.

Starting at n = 0, the first few terms of the an sequence are:

0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 1, 2, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, ... (sequence A014081 in OEIS)

and the corresponding terms bn of the Rudin–Shapiro sequence are:

+1, +1, +1, −1, +1, +1, −1, +1, +1, +1, +1, −1, −1, −1, +1, −1, ... (sequence A020985 in OEIS)

## Properties

The Rudin–Shapiro sequence can be generated by a four state automaton.[5]

There is a recursive definition[3]

$\begin{cases} b_{2n} & = b_n \\ b_{2n+1} & = (-1)^n b_n \end{cases}$

The values of the terms an and bn in the Rudin–Shapiro sequence can be found recursively as follows. If n = m.2k where m is odd then

$a_n = \begin{cases} a_{(m-1)/4} & \text{if } m = 1 \mod 4 \\ a_{(m-1)/2} + 1 & \text{if } m = 3 \mod 4 \end{cases}$
$b_n = \begin{cases} b_{(m-1)/4} & \text{if } m = 1 \mod 4 \\ -b_{(m-1)/2} & \text{if } m = 3 \mod 4 \end{cases}$

Thus a108 = a13 + 1 = a3 + 1 = a1 + 2 = a0 + 2 = 2, which can be verified by observing that the binary representation of 108, which is 1101100, contains two sub-strings 11. And so b108 = (−1)2 = +1.

The Rudin-Shapiro word +1 +1 +1 −1 +1 +1 −1 +1 +1 +1 +1 −1 −1 −1 +1 −1 ..., which is created by concatenating the terms of the Rudin–Shapiro sequence, is a fixed point of the morphism or string substitution rules

+1 +1 +1 +1 +1 −1
+1 −1 +1 +1 −1 +1
−1 +1 −1 −1 +1 −1
−1 −1 −1 −1 −1 +1

as follows:

+1 +1 +1 +1 +1 −1 +1 +1 +1 −1 +1 +1 −1 +1 +1 +1 +1 −1 +1 +1 −1 +1 +1 +1 +1 −1 −1 −1 +1 −1 ...

It can be seen from the morphism rules that the Rudin–Shapiro string contains at most four consecutive +1s and at most four consecutive −1s.

The sequence of partial sums of the Rudin–Shapiro sequence, defined by

$s_n = \sum_{k=0}^n b_k \, ,$

with values

1, 2, 3, 2, 3, 4, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 6, 5, 4, 5, 4, ... (sequence A020986 in OEIS)

can be shown to satisfy the inequality

$\sqrt{\frac{3n}{5}} < s_n < \sqrt{6n} \text{ for } n \ge 1 \, .$[1]

## Notes

1. ^ a b A Case Study in Mathematical Research: The Golay–Rudin–Shapiro Sequence, John Brillhart and Patrick Morton
2. ^
3. ^ a b Pytheas Fogg (2002) p.42
4. ^ Everest et al (2003) p.234
5. ^ Finite automata and arithmetic, Jean-Paul Allouche