Extended array notation

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Extended array notation (exAN) is the second part of my array notation.


First, we need more things to express the notation, mainly separators and layers.


Symbol { is called lbrace, with ASCII = 123 and LaTeX = \{ or \lbrace
Symbol } is called rbrace, with ASCII = 125 and LaTeX = \} or \rbrace

{m1A1m2A2…mk-1Ak-1mk} is a separator, where mi′s are positive integers, Ai′s are separators and k ≥ 1.

In the definition of separators, if k=1, then there’s no Si, so {m} where m is a positive integer is a separator. The simplest separator is {1}, and the comma is just a shorthand for it.

Entries are positive integers separated by separators. Note that there’re entries in arrays, and there’re entries also in separators!

Here’s the definition of layer:

  • In array s(m1A1m2A2…mk-1Ak-1mk), all entry mi′s are at base layer, and all separator Ai′s are at layer 1.
  • If separator {m1A1m2A2…mk-1Ak-1mk} is at layer n, then all separator Ai′s are at layer n+1.

A more formal definition of separators is:

  • {m} is a separator, where m is a positive integer.
  • {#Am} is a separator, where m is a positive integer, A is a separator, and # is a string such that {#} is a separator.

And a more formal definition of array is:

  • s(a,b) is an array, where a and b are positive integers.
  • s(#Am) is an array, where m is a positive integer, A is a separator, and # is a string such that s(#) is an array.

Rules and process

  • Rule 1: (base rule – only 2 entries) s(a,b) = a^b
  • Rule 2a: (tailing rule – the last entry is 1) s(# A 1) = s(#)
  • Rule 2b: {# A 1} = {#}
  • Rule 3: (recursion rule – neither the 2nd nor 3rd entry is 1) s(a,b,c #) = s(a, s(a,b-1,c #) ,c-1 #)

where # is a string of entries and separators, it can also be empty. A is a separator.

If none of the 3 rules above applies, start the process shown below. Note that case B1 and B3 are terminal but case A and B2 are not. First start from the 3rd entry.

  • Case A: If the entry is 1, then you jump to the next entry.
  • Case B: If the entry n is not 1, look to your left:
    • Case B1: If the comma is immediately before you, then
      1. Change the “1,n” into “b,n-1” where n is this non-1 entry and the b is the iterator.
      2. Change all the entries at base layer before them into the base.
      3. The process ends.
    • Case B2: If a separator not comma A is immediately before you, then
      1. Change the “A n” into “A 2 A n-1”
      2. Jump to the first entry of the former A.
    • Case B3: If an lbrace is immediately before you, then
      1. Change separator {n #} into string Sb, where b is the iterator, S1 = “{n-1 #}” and Si+1 = “Si 1 {n-1 #}”.
      2. The process ends.


Rule 1 and 3, and case A are the same as the rules in LAN. Case B1 is a little different, but rule 2b, case B2 and B3 are all new rules.

Dimensional arrays

Dimensional arrays are arrays with separators up to {n} in exAN. Here rule B2 and B3 show their strength.

s(a,b{2}2) is the simplest dimensional array. To solve it, we need to use the process. The 3rd entry is 2, and there’s a separator not comma {2} immediately before the 2, so we meet case B2. Now change the array into s(a,b{2}2{2}1), then restart the process from the first entry in the former {2}. It’s 2 not 1, and an lbrace is immediately before the 2, so we meet case B3. Now change the {2} into {1}1{1}1…{1}1{1} with b {1}’s, so s(a,b{2}2) = s(a,b{1}1{1}1…{1}1{1}2{2}1) (with b {1}’s)= s(a,b,1,1…,1,2) with b-1 1’s (apply rule 2, and note that {1} is the comma) = s(a,a,a,…a,b) (with b a’s).

Unlike BEAF and BAN, in this array notation, s(a,b{2}2), s(a,b,1{2}2) and s(a,b,1,1{2}2) are not the same. They’re s(a,b,1,1…,1,2) with b-1, b and b+1 1’s respectively.

s(a,b{2}3) = s(a,b,1,1…,1,2{2}2) with b-1 1’s, when it reduces to s(a,b’,1,1…,1,1{2}2) , it becomes s(a,b’,1,1…,1,1,2) with b’+b-1 1’s. At most situations, b is nothing comparing to b’, so the remaining entries (the b 1’s remaining in s(a,b’,1,1…,1,1{2}2)) don’t affect the strength of the notation.

