### arXiv: Number Theory | 2019

# Value patterns of multiplicative functions and related sequences

### Abstract

We study the existence of various sign and value patterns in sequences defined by multiplicative functions or related objects. For any set $A$ whose indicator function is approximately multiplicative and uniformly distributed on short intervals in a suitable sense, we show that the asymptotic density of the pattern $n+1\\in A$, $n+2\\in A$, $n+3\\in A$ is positive, as long as $A$ has density greater than $\\frac{1}{3}$. Using an inverse theorem for sumsets and some tools from ergodic theory, we also provide a theorem that deals with the critical case of $A$ having density exactly $\\frac{1}{3}$, below which one would need nontrivial information on the local distribution of $A$ in Bohr sets to proceed. We apply our results firstly to answer in a stronger form a question of ErdÅ‘s and Pomerance on the relative orderings of the largest prime factors $P^{+}(n)$, $P^{+}(n+1), P^{+}(n+2)$ of three consecutive integers. Secondly, we show that the tuple $(\\omega(n+1),\\omega(n+2),\\omega(n+3)) \\pmod 3$ takes all the $27$ possible patterns in $(\\mathbb{Z}/3\\mathbb{Z})^3$ with positive lower density, with $\\omega(n)$ being the number of distinct prime divisors. We also prove a theorem concerning longer patterns $n+i\\in A_i$, $i=1,\\dots k$ in approximately multiplicative sets $A_i$ having large enough densities, generalising some results of Hildebrand on his stable sets conjecture . Lastly, we consider the sign patterns of the Liouville function $\\lambda$ and show that there are at least $24$ patterns of length $5$ that occur with positive upper density. In all of the proofs we make extensive use of recent ideas concerning correlations of multiplicative functions.