accessible functor




A functor

F:CD F\colon C\to D

is a κ\kappa-accessible functor (for κ\kappa a regular cardinal) if CC and DD are both κ\kappa-accessible categories and FF preserves κ\kappa-filtered colimits. FF is an accessible functor if it is κ\kappa-accessible for some regular cardinal κ\kappa.


Raising the index of accessibility

If λκ\lambda\le\kappa, then every κ\kappa-filtered colimit is also λ\lambda-filtered, and thus if FF preserves λ\lambda-filtered colimits then it also preserves κ\kappa-filtered ones. Therefore, if FF is λ\lambda-accessible and CC and DD are κ\kappa-accessible, then FF is κ\kappa-accessible. Two conditions under which this happens are:

  1. CC and DD are locally presentable categories.

  2. λ\lambda is sharply smaller than κ\kappa, i.e. λκ\lambda\lhd\kappa.

In particular, for any accessible functor FF there are arbitrarily large cardinals κ\kappa such that FF is κ\kappa-accessible, and if the domain and codomain of FF are locally presentable then FF is κ\kappa-accessible for all sufficiently large κ\kappa.

Preserving presentable objects

For any accessible functor FF, there are arbitrarily large cardinals κ\kappa such that FF is κ\kappa-accessible and preserves κ\kappa-presentable objects. Indeed, this can be achieved simultaneously for any set of accessible functors. See Adamek-Rosicky, Theorem 2.19.


The theory of accessible 1-categories is described in

  • Michael Makkai, Robert Paré, Accessible categories: The foundations of categorical model theory Contemporary Mathematics 104. American Mathematical Society, Rhode Island, 1989.

The theory of accessible (,1)(\infty,1)-categories is the topic of section 5.4 of

Last revised on March 1, 2019 at 18:59:43. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.