Partial Conway and iteration semirings

S. L. Bloom, Z. Esik, W. Kuich

A Conway semiring is a semiring $S$ equipped with a unary operation $^*:S \to S$, always called 'star', satisfying the sum star and product star identities. It is known that these identities imply a Kleene type theorem. Some computationally important semirings, such as $N$ or $N^{\rat}\llangle \Sigma^* \rrangle$ of rational power series of words on $\Sigma$ with coefficients in $N$, cannot have a total star operation satisfying the Conway identities. We introduce here partial Conway semirings, which are semirings $S$ which have a star operation defined only on an ideal of $S$; when the arguments are appropriate, the operation satisfies the above identities. We develop the general theory of partial Conway semirings and prove a Kleene theorem for this generalization.

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