Some more examples,

s(a,b{2}1{2}2) = s(a,b{2}1,1…,1,2) (with b-1 1’s)= s(a,a{2}a,a…,a,b) (with b-2 a’s after the {2})
s(a,b{2}1{2}c) = s(a,b{2}1,1…,1,2{2}c-1) (with b-1 1’s)
s(a,b{c}d) = s(a,b{c-1}1{c-1}1…{c-1}1{c-1}2{c}d-1) (with b {c-1}’s)

Rule 2b and case B1

This two rules allow us to go further.

For example, to solve s(a,b{1,2}2), we start the process, and meet case B2, then the array becomes s(a,b{1,2}2{1,2}1). Then we restart the process from the 1 in the former {1,2}, and meet case B1, so change the “1,2” into “b,1”, and change the entries at base layer into a. So s(a,b{1,2}2) = s(a,a{b,1}2{1,2}1). Now rule 2a applies, so s(a,a{b,1}2{1,2}1) = s(a,a{b,1}2), then rule 2b applies, so s(a,a{b,1}2) = s(a,a{b}2). As a result, we can have more than 1 entries inside a separator.

To solve s(a,b{1{2}1,2}2), we start the process, then meet case B2, then meet case B1. Before case B1 applies, the array is s(a,b{1{2}1,2}2{1{2}1,2}1); after case B1 applies, the array becomes s(a,a{1{2}b,1}2{1{2}1,2}1). Then rule 2a and 2b applies, so s(a,b{1{2}1,2}2) = s(a,a{1{2}b}2). What if we use the case B1 in Linear array notation? s(a,b{1{2}1,2}2) will be s(a,a{a{a}b}2). When a ≥ 3 and b ≥ 2, it’ll reduces to something containing {1{2}1,2} again – it can never be solved. So a change on case B1 is necessary.


Here’re some comparisons between exAN and FGH (growth rate).

