Paths and cylinders
Recall that a simplicial set is a combinatorial model for a topological space. This relation is most immediate when the simplicial set is in fact a Kan complex (an ∞-groupoid).
A simplicial group is a simplicial set with the structure of a group on it. It turns out that this necessarily means that it is also a Kan complex. Therefore a simplicial group is
Accordingly (as discussed at group) a simplicial group gives rise to
a one-object -groupoid whose explicit standard realization as a simplicial set is denoted
an -groupoid whose explicit standard realization as a simplicial set (even a simplicial group, again) is denoted
such that there is a fibration
which is the universal G-bundle.
Simplicial abelian groups are models for connective modules over the Eilenberg-Mac Lane spectrum ; see Dold-Kan correspondence and stable Dold-Kan correspondence.
A simplicial group, , is a simplicial object in the category Grp of groups.
The category of simplicial groups is the category of functors from to Grp. It will be denoted .
As Kan complexes
Theorem (J. C. Moore)
The simplicial set underlying any simplicial group (by forgetting the group structure) is a Kan complex.
This is due to (Moore, 1954)
In fact, not only are the horn fillers guaranteed to exist, but there is an algorithm that provides explicit fillers. This implies that constructions on a simplicial group that use fillers of horns can often be adjusted to be functorial by using the algorithmically defined fillers. An argument that just uses ‘existence’ of fillers can be refined to give something more ‘coherent’.
Let be a simplicial group.
Here is the explicit algorithm that computes the horn fillers:
Let give a horn in , so the s are simplices that fit together as if they were all but one, the one, of the faces of an -simplex. There are three cases:
- Let and then for , then satisfies , ;
- Let and for , then take , and finally a downwards induction given by , for , then gives for ;
- use and for , then satisfies , .
Let be a simplicial group and its group of 0-cells, regarded as a simplicially constant simplicial group. Write for the evident quotient of simplicial groups.
The evident morphisms
form a fiber sequence in sSet.
One checks that for any simplicial set and a simplicial group acting freely on it, the quotient map
is a Kan fibration. This is for instance (Weibel, exercise 8.2.6). By the disucssion at fiber sequence it is therefore sufficient to observe that
is an ordinary pullback of simplicial sets. This is clear since the action of on is degreewise free (being the action of a subgroup).
Let be a crossed module of groups, write
for groupoid which is the corresponding strict 2-group and write for the nerve being the corresponding simplicial group. Then the above says that
is a fiber sequence of groupoids.
Free simplicial groups
The forgetful functor
from simplicial abelian groups to the underlying simplicial sets has a left adjoint
from simplicial sets to abelian simplicial groups, the free simplicial abelian group functor that sends the set of -simplices to the free abelian group over it.
This functor has the following properties:
Looping and delooping
Let sSet be the category of reduced simplicial sets (simplicial sets with a single 0-cell).
For define by
Simplicial groups are models for ∞-groups. This is exhibited by the model structure on simplicial groups. See also models for group objects in ∞Grpd.
Another equivalent model is that of connected Kan complexes.
At the abstract level of (∞,1)-category theory this equivalence is induced by forming loop space objects and delooping
This (∞,1)-equivalence is modeled by a Quillen equivalence of model categories whose right adjoint Quillen functor is the operation discussed above.
This is for instance in GoerssJardine, chapter 5.
See also group object in an (∞,1)-category – models for groups in ∞Grpd.
Closed monoidal structure
The category of simplicial abelian groups is naturally a monoidal category, with the tensor product being degreewise that of abelian groups. This is indeed a closed monoidal category. For The internal hom is the simplicial abelian group whose underlying simplicial set is
where is degreewise the free abelian group functor.
Delooping and simplicial principal bundles
For a simplicial group, we describe its delooping Kan complex and the corresponding generalized universal bundle such that the ordinary pullback
in sSet models the homotopy pullback in / (∞,1)-pullback in ∞Grpd
in the standard model structure on simplicial sets and hence produces the principal ∞-bundle classified by .
For all these constructions exist very explicit combinatorial formulas that go by the symbols
All of these constructions are functorial and hence lift from the context of simplicial sets to that of simplicial presheaves over some site . There they provide models for strict group objects, delooping and principal ∞-bundles in the corresponding (∞,1)-toposes over . In particular in the projective model structure on the pullback of the objectwise is still a homotopy pullback and models the corresponding principal -bundles.
A simplicial group is a group object internal to the category of Kan complexes. Accordingly, there should be a Kan complex which is the delooping of , i.e. a Kan complex with an essentially unique object, such that the loop space object of that Kan complex reproduces .
An explicit construction of from goes traditionally by the symbol . Another one by .
