Averaging algebras, Schröder numbers, rooted trees and operads

Jun Pei, Li Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In this paper, we study averaging operators from an algebraic and combinatorial point of view. We first construct free averaging algebras in terms of a class of bracketed words called averaging words. We next apply this construction to obtain generating functions in one or two variables for subsets of averaging words when the averaging operator is taken to be idempotent. When the averaging algebra has an idempotent generator, the generating function in one variable is twice the generating function for large Schröder numbers, leading us to give interpretations of large Schröder numbers in terms of bracketed words and rooted trees, as well as a recursive formula for these numbers. We also give a representation of free averaging algebras by unreduced trees and apply it to give a combinatorial description of the operad of averaging algebras.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-109
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Algebraic Combinatorics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 24 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Algebra and Number Theory
  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics


  • Averaging algebra
  • Averaging operator
  • Bracketed words
  • Free object
  • Generating function
  • Large Schröder numbers
  • Operad
  • Rooted trees

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