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39
votes
5answers
5k views

Is there a high-concept explanation for why “simplicial” leads to “homotopy-theoretic”?

My (limited) understanding is that simplicial methods tend to be used whenever you want some kind of nontrivial homotopy theory -- for instance, to get a nice model structure, you use simplicial sets ...
25
votes
7answers
2k views

Simplicial objects

How should one think about simplicial objects in a category versus actual objects in that category? For example, both for intuition and for practical purposes, what's the difference between a ...
22
votes
1answer
11k views

If I want to study Jacob Lurie's books “Higher Topoi Theory”, “Derived AG”, what prerequisites should I have?

I've been told that it's important to know modern physics, Differential Geometry and Algebraic Topology for understanding higher structures. Is there any other prerequisite for understanding Lurie's ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

Model structure on Simplicial Sets without using topological spaces

The category of simplicial sets has a standard model structure, where the weak equivalences are those maps whose geometric realization is a weak homotopy equivalence, the cofibrations are ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

A Peculiar Model Structure on Simplicial Sets?

I'm wondering if there is a Quillen model structure on the category of simplicial sets which generalizes the usual model structure, but where every simplicial set is fibrant? I want to use this to do ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

What facts in commutative algebra fail miserably for simplicial commutative rings, even up to homotopy?

Simplicial commutative rings are very easy to describe. They're just commutative monoids in the monoidal category of simplicial abelian groups. However, I just realized that a priori, it's not clear ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

A canonical and categorical construction for geometric realization

There is a very intimate connection between categories, simplicial sets, and topological spaces. On one hand, simplicial sets are the presheaf category on the category $\Delta$ and $\Delta$ is a ...
17
votes
2answers
741 views

Is there a discrete Cerf theory?

Towards the end of the 1990's, Robin Forman developed a discrete version of Morse theory, which concerns maps from a simplicial complex to $\mathbb{R}$ satisfying a combinatorial analogue to the ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Homotopy colimits/limits using model categories

A homotopy (limits and) colimit of a diagram $D$ topological spaces can be explicitly described as a geometric realization of simplicial replacement for $D$. However, a homotopy colimit can also be ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Analogue of simplicial sets

This question is prompted by this one (and some of the comments that it drew). Simplicial complex is to ordered simplicial complex as $X$ is to simplicial set. The question is about $X$. Let ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the 4x5 chessboard complex a link complement?

The 2x3 and 3x4 chessboard complexes (form a square grid of vertices and make a simplex for any set of vertices no two of which are in the same row or column) are a 6-cycle and a triangulated torus ...
15
votes
2answers
591 views

When is a topological space the homotopy colimit of an open covering?

Suppose that $X$ is a topological space and $\left(U_i \to X\right)$ is an open cover. We can associate to it the Cech diagram of this cover $$C_U:\Delta^{op} \to Top.$$ I know that for many good ...
15
votes
2answers
479 views

If $X$ is a simplicial complex, is their a characterization of the links of the vertices of $X$ that is equivalent to the statement "$|X|$ is a manifold

We have a characterization when we want $|X|$ to be a PL-manifold, in particular that the links of all the vertices are themselves (PL) spheres. If we are in the category of PL- spaces then this is a ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is complex projective space triangulable?

In an exercise in his algebraic topology book, Munkres asserts that $\mathbf{C}P^n$ is triangulable (i.e., there is a simplicial complex $K$ and a homeomorphism $|K| \rightarrow \mathbf{C}P^n$). Can ...
15
votes
1answer
502 views

How many simplicial complexes on n vertices up to homotopy equivalence?

Fix a number $n$, and define $\gamma(n)$ to be the number of simplicial complexes on $n$ unlabeled vertices up to homotopy equivalence. It is unlikely that an explicit formula exists, but what is ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Simplicial homotopy book suggestion for HTT computations

I'm struggling through Lurie's Higher Topos Theory, since it appears that someone reading through the book is expected to be somewhat comfortable with simplicial homotopy theory. The main trouble ...
14
votes
3answers
663 views

Testing simplicial complexes for shellability

Question Are there efficient algorithms to check if a finite simplicial complex defined in terms of its maximal facets is shellable? By efficient here I am willing to consider anything with ...
14
votes
1answer
674 views

Is there a combinatorial way to factor a map of simplicial sets as a weak equivalence followed by a fibration?