s(n,n{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^\omega}
s(n,n,2{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^\omega+1}
s(n,n,3{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^\omega+2}
s(n,n,1,2{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^\omega+\omega}
s(n,n,2,2{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^\omega+\omega+1}
s(n,n,1,3{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^\omega+\omega2}
s(n,n,1,4{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^\omega+\omega3}
s(n,n,1,1,2{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^\omega+\omega^2}
s(n,n,2,1,2{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^\omega+\omega^2+1}
s(n,n,1,2,2{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^\omega+\omega^2+\omega}
s(n,n,1,1,3{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^\omega+\omega^22}
s(n,n,1,1,1,2{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^\omega+\omega^3}
s(n,n,1,1…,1,2{2}2) with m 1’s has growth rate {\omega^\omega+\omega^m}
s(n,n{2}3) has growth rate {\omega^\omega2}
s(n,n,2{2}3) has growth rate {\omega^\omega2+1}
s(n,n,1,2{2}3) has growth rate {\omega^\omega2+\omega}
s(n,n,1,1,2{2}3) has growth rate {\omega^\omega2+\omega^2}
s(n,n,1,1,1,2{2}3) has growth rate {\omega^\omega2+\omega^3}
s(n,n{2}4) has growth rate {\omega^\omega3}
s(n,n{2}1,2) = s(n,n{2}n) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega+1}}
s(n,n,2{2}1,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega+1}+1}
s(n,n,1,2{2}1,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega+1}+\omega}
s(n,n{2}2,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega+1}+\omega^\omega}
s(n,n{2}3,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega+1}+\omega^\omega2}
s(n,n{2}1,3) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega+1}2}
s(n,n{2}1,4) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega+1}3}
s(n,n{2}1,1,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega+2}}
s(n,n{2}2,1,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega+2}+\omega^\omega}
s(n,n{2}1,2,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega+2}+\omega^{\omega+1}}
s(n,n{2}1,1,3) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega+2}2}
s(n,n{2}1,1,1,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega+3}}
s(n,n{2}1,1,1,1,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega+4}}
s(n,n{2}1{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega2}}
s(n,n,2{2}1{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega2}+1}
s(n,n{2}2{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega2}+\omega^\omega}
s(n,n{2}1,2{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega2}+\omega^{\omega+1}}
s(n,n{2}1,1,2{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega2}+\omega^{\omega+2}}
s(n,n{2}1{2}3) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega2}2}
s(n,n{2}1{2}1,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega2+1}}
s(n,n{2}1{2}1,1,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega2+2}}
s(n,n{2}1{2}1{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega3}}
s(n,n{2}1{2}1{2}1{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega4}}
s(n,n{3}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^2}}
s(n,n,2{3}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^2}+1}
s(n,n{2}2{3}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^2}+\omega^\omega}
s(n,n{2}1,2{3}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^2}+\omega^{\omega+1}}
s(n,n{2}1{2}2{3}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^2}+\omega^{\omega2}}
s(n,n{2}1{2}1{2}2{3}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^2}+\omega^{\omega3}}
s(n,n{3}3) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^2}2}
s(n,n{3}1,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^2+1}}
s(n,n{3}1{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^2+\omega}}
s(n,n{3}1{2}1{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^2+\omega2}}
s(n,n{3}1{3}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^22}}
s(n,n{3}1{3}1{3}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^23}}
s(n,n{4}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^3}}
s(n,n{5}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^4}}
s(n,n{1,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^\omega}}, also the limit of dimensional arrays in BEAF and BAN
s(n,n,2{1,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^\omega}+1}
s(n,n{2}2{1,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^\omega}+\omega^\omega}
s(n,n{3}2{1,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^\omega}+\omega^{\omega^2}}
s(n,n{4}2{1,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^\omega}+\omega^{\omega^3}}
s(n,n{1,2}3) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^\omega}2}
s(n,n{1,2}1,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^\omega+1}}
s(n,n{1,2}1{2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^\omega+\omega}}
s(n,n{1,2}1{3}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^\omega+\omega^2}}
s(n,n{1,2}1{4}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^\omega+\omega^3}}
s(n,n{1,2}1{1,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^\omega2}}
s(n,n{1,2}1{1,2}1{1,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^\omega3}}
s(n,n{2,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega+1}}}
s(n,n{2,2}3) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega+1}}2}
s(n,n{2,2}1,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega+1}+1}}
s(n,n{2,2}1{1,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega+1}+\omega^\omega}}
s(n,n{2,2}1{1,2}1{1,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega+1}+\omega^\omega2}}
s(n,n{2,2}1{2,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega+1}2}}
s(n,n{2,2}1{2,2}1{2,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega+1}3}}
s(n,n{3,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega+2}}}
s(n,n{3,2}1{3,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega+2}2}}
s(n,n{4,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega+3}}}
s(n,n{1,3}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega2}}}
s(n,n{2,3}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega2+1}}}
s(n,n{3,3}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega2+2}}}
s(n,n{1,4}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega3}}}
s(n,n{1,1,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^2}}}
s(n,n{1,1,2}3) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^2}}2}
s(n,n{1,1,2}1,2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^2}+1}}
s(n,n{1,1,2}1{1,1,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^2}2}}
s(n,n{2,1,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^2+1}}}
s(n,n{1,2,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^2+\omega}}}
s(n,n{1,1,3}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^22}}}
s(n,n{1,1,1,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^3}}}
s(n,n{1{2}2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^\omega}}}, also the limit of hyper-dimensional array notation in BAN
s(n,n{1{2}2}3) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^\omega}}2}
s(n,n{1{2}2}1{1{2}2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^\omega}+1}}
s(n,n{2{2}2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^\omega}2}}
s(n,n{1,2{2}2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^\omega+1}}}
s(n,n{1{2}3}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^\omega2}}}
s(n,n{1{2}1,2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^{\omega+1}}}}
s(n,n{1{2}1{2}2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^{\omega2}}}}
s(n,n{1{3}2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^{\omega^2}}}}
s(n,n{1{4}2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^{\omega^3}}}}
s(n,n{1{1,2}2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^{\omega^\omega}}}}
s(n,n{1{1{2}2}2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^{\omega^{\omega^\omega}}}}}
s(n,n{1{1{1,2}2}2}2) has growth rate {\omega^{\omega^{\omega^{\omega^{\omega^{\omega^\omega}}}}}}

Function f(n) = s(n,n{1{1…{1{1,2}2}…2}2}2) (with n 2’s) eventually outgrows any expression in exAN, so it has growth rate {\varepsilon_0}. That’s the limit of exAN, also eventually outgrows any function provable recursive in Peano arithmetic (PA) and arithmetical comprehension (ACA0). And it has similar growth rate to these functions:

2 thoughts on “Extended array notation


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