nLab Oka principle



Complex geometry

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In complex geometry, the Oka-Grauert principle states that over complex manifolds SS which are Stein manifolds, the non-abelian cohomology-classification of holomorphic vector bundles coincides with that of topological vector bundles,

Sis SteinH 1(S;GL(n,)̲ hol)H 1(S;GL(n,)̲ top). S \;\text{is Stein} \;\;\;\;\; \Rightarrow \;\;\;\;\; H^1 \Big( S; \, \underline{GL(n, \mathbb{C})}_{hol} \Big) \,\simeq\, H^1 \Big( S; \, \underline{GL(n, \mathbb{C})}_{top} \Big) \,.

This was originally proven for holomorphic line bundles in Oka 1939 (in which case it says that holomorphic line bundles over Stein manifolds are fully classified by their first Chern class) and generalized in Grauert 1958 to holomorphic vector bundles and further to holomorphic principal bundles with structure group any complex Lie group.

As a principle, this Oka-Grauert principle is sometimes stated as (Forstnerič 12):

Analytic problems on Stein spaces which can be cohomologically formulated have only topological obstructions.

More generally, for suitable complex manifolds AA now called Oka manifolds (Forstnerič 2009a) – including (see here) the complex Grassmannians that serve as classifying spaces for complex vector bundles –, the inclusion into the space of continuous maps SAS \to A, out of a Stein manifold SS, of the subspace of holomorphic functions is a weak homotopy equivalence:

Maps hol(S,A) wheMaps(S,A)nπ n(Maps hol(S,A))π n(Maps(S,A)). Maps_{hol}(S, \, A) \xhookrightarrow{ \simeq_{whe} } Maps(S, \, A) \;\;\;\;\;\;\;\; \Leftrightarrow \;\;\;\;\;\;\;\; \underset{n \in \mathbb{N}}{\forall} \;\; \pi_n \big( Maps_{hol}(S, \, A) \big) \xrightarrow{\sim} \pi_n \big( Maps(S, \, A) \big) \,.

(review in Forstnerič & Lárusson 2011, Cor. 3.5, Forstnerič 2013, (1.1))

More generally, an analogous statement applies to suitable fiber bundles of Oka manifolds over Stein manifolds and their spaces of sections (Forstnerič 2009b).

This homotopy theoretic weak homotopy equivalence Oka principle goes back to results of Gromov 89, where (?) it is viewed an an example of the h-principle.

The duality between Stein manifolds and Oka manifolds in this homotopy-theoretic Oka principle is fully brought out by the existence of a model category for complex analytic ∞-groupoids in which a complex manifold is cofibrant/fibrant object if it is Stein/Oka, respectively (Lárusson 2001, 03).

Homotopical Oka principle


(weak homotopy equivalence Oka principle) For

the inclusion

Maps hol(S,X) wheMaps(S,X) Maps_{hol} \big( S, \, X \big) \xhookrightarrow{\;\simeq_{whe}\;} Maps \big( S ,\, X \big)

of the subspace of holomorphic functions into the mapping space of their underlying topological spaces (with the compact-open topology) is a weak homotopy equivalence.

(review in Forstnerič & Lárusson 2011, Cor. 3.5)

More generally, for ZSZ \xrightarrow{\;} S a stratified holomorphic fiber bundle of Oka manifolds, the corresponding inclusion of spaces of sections

Γ hol(S,Z) wheΓ(S,Z) \Gamma_{hol}\big(S, \, Z \big) \xhookrightarrow{\;\simeq_{whe}\;} \Gamma\big(S, \, Z \big)

is a weak homotopy equivalence.

(Forstnerič 2011, Cor. 5.4.8)

In higher complex analytic geometry

In (Lárusson 2001, Lárusson 2003) this is formulated in terms of higher complex analytic geometry of complex analytic infinity-groupoids.

Say that a complex manifold XX is an Oka manifold if for every Stein manifold Σ\Sigma the canonical morphism

Maps hol(Σ,X)Maps top(Σ,X) Maps_{hol}(\Sigma, X) \longrightarrow Maps_{top}(\Sigma, X)

from the mapping space of holomorphic functions to that of continuous functions (both equipped with the compact-open topology) is a weak homotopy equivalence.


This is the case precisely if Maps hol(,X)Psh (SteinSp)Maps_{hol}(-,X) \in Psh_\infty(SteinSp) satisfies descent with respect to finite covers.

(Larusson 01, theorem 2.1)


The category of complex manifolds and holomorphic maps can be embedded into a Quillen model category such that:

(Larusson 03 – apparently this follows an observation due to J. F. Jardine and uses his intermediate model structure on simplicial presheaves)


Introduction and review:

See also:

Original articles:

Proof of the homotopy-theoretic Oka principle:

See also:

Discussion in terms of higher complex analytic geometry and complex analytic ∞-groupoids:

Application to minimal surfaces:

See also:

  • Tyson Ritter, A strong Oka principle for embeddings of some planar domains into C×C *C\times C^*, arxiv/1011.4116

Last revised on November 8, 2022 at 17:08:24. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.