The purpose of this note is to initiate the study of ergodic optimization for general topological dynamical systems T:X→ X, where the topological space X need not be compact. Given [image omitted], four possible notions of largest ergodic average are defined; for compact metrisable X these notions coincide, while for general Polish spaces X they are related by inequalities, each of which may be strict. We seek conditions on f which guarantee the existence of a normal form, in order to characterize its maximizing measures in terms of their support. For compact metrisable X it suffices to find a fixed point form. For general Polish X this is not the case, but an extra condition on f, essential compactness, is shown to imply the existence of a normal form. When T:X→ X is the full shift on a countable alphabet, essential compactness yields an easily checkable criterion for the existence of a normal form.
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Document Type: Research Article
School of Mathematical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, London, E1 4NS, UK
Department of Mathematics, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203-1430, USA
Publication date: September 1, 2007
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