Background on why I want this: I'd like to check that suspension in a simplicial model category is the same thing as suspension in the quasicategory obtained by composing Rezk's assignment of a ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Status of Quillen's conjecture on elementary abelian p-groups

These are questions on D. Quillen's 1978 paper Homotopy properties of the poset of nontrivial p-subgroups of a group. Let $G$ be a finite group, $p$ a prime number, $\mathcal S(G)$ the poset of ...
13
votes
3answers
629 views

Triangulations of polyhedra

A topologist came to me with this question, but everything I think should work doesn't. How many triangulations are there of a polyhedron with n vertices? By a "triangulation" of a polyhedron P we ...
13
votes
1answer
434 views

When can a contractible 2-complex be embedded in R^3?

Let $X$ be a contractible 2-dimensional simplicial complex. Are there nice necessary and sufficient conditions for $X$ to be embeddable in $\mathbb R^3$? Clearly it is necessary that the link of ...
13
votes
1answer
336 views

Higher Cerf Theory

Morse functions on a manifold $M$ are defined as smooth maps $f:M \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$, such that at the critical points we can find local coordinates so that ...
13
votes
0answers
312 views

Asymptotics for the number of triangulations of a manifold M

In Gromov's talk at the Clay Math Research from 23:23 to 25:55 Gromov says (slightly paraphrased) I want to emphasize a problem which comes from mathematical physics which is unsolved which is ...
13
votes
0answers
786 views

Hodge star and harmonic simplicial differential forms

Is there a notion of harmonic forms and Hodge theory for Sullivan's piecewise smooth differential forms on a simplicial set? Let me recall some background. Hodge Theory on a Riemannian manifold A ...
12
votes
3answers
954 views

What are the endofunctors on the simplex category?

Is there a 'classification' of the endofunctors F: Δ --> Δ where Δ denotes the simplex category with objects [n] and the weakly monotone maps [m] --> [n] as morphisms (Actually, I ...
12
votes
2answers
556 views

Is every connected space equivalent to some B(Aut(X))?

Given a connected space $B$, is there always some space $X$ with $B \simeq \mathbf{B}(\mathrm{Aut}(X))$? Here by space I mean simplicial set, by $\mathrm{Aut}(X)$ I mean the simplicial monoid of ...
12
votes
4answers
844 views

Degeneracies for semi-simplicial Kan complexes

By a semi-simplicial set I mean a simplicial set without degeneracies. In such a thing we can define horns as usual, and thereby "semi-simplicial Kan complexes" which have a filler for every horn. ...
12
votes
2answers
572 views

Multisimplicial geometric realization

Does anyone know a reference or proof for the following? Let $k\geq 1$ and let $X$ be a space. There is a $k$-fold multisimplicial set whose simplices in degree $n_1,\ldots,n_k$ are the maps ...
12
votes
2answers
343 views

Group cohomology without G-modules (a.k.a. what does this bar construction compute?)

Without any prior exposure to the cohomology of groups, one might naively proceed by replacing a group by a sort of resolution. For instance, let's take $G = \mathbb{Z}^2$, and "resolve": $$ 0 \to ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

History of classifying spaces

Where did the idea and formal definition of the "classifying space of a (small) category" first appear? Added: As Andy Putman noted below, the "classical" early reference for this is G. Segal's ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a symmetric monoidal $(\infty,n)$-category?

This question arose from reading Jacob Lurie's "Classification of topological field theories" paper. In that paper, he uses complete $n$-fold Segal spaces as a model for $(\infty,n)$-categories, but ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the homotopy theory of categories?

I've heard that Grothendieck, in his letter "Pursuing Stacks," wanted to find alternative models for the classical homotopy category of CW complexes and continuous maps (up to homotopy), and one of ...
11
votes
3answers
589 views

Necessity of hypercovers for sheaf condition for simplicial sheaves

I'm trying to understand where the definition of simplicial sheaf on a space/site comes from. For a presheaf $F$ of sets on a topological space $X$, the sheaf condition can be viewed as saying that ...
11
votes
1answer
404 views

The weak equivalences in the covariant model structure

Let $S$ be a simplicial set. Recall that there is a model structure, called the covariant model structure (see HTT ch. 2 and this question), on $\mathbf{SSet}/S$ such that: The cofibrations are the ...
11
votes
1answer
837 views

The reflexive free-category comonad-resolution is a cofibrant replacement of the discrete simplicial category associated with an ordinary category in the Bergner model structure on the category of small simplicial categories?

