symmetric monoidal (∞,1)-category of spectra
homotopy theory, (∞,1)-category theory, homotopy type theory
flavors: stable, equivariant, rational, p-adic, proper, geometric, cohesive, directed…
models: topological, simplicial, localic, …
see also algebraic topology
Introductions
Definitions
Paths and cylinders
Homotopy groups
Basic facts
Theorems
An $A_\infty$-space is a homotopy type $X$ that is equipped with the structure of a monoid up to coherent higher homotopy:
that means it is equipped with
a binary product operation $\cdot \colon X \times X \to X$
a choice of associativity homotopy; $\eta_{x,y,z} : (x\cdot y) \cdot z \to x \cdot (y \cdot z)$;
a choice of pentagon law? homotopy between five such $\eta$s;
and so ever on, as controlled by the associahedra.
In short one may say: an $A_\infty$-space is an A-∞ algebra/monoid in an (∞,1)-category in the (∞,1)-category ∞Grpd/Top. See there for more details.
If in the definition of an $A_\infty$-space one discards all the higher homotopies and retains only the existence of an associativity-homotopy, then one has the notion of H-monoid. Put another way, An $A_\infty$-space in the (∞,1)-category ∞Grpd/Top becomes an H-monoid in the homotopy Ho(Top). And lifting an H-monoid structure to an $A_\infty$-space structure means lifting a monoid structure through the projection from the (∞,1)-category ∞Grpd/Top to Ho(Top).
The delooping of an $A_\infty$-space is an A-∞ category/(∞,1)-category with a single object. (Beware that in standard literature “$A_\infty$-category” is often, but not necessarily, reserved for a stable (∞,1)-category).
There is an equivalence of (∞,1)-categories between pointed connected A-∞ categories/(∞,1)-categories and $A_\infty$-spaces.
$A_\infty$-spaces were introduced by Jim Stasheff as a refinement of an H-group taking into account higher coherences.