parity complex


Higher category theory

higher category theory

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The notion of parity complex, introduced by Ross Street, is a notion of pasting diagram shape. It is based on some combinatorial axioms on subshapes of codimension at most 2 which permit the construction of a (strict) ω\omega-category freely generated from the shape.



A parity structure is a graded set {C n} n0\{C_n\}_{n \geq 0} together with, for each n0n \geq 0, functions

n +:C n+1P(C n), n :C n+1P(C n);\partial^+_n \colon C_{n+1} \to P(C_n), \qquad \partial^-_n \colon C_{n+1} \to P(C_n);

we assume throughout this article that n +(c)\partial^+_n(c), n (c)\partial^-_n(c) are finite, nonempty, and disjoint.

Following Street, we abbreviate n +(c)\partial^+_n(c) to c +c^+, and n (c)\partial^-_n(c) to c c^-. The Greek letters ε\varepsilon, η\eta refer to values in the set {+,}\{+, -\}.


A parity structure is a parity complex if it satisfies the following axioms:

  1. c c ++=c +c +c^{--} \cup c^{++} = c^{-+} \cup c^{+-}

  2. If cC 1c \in C_1, then c c^- and c +c^+ are both singletons.

  3. If x,yc ηx, y \in c^\eta are distinct nn-cells, then x +y +=x^+ \cap y^+ = \emptyset and x y =x^- \cap y^- = \emptyset.

  4. Define a relation <\lt by x<yx \lt y whenever x +y x^+ \cap y^- \neq \emptyset, and let \prec be the reflexive transitive closure of <\lt. Then \prec is antisymmetric, and if xyx \prec y for xc εx \in c^\varepsilon and yc ηy \in c^\eta, then ε=η\varepsilon = \eta.


Basic results



  • Ross Street, Parity complexes, Cahiers Top. Géom Diff. Catégoriques 32 (1991), 315-343. (link) Corrigenda, Cahiers Top. Géom Diff. Catégoriques 35 (1994), 359-361. (link)

Last revised on August 6, 2017 at 12:32:41. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.