Inserted: 30 nov 2020
Last Updated: 2 apr 2021
We generalize both the notion of polynomial functions on Lie groups and the notion of horizontally affine maps on Carnot groups. We fix a subset $S$ of the algebra $\mathfrak g$ of left-invariant vector fields on a Lie group $\mathbb G$ and we assume that $S$ Lie generates $\mathfrak g$. We say that a function $f:\mathbb G\to \mathbb R$ (or more generally a distribution on $\mathbb G$) is $S$-polynomial if for all $X\in S$ there exists $k\in \mathbb N$ such that the iterated derivative $X^k f$ is zero in the sense of distributions. First, we show that all $S$-polynomial functions (as well as distributions) are represented by analytic functions and, if the exponent $k$ in the previous definition is independent on $X\in S$, they form a finite-dimensional vector space. Second, if $\mathbb G$ is connected and nilpotent we show that $S$-polynomial functions are polynomial functions in the sense of Leibman. The same result may not be true for non-nilpotent groups. Finally, we show that in connected nilpotent Lie groups, being polynomial in the sense of Leibman, being a polynomial in exponential chart, and the vanishing of mixed derivatives of some fixed degree along directions of $\mathfrak g$ are equivalent notions.