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 On the Pierce-Birkhoff Conjecture
 This paper represents a step in our program towards the proof of the Pierce--Birkhoff conjecture. In the nineteen eighties J. Madden proved that the Pierce-Birkhoff conjecture for a ring A$is equivalent to a statement about an arbitrary pair of points$\alpha,\beta\in\sper\ A$and their separating ideal$<\alpha,\beta>$; we refer to this statement as the Local Pierce-Birkhoff conjecture at$\alpha,\beta$. In this paper, for each pair$(\alpha,\beta)$with$ht(<\alpha,\beta>)=\dim A$, we define a natural number, called complexity of$(\alpha,\beta)$. Complexity 0 corresponds to the case when one of the points$\alpha,\beta$is monomial; this case was already settled in all dimensions in a preceding paper. Here we introduce a new conjecture, called the Strong Connectedness conjecture, and prove that the strong connectedness conjecture in dimension n-1 implies the connectedness conjecture in dimension n in the case when$ht(<\alpha,\beta>)$is less than n-1. We prove the Strong Connectedness conjecture in dimension 2, which gives the Connectedness and the Pierce--Birkhoff conjectures in any dimension in the case when$ht(<\alpha,\beta>)$less than 2. Finally, we prove the Connectedness (and hence also the Pierce--Birkhoff) conjecture in the case when dimension of A is equal to$ht(<\alpha,\beta>)=3$, the pair$(\alpha,\beta)$is of complexity 1 and$A\$ is excellent with residue field the field of real numbers.
 keyword(s) : Pierce-Birkhoff - real spectrum - valuation - approximate root - piecewise polynomial - blowing up - complete ideal
 ujm-00721187, version 1 http://hal-ujm.ccsd.cnrs.fr/ujm-00721187 oai:hal-ujm.ccsd.cnrs.fr:ujm-00721187 From: Daniel Schaub <> Submitted on: Thursday, 26 July 2012 17:47:20 Updated on: Friday, 27 July 2012 08:46:33