# nLab 3-groupoid

Contents

### Context

#### Higher category theory

higher category theory

# Contents

## Idea

The notion of 3-groupoid is the next higher generalization in higher category theory of groupoid and 2-groupoid.

## Definition

A 3-groupoid is an ∞-groupoid such that all parallel pairs of k-morphism are equivalent for $k \geq 4$: a 3-truncated ∞-groupoid.

Thus, up to equivalence, there is no point in mentioning anything beyond $3$-morphisms, except whether two given parallel $3$-morphisms are equivalent. This definition may give a concept more general than your preferred definition of $3$-groupoid, but it will be equivalent; basically, you may have to rephrase equivalence of $3$-morphisms as equality.

## Models

A general 3-groupoid is geometrically modeled by a 4-coskeletal Kan complex. Equivalently – via the homotopy hypothesis-theorem – by a homotopy 3-type.

A small model of this is a 3-hypergroupoid, where all horn-filelrs in dimension $\geq 4$ are unique .

A 3-groupoid is algebraically modeled by a tricategory in which all morphisms are invertible, and by a 3-truncated algebraic Kan complex.

A semistrict algebraic model for 3-groupoids is provided by the notion of Gray-groupoid. These in turn are encoded by 2-crossed modules.

An entirely strict algebraic model for 3-groupoids (which no longer models all homotopy 3-types) is a 3-truncated strict omega-groupoid.

homotopy leveln-truncationhomotopy theoryhigher category theoryhigher topos theoryhomotopy type theory
h-level 0(-2)-truncatedcontractible space(-2)-groupoidtrue/​unit type/​contractible type
h-level 1(-1)-truncatedcontractible-if-inhabited(-1)-groupoid/​truth value(0,1)-sheaf/​idealmere proposition/​h-proposition
h-level 20-truncatedhomotopy 0-type0-groupoid/​setsheafh-set
h-level 31-truncatedhomotopy 1-type1-groupoid/​groupoid(2,1)-sheaf/​stackh-groupoid
h-level 42-truncatedhomotopy 2-type2-groupoid(3,1)-sheaf/​2-stackh-2-groupoid
h-level 53-truncatedhomotopy 3-type3-groupoid(4,1)-sheaf/​3-stackh-3-groupoid
h-level $n+2$$n$-truncatedhomotopy n-typen-groupoid(n+1,1)-sheaf/​n-stackh-$n$-groupoid
h-level $\infty$untruncatedhomotopy type∞-groupoid(∞,1)-sheaf/​∞-stackh-$\infty$-groupoid
• Simona Paoli, Semistrict models of connected 3-types and Tamsamani’s weak 3-groupoids, Journal of Pure and Applied Algebra 211 (2007), 801-820. (arXiv)

• Carlos Simpson, Homotopy types of strict 3-groupoids (arXiv)