Interpolating between Hausdorff and box dimension

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis (PhD)


Hausdorff and box dimension are two familiar notions of fractal dimension. Box dimension can be larger than Hausdorff dimension, because in the definition of box dimension, all sets in the cover have the same diameter, but for Hausdorff dimension there is no such restriction. This thesis focuses on a family of dimensions parameterised by θ ∈ (0,1), called the intermediate dimensions, which are defined by requiring that diam(U) ⩽ (diam(V))ᶿ for all sets U, V in the cover.

We begin by generalising the intermediate dimensions to allow for greater refinement in how the relative sizes of the covering sets are restricted. These new dimensions can recover the interpolation between Hausdorff and box dimension for compact sets whose intermediate dimensions do not tend to the Hausdorff dimension as θ → 0. We also use a Moran set construction to prove a necessary and sufficient condition, in terms of Dini derivatives, for a given function to be realised as the intermediate dimensions of a set.

We proceed to prove that the intermediate dimensions of limit sets of infinite conformal iterated function systems are given by the maximum of the Hausdorff dimension of the limit set and the intermediate dimensions of the set of fixed points of the contractions. This applies to sets defined using continued fraction expansions, and has applications to dimensions of projections, fractional Brownian images, and general Hölder images.

Finally, we determine a formula for the intermediate dimensions of all self-affine Bedford–McMullen carpets. The functions display features not witnessed in previous examples, such as having countably many phase transitions. We deduce that two carpets have equal intermediate dimensions if and only if the multifractal spectra of the corresponding uniform Bernoulli measures coincide. This shows that if two carpets are bi-Lipschitz equivalent then the multifractal spectra are equal.
Date of Award28 Nov 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of St Andrews
SupervisorKenneth John Falconer (Supervisor) & Jonathan Fraser (Supervisor)


  • Fractal geometry
  • Hausdorff dimension
  • Box dimension
  • Intermediate dimensions
  • Dimension interpolation
  • Moran set
  • Iterated function system
  • Self-conformal
  • Self-affine
  • Bedford–McMullen carpet

Access Status

  • Full text open

Cite this