# Asymptotic invariant of a group

A property of a finitely-generated group \$ G \$ which is a quasi-isometry invariant of the metric space \$ ( G,d _ {A} ) \$, where \$ d _ {A} \$ is the word metric associated to a finite generating set \$ A \$ of \$ G \$( cf. also Quasi-isometric spaces). This definition does not depend on the choice of the set \$ A \$, since if \$ B \$ is another finite set of generators of \$ G \$, then the metric spaces \$ ( G,d _ {A} ) \$ and \$ ( G,d _ {B} ) \$ are quasi-isometric.

The theory of asymptotic invariants of finitely-generated groups has been recently brought to the foreground by M. Gromov (see, in particular, [a2] and [a3]). As Gromov says in [a3], p. 8, "one believes nowadays that the most essential invariants of an infinite group are asymptotic invariants" . For example, amenability (cf. Invariant average), hyperbolicity (in the sense of Gromov, cf. Hyperbolic group), the fact of being finitely presented (cf. Finitely-presented group), and the number of ends (cf. also Absolute) are all asymptotic invariants of finitely-generated groups. It is presently (1996) unknown whether the Kazhdan \$ T \$- property is an asymptotic invariant. For an excellent survey on these matters, see [a1].

A few examples of algebraic properties which are asymptotic invariants of finitely-generated groups are: being virtually nilpotent, being virtually Abelian, being virtually free.

#### References

 [a1] E. Ghys, "Les groupes hyperboliques" Astérisque , 189–190 (1990) pp. 203–238 (Sém. Bourbaki Exp. 722) [a2] M. Gromov, "Hyperbolic groups" S.M. Gersten (ed.) , Essays in Group Theory , MSRI Publ. , 8 , Springer (1987) pp. 75–263 [a3] M. Gromov, "Asymptotic invariants of infinite groups" , Proc. Symp. Sussex, 1991: II , London Math. Soc. Lecture Notes , 182 , Cambridge Univ. Press (1993) pp. 1–291
How to Cite This Entry:
Asymptotic invariant of a group. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL: http://encyclopediaofmath.org/index.php?title=Asymptotic_invariant_of_a_group&oldid=45239
This article was adapted from an original article by A. Papadopoulos (originator), which appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098. See original article