Let $X$ be the category of reflexive quivers, and let $Cat$ be the category of small categories. There exists an evident forgetful functor $U:Cat\to X$ sending a category $A$ to its underlying ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Understand Cech Cohomology

I am currently trying to understand Cech cohomology. Five questions arised and I would be glad for help. In what follows $X$ is a topological space. I really like Dugger's and Isaksen's paper ...
11
votes
0answers
415 views

Has this chain complex associated with a simplicial complex been studied before?

I have stumbled upon a construction that has probably been noticed before, and I wonder if anyone can point me to a reference. Suppose that $K$ is a simplicial complex. Let $P(K)$ be the free abelian ...
10
votes
3answers
518 views

References for the “nerve of an algebraic variety”

Let's do algebraic geometry over an arbitrary base ring $k$. I've frequently seen a definition of the algebraic $n$-simplex, as follows: $$\Delta^n = ...
10
votes
3answers
726 views

Which properties of finite simplicial sets can be computed?

A simplicial set $X$ is a a combinatorial model for a topological space $|X|$, its realization, and conversely every topological space is weakly equivalent to such a realization of a simplicial set. I ...
10
votes
4answers
596 views

Simplicial Model of Hopf Map?

The Hopf fibration is a famous map S3 --> S2 with fiber S1, which is the generator in pi_3(S2). We can model this map in terms simplicial sets by taking the singular simplicial sets of these spaces ...
10
votes
1answer
775 views

What are simplicial topological spaces intuitively?

(This is a repost of a question from MSE. I hope there is more to say.) I tend to imagine simplicial objects in a category as some kind of "topological objects", with a notion of homotopy. Simplicial ...
10
votes
1answer
812 views

Is the simplicial completion of a localizer always a bousfield localization of the injective model structure?

Background Recall (from Cisinski's Astérisque volume 308) that given a small category $A$, we define an $A$-localizer to be a class $W$ of morphisms of $\mathrm{Psh}(A)$ satisfying the following ...
10
votes
1answer
326 views

Is the model category of Complete Segal Spaces right proper?

Well, the title is self-explaining, I guess - I am referring to the complete Segal space model structure of Theorem 7.2 in Rezk's article "A model for the homotopy theory of homotopy theories". Has ...
10
votes
2answers
601 views

Does the classification diagram localize a category with weak equivalences?

Let $(C,W)$ be a category equipped with a subcategory of weak equivalences. Its "classification diagram" or "bisimplicial nerve" $N(C,W)$ is a bisimplicial set, for which $N(C,W)_n$ is the nerve of ...
10
votes
3answers
767 views

What are the fibrant objects in the injective model structure?

If C is a small category, we can consider the category of simplicial presheaves on C. This is a model category in two natural ways which are compatible with the usual model structure on simplicial ...
10
votes
1answer
527 views

Why does the internal singular simplicial space realize to the same thing as the discrete singular simplicial set?

There are two version of the singular simplicial space of a topological space $X$, one discrete and one internal. At least if X is nice, both of them have homotopy equivalent geometric realizations ...
10
votes
0answers
284 views

What is the history of the notion of subdivision of categories?

A recent answer by Peter May prompts me to ask a question which I have been considering to ask for several months. (The reason why I have not asked it before is that it is not directly related to my ...
9
votes
4answers
928 views

Is there any generalization of the Dold-Kan correspondence?

The Dold-Kan correspondence gives an equivalence between simplicial abelian groups and chain complexes of abelian groups supported on negative degrees. It actually works for any abelian category. I'm ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

This is not a category. What is it?

EDIT The question was based on an error, as it turns out. In fact my example is a category (and therefore a groupoid), by Eric Wofsey's argument. I can't remember why I thought it wasn't, and I feel a ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Semi-simplicial versus simplicial sets (and simplicial categories)

Hi, Let's denote by "semi-simplicial set" a simplicial set without degeneracies, i.e. a contravariant functor from the category $\Delta_{inj}$ of finite linearly ordered sets and order preserving ...