# nLab additive and abelian categories

category theory

## Applications

#### Homological algebra

homological algebra

Introduction

diagram chasing

## Definitions

There is a sequence of extra structure and property on a category that makes this category behave like a general context for homological algebra. In order of increasing structure and property this is:

1. Ab-enriched category: a category that is Ab-enriched;

2. pre-additive category: an $Ab$-enriched category that has a terminal object or initial object and therefore a zero object; Notice however that many authors (e.g. Weibel, Popescu) by preadditive (or pre-additive) simply mean $Ab$-enriched.

3. additive category: a pre-additive category that admits binary products or binary coproducts and therefore binary biproducts (equivalently, an $Ab$-enriched category with all finite products or coproducts);

4. pre-abelian category: an additive category that admits kernels and cokernels (equivalently, an $Ab$-enriched category with all finite limits and colimits);

5. abelian category: a pre-abelian category such that every monomorphism is a kernel and every epimorphism is a cokernel (and many other equivalent definitions).

Pre-abelian and abelian categories are sometimes called (AB1) and (AB2) categories, after the sequence of additional axioms on top of additive categories introduced by Grothendieck in Tohoku. AB1 and AB2 are self-dual axioms (AB1 is existence of kernels and cokernels, and AB2 requires that, for any $f$, the canonical morphism $\mathrm{Coim}\,f\to \mathrm{Im}\,f$ is an isomorphism). These continue in non-selfdual manner:

• AB3: an abelian category with all coproducts (hence with all colimits);

• AB4: an (AB3) category in which coproducts of monomorphisms are monic;

• AB5: an (AB3) category in which filtered colimits of exact sequences exist and are exact;

• AB6: an (AB3) category such that

• for every object $A$ in $C$ and any family $B^j$ with $j \in J$ of directed families $B^j = B^j_i$ with $i in I_j$ the intersections of subobjects over $j$ commute with direct sums over $j$.
• Notice that this implies that inf for any family of subobjects exists.

The concepts (AB3–AB6) also have dual forms (AB3*–AB6*).

There are further refinements along these lines. In particular

## Further refinements

Various further axiom structures are considered for additive (sometimes abelian) categories.

## Examples

Various generic classes of examples of additive and abelian categories are of relevance:

Last revised on May 24, 2020 at 16:53:24. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.