Delooping modeled by
It is immediate to deloop the simplicial group to the simplicial groupoid that in degree is the 1-groupoid with a single object and as its collection of morphisms.
For a simplicial groupoid that on objects is a constant simplicial set, define a simplicial set as follows.
, the set of objects of the groupoid of 0-simplices (and hence of the groupoid at each level);
, the collection of morphisms of the groupoid :
and for ,
- and .
Here and are generic symbols for the domain and codomain mappings of all the groupoids involved. The face and degeneracy mappings between and are the source and target maps and the identity maps of , respectively; whilst the face and degeneracy maps at higher levels are given as follows:
The face and degeneracy maps are given by
for , ;
- for , .
For a simplicial group and the corresponding one-object simplicial groupoid, one writes
Delooping modeled by
For a simplicial group, write for the bisimplicial set obtained by taking degreewise the nerve of the delooping groupoid. Write sSet for its delooping.
This is shown for instance in (JardineLuo) and in (CegarraRemedios).
If is an ordinary group, regarded as a simplicially constant simplicial group, then is the usual bar complex of :
For a simplicial set a morphism
in sSet corresponds precisely to what is called a twisting function, a family of maps
satisfying the relations
Simplicial Principal bundles
Simplicial groups model all ∞-groups in ∞Grpd. Accordingly all principal ∞-bundles in ∞Grpd should be modeled by simplicial principal bundles.
Let be a simplicial group. For a Kan complex, an action of on
is called principal if it is degreewise principal, i.e. if for all the only elements that have any fixed point in that are the neutral elements.
The canonical action
of any simplicial group on itself is principal.
(simplicial principal bundle)
For a simplicial group, a morphism of Kan complexes equipped with a -action on is called a -simplicial principal bundle if
A simplicial -principal bundle is necessarly a Kan fibration.
This appears as Lemma 18.2 in MaySimpOb.
Universal simplicial -principal bundle
For a simplicial group, define the simplicial set to be the decalage of
By the discussion at homotopy pullback this means that for any Kan complex, an ordinary pullback diagram
in sSet exhibits as the homotopy pullback in / (∞,1)-pullback in ∞Grpd
i.e. as the homotopy fiber of the cocycle .
We call the simplicial -principal bundle corresponding to .
Let be the twisting function corresponding to by the above discussion.
Then the simplicial set is explicitly given by the formula called the twisted Cartesian product :
its cells are
with face and degeneracy maps
Here are some pointers on where precisely in the literature the above statements can be found.
One useful reference is
There the abbreviation PCTP ( principal twisted cartesian product ) is used for what above we called just twisted Cartesian products.
The fact that every PTCP defined by a twisting function arises as the pullback of along a morphjism of simplicial sets can be found there by combining
the last sentence on p. 81 which asserts that pullbacks of PTCPs along morphisms of simplicial sets yield PTCPs corresponding to the composite of with ;
section 21 which establishes that is the PTCP for some universal twisting function .
lemma 21.9 states in the language of composites of twisting functions that every PTCP comes from composing a cocycle with the universal twisting function . In view of the relation to pullbacks in item 1, this yields the statement in the form we stated it above.
An explicit version of the statement that twisted Cartesian products are nothing but pullbacks of a generalized universal bundle is on page 148 of
On page 239 there it is mentioned that
is a model for the loop space object fiber sequence
One place in the literature where the observation that is the decalage of is mentioned fairly explicitly is page 85 of
- John Duskin, Simplicial methods and the interpretation of “triple” cohomology, number 163 in Mem. Amer. Math. Soc., 3, Amer. Math. Soc. (1975)
A standard reference for the case of abelian simplicial groups is chapter 5 of
Also chapter IV of
and chapter 8 of
- Charles Weibel, An introduction to homological algebra Cambridge (1994)
The algorithm for finding the horn fillers in a simplicial group is given in the proof of theorem 17.1, page 67 there.
This proof that simplicial groups are Kan complexes is originally due to theorem 3.4 in
- John Moore, Semi-Simplicial Complexes And Postnikov Systems, inSymposium International De Topologia Algebraica_ , 1956 conference, book published in 1958
which apears in more detail as theorem 3 on p. 18-04 of
- John Moore, Homotopie des complexes monoideaux, I , Seminaire Henri Cartan, 1954-55. (numdam)
and is often attributed to
- John Moore, Algebraic homotopy theory, lecture notes, Princeton University, 1955–1956
In fact, it seems that this is the origin of the very notion of Kan complex.
A proof is also on p. 14 of
Section 1.3.3 of
discusses simplicial groups in the context of nonabelian algebraic topology.