A well known result of Fraenkel and Simpson states that the number of distinct squares in a word of length $n$ is bounded by $2n$ since at each position there are at most two distinct squares whose last occurrence starts. In this paper, we investigate squares in partial words with one hole, or sequences over a finite alphabet that have a “do not know” symbol or “hole”. A square in a partial word over a given alphabet has the form $uv$ where $u$ is compatible with $v$, and consequently, such square is compatible with a number of words over the alphabet that are squares. Recently, it was shown that for partial words with one hole, there may be more than two squares that have their last occurrence starting at the same position. Here, we prove that if such is the case, then the length of the shortest square is at most half the length of the third shortest square. As a result, we show that the number of distinct squares compatible with factors of a partial word with one hole of length $n$ is bounded by $\frac{7n}{2}$.

Keywords: combinatorics on words, partial words, squares

@article{ITA_2009__43_4_767_0, author = {Blanchet-Sadri, Francine and Merca\c{s}, Robert}, title = {A note on the number of squares in a partial word with one hole}, journal = {RAIRO - Theoretical Informatics and Applications - Informatique Th\'eorique et Applications}, pages = {767--774}, publisher = {EDP-Sciences}, volume = {43}, number = {4}, year = {2009}, doi = {10.1051/ita/2009019}, mrnumber = {2589991}, language = {en}, url = {http://www.numdam.org/articles/10.1051/ita/2009019/} }

TY - JOUR AU - Blanchet-Sadri, Francine AU - Mercaş, Robert TI - A note on the number of squares in a partial word with one hole JO - RAIRO - Theoretical Informatics and Applications - Informatique Théorique et Applications PY - 2009 DA - 2009/// SP - 767 EP - 774 VL - 43 IS - 4 PB - EDP-Sciences UR - http://www.numdam.org/articles/10.1051/ita/2009019/ UR - https://www.ams.org/mathscinet-getitem?mr=2589991 UR - https://doi.org/10.1051/ita/2009019 DO - 10.1051/ita/2009019 LA - en ID - ITA_2009__43_4_767_0 ER -

%0 Journal Article %A Blanchet-Sadri, Francine %A Mercaş, Robert %T A note on the number of squares in a partial word with one hole %J RAIRO - Theoretical Informatics and Applications - Informatique Théorique et Applications %D 2009 %P 767-774 %V 43 %N 4 %I EDP-Sciences %U https://doi.org/10.1051/ita/2009019 %R 10.1051/ita/2009019 %G en %F ITA_2009__43_4_767_0

Blanchet-Sadri, Francine; Mercaş, Robert. A note on the number of squares in a partial word with one hole. RAIRO - Theoretical Informatics and Applications - Informatique Théorique et Applications, Volume 43 (2009) no. 4, pp. 767-774. doi : 10.1051/ita/2009019. http://www.numdam.org/articles/10.1051/ita/2009019/

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