Volume 10, issue 1 (2010)

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Nerves and classifying spaces for bicategories

Pilar Carrasco, Antonio M Cegarra and Antonio R Garzón

Algebraic & Geometric Topology 10 (2010) 219–274

This paper explores the relationship amongst the various simplicial and pseudosimplicial objects characteristically associated to any bicategory C. It proves the fact that the geometric realizations of all of these possible candidate “nerves of C” are homotopy equivalent. Any one of these realizations could therefore be taken as the classifying space BC of the bicategory. Its other major result proves a direct extension of Thomason’s “Homotopy Colimit Theorem” to bicategories: When the homotopy colimit construction is carried out on a diagram of spaces obtained by applying the classifying space functor to a diagram of bicategories, the resulting space has the homotopy type of a certain bicategory, called the “Grothendieck construction on the diagram”. Our results provide coherence for all reasonable extensions to bicategories of Quillen’s definition of the “classifying space” of a category as the geometric realization of the category’s Grothendieck nerve, and they are applied to monoidal (tensor) categories through the elemental “delooping” construction.

category, bicategory, monoidal category, pseudosimplicial category, nerve, classifying space, homotopy type, simplicial set
Mathematical Subject Classification 2000
Primary: 18D05
Secondary: 55U40
Received: 30 March 2009
Accepted: 8 November 2009
Published: 12 February 2010
Pilar Carrasco
Departamento de Álgebra
Facultad de Ciencias
Universidad de Granada
18071 Granada
Antonio M Cegarra
Departamento de Álgebra
Facultad de Ciencias
Universidad de Granada
18071 Granada
Antonio R Garzón
Departamento de Álgebra
Facultad de Ciencias
Universidad de Granada
18071 Granada