Polynomial Dehn functions and the length of asynchronously automatic structures

Martin R. Bridson

Preprint, July 1999, final edit August 2001 --- to appear in Proc. London Math. Soc.

We extend the range of observed behaviour among length functions of optimal asynchronously automatic structures. We do so by means of a construction that yields asynchronously automatic groups with finite aspherical presentations where the Dehn function of the group is polynomial of arbitrary degree. Many of these groups can be embedded in the automorphism group of a free group. Moreover, the fact that the groups have aspherical presentations makes them useful tools in the search to determine the spectrum of exponents for second order Dehn functions. We contribute to this search by giving the first exact calculations of groups with quadratic and superquadratic exponents.