homology

(also nonabelian homological algebra)

**algebraic topology** – application of higher algebra and higher category theory to the study of (stable) homotopy theory

Under the Dold-Kan correspondence, ∞-groupoids with strict abelian group structure (modeled by Kan complexes that are simplicial abelian groups) are identified with non-negatively graded chain complexes of abelian groups

$N_\bullet : SimpAb \stackrel{\simeq}{\to} Ch_+
\,.$

The **homology groups** of a chain complex of abelian groups are the image under this identification of the homotopy groups of the corresponding ∞-groupoids. More details on this are at chain homology and cohomology.

So at least for the case of chain complexes of abelian groups we have the slogan

**homology** = homotopy under Dold-Kan correspondence

Of course historically the development of concepts was precisely the opposite: chain homology is an old fundamental concept in homological algebra that is simpler to deal with than simplicial homotopy groups. The computational simplification for chain complexes is what makes the Dold-Kan correspondence useful after all.

Conceptually, however, it can be useful to understand homology as a special kind of homotopy. This is maybe most vivid in the dual picture: cohomology derives its name from that fact that chain homology and cohomology are dual concepts. But later generalizations of cohomology to generalized (Eilenberg-Steenrod) cohomology and further to nonabelian cohomology showed that the restricted notion of homology is an insufficient dual model for cohomology: what cohomology is really dual to is the more general concept of homotopy. More on this is at cohomotopy and Eckmann-Hilton duality.

The category of abelian groups is in particular an abelian category. We can define chain complexes and their homology in any abelian category $C$.

Let $C$ be an abelian category and let

$V_\bullet = ( \cdots \to V_{n+1} \stackrel{\delta_n}{\to}
V_n \stackrel{\delta_{n-1}}{\to}
V_{n-1} \to \cdots
)$

be a chain complex in $C$. For each integer $n \in \mathbb{N}$ this induces the following diagram of kernels, cokernels and images

$\array{
&& im \delta_n &&\to&& ker \delta_{n-1}
\\
& \nearrow && \searrow && \swarrow
\\
V_{n+1}
&&\stackrel{\delta_n}{\to}&&
V_n
&&\stackrel{\delta_{n-1}}{\to}&&
V_{n-1}
\\
& &&
\swarrow && \searrow && \nearrow
\\
&& coker \delta_n &&\stackrel{}{\to}&&
im \delta_{n-1}
}$

the **homology** $H_n(V)$ of $V$ in degree $n$ is the object

$\begin{aligned}
im(ker \delta_{n-1} \to V_n \to coker \delta_{n})
& \simeq
coker(im \delta_n \to ker \delta_{n-1})
\\
& \simeq
coker(V_{n+1} \to ker \delta_{n-1})
\\
& \simeq
ker(coker \delta_n \to im \delta_{n-1})
\\
& \simeq
ker(coker \delta_n \to V_{n-1})
\end{aligned}$

- If $H_n(V) \simeq 0$ then one says that the complex $V$ is exact in degree $n$.

In the special case that $C$ is the category of abelian groups, or of vector spaces, this definition reduces to the more familiar simpler statement:

the $n$-th homology group of the chain complex $V_\bullet$ is the quotient group

$H_n(V) = ker(\partial_n) / im(\partial_{n+1})
\,.$

By the Brown representability theorem every spectrum $A$ induces a generalized (Eilenberg-Steenrod) cohomology theory, and dually a **generalized homology theory**.

For $X$ a topological space and $A$ a spectrum, the generalized homology of spectrum of $X$ with coefficients in $A$ is

$X \wedge A := \Sigma^\infty(X)\wedge A
\,,$

where on the right we have the smash product of spectra with the suspension spectrum of $X$ and on the left we abbreviate this to the (∞,1)-tensoring of Spec over Top.

The corresponding homology groups are the homotopy groups of this spectrum:

$E_n(X,A) := \pi_n(X \wedge A) := [\Sigma^n \mathbb{S}, X \wedge A ]
\,.$

where $\mathbb{S}$ is the sphere spectrum. For more see generalized homology.

The relation between homology, cohomology and homotopy:

homotopy | cohomology | homology | |
---|---|---|---|

$[S^n,-]$ | $[-,A]$ | $(-) \otimes A$ | |

category theory | covariant hom | contravariant hom | tensor product |

homological algebra | Ext | Ext | Tor |

enriched category theory | end | end | coend |

homotopy theory | derived hom space $\mathbb{R}Hom(S^n,-)$ | cocycles $\mathbb{R}Hom(-,A)$ | derived tensor product $(-) \otimes^{\mathbb{L}} A$ |

The ingredients of homology and cohomology:

$H_n = Z_n/B_n$ | (chain-)homology | (cochain-)cohomology | $H^n = Z^n/B^n$ |
---|---|---|---|

$C_n$ | chain | cochain | $C^n$ |

$Z_n \subset C_n$ | cycle | cocycle | $Z^n \subset C^n$ |

$B_n \subset C_n$ | boundary | coboundary | $B^n \subset C^n$ |

Last revised on January 14, 2020 at 02:09:18. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.