Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems

Research Article

Lambda-topology versus pointwise topology


a1 Glendon College, York University, 2275 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Canada M4N 3M6 (email:

a2 Department of Mathematics, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, 1-1 Machikaneyama, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-0043, Japan (email:

a3 Department of Mathematics, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203-1430, USA (email:


This paper deals with families of conformal iterated function systems (CIFSs). The space CIFS(X,I) of all CIFSs, with common seed space X and alphabet I, is successively endowed with the topology of pointwise convergence and the so-calledλ-topology. We show just how bad the topology of pointwise convergence is: although the Hausdorff dimension function is continuous on a dense Gδ-set, it is also discontinuous on a dense subset of CIFS(X,I). Moreover, all of the different types of systems (irregular, critically regular, etc.), have empty interior, have the whole space as boundary, and thus are dense in CIFS(X,I), which goes against intuition and conception of a natural topology on CIFS(X,I). We then prove how good the λ-topology is: Roy and Urbański [Regularity properties of Hausdorff dimension in infinite conformal IFSs. Ergod. Th. & Dynam. Sys. 25(6) (2005), 1961–1983] have previously pointed out that the Hausdorff dimension function is then continuous everywhere on CIFS(X,I). We go further in this paper. We show that (almost) all of the different types of systems have natural topological properties. We also show that, despite not being metrizable (as it does not satisfy the first axiom of countability), the λ-topology makes the space CIFS(X,I) normal. Moreover, this space has no isolated points. We further prove that the conformal Gibbs measures and invariant Gibbs measures depend continuously on Φxs2208CIFS(X,I) and on the parameter t of the potential and pressure functions. However, we demonstrate that the coding map and the closure of the limit set are discontinuous on an important subset of CIFS(X,I).

(Received June 28 2007)

(Revised February 29 2008)