Boolean Witt vectors and an integral Edrei-Thoma theorem

A subtraction-free definition of the big Witt vector construction was recently given by the first author. This allows one to define the big Witt vectors of any semiring. Here we give an explicit combinatorial description of the big Witt vectors of the Boolean semiring. We do the same for two variants of the big Witt vector construction: the Schur Witt vectors and the p-typical Witt vectors. We use this to give an explicit description of the Schur Witt vectors of the natural numbers, which can be viewed as the classification of totally positive power series with integral coefficients, first obtained by Davydov. We also determine the cardinalities of some Witt vector algebras with entries in various concrete arithmetic semirings.

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Release notes

2013-Jun-20: Preprint online
2013-Oct-18: Revised version online
2013-Nov-18: Revised version online and uploaded to the archive
2014-Aug-22: Revised version online
2015-Nov-04: Online at Selecta
2015-Dec-11: Final version online