Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Paul Muhly


There are two primary sources of motivation for the contents of this thesis. The first is an effort to generalize classical dilation theory, a brief history of which is given in Section 2.1. The second source of motivation is the study of the representation theory of tensor algebras associated to C*-correspondences; these concepts are discussed in Sections 2.2 and 2.4. Although seemingly unrelated, there is a close connection between these two motivating theories.

The link between classical dilation theory and the representation theory of tensor algebras over C*-correspondences was established by Muhly and Solel in their 1998 paper Tensor Algebras over C*-Correspondences: Representations, Dilations, and C*-Envelopes. In that paper, the authors not only introduced the concept of (operator-theoretic) tensor algebras – non-selfadjoint operator algebras that generalize algebraic tensor algebras – but they also developed the representation theory of these algebras. In order to do so, they introduced and made extensive use of a generalized dilation theory for contractions on Hilbert space. In analogy with classical dilation theory, they developed notions of “isometric dilation” and “coisometric extension” for completely contractive representations of the tensor algebra. The process of forming isometric dilations proceeded smoothly, but constructing coisometric extensions proved more problematic. In contrast to the classical case, Muhly and Solel showed that there is a high degree of nonuniqueness involved when building coisometric extensions. This lack of uniqueness proved to be an impediment to developing a full generalization of the dilation and model theories of Sz.-Nagy and Foias. In this thesis, we introduce a way to manage the ambiguities that arise when forming coisometric extensions. More specifically, we show that the notion of a transfer operator from classical dynamics can be adapted to this setting, and we prove that when a transfer operator is fixed in advance, every completely contractive representation of the tensor algebra admits a unique coisometric extension that respects the transfer operator in a fashion that we describe in Chapter 5. We also prove a commutant lifting theorem in the context of coisometric extensions.


Coisometric Extensions, Correspondence, Covariant Representations, Dilation Theory, Intertwiner, Tensor Algebra


v, 114 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 113-114).


Copyright 2013 Travis Wolf

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