Computing all maps into a sphere

M. Čadek, M. Krcál, J. Matoušek, F. Sergeraert, L. Vokřínek, U. Wagner, Journal of the ACM 61 (2014).


Journal Article | Published | English
Author
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Abstract
Given topological spaces X,Y, a fundamental problem of algebraic topology is understanding the structure of all continuous maps X→ Y. We consider a computational version, where X,Y are given as finite simplicial complexes, and the goal is to compute [X,Y], that is, all homotopy classes of suchmaps.We solve this problem in the stable range, where for some d ≥ 2, we have dim X ≤ 2d-2 and Y is (d-1)-connected; in particular, Y can be the d-dimensional sphere Sd. The algorithm combines classical tools and ideas from homotopy theory (obstruction theory, Postnikov systems, and simplicial sets) with algorithmic tools from effective algebraic topology (locally effective simplicial sets and objects with effective homology). In contrast, [X,Y] is known to be uncomputable for general X,Y, since for X = S1 it includes a well known undecidable problem: testing triviality of the fundamental group of Y. In follow-up papers, the algorithm is shown to run in polynomial time for d fixed, and extended to other problems, such as the extension problem, where we are given a subspace A ⊂ X and a map A→ Y and ask whether it extends to a map X → Y, or computing the Z2-index-everything in the stable range. Outside the stable range, the extension problem is undecidable.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2014-05-01
Journal Title
Journal of the ACM
Acknowledgement
The research by M. K. was supported by project GAUK 49209. The research by M. K. was also supported by project 1M0545 by the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic and by Center of Excellence { Inst. for Theor. Comput. Sci., Prague (project P202/12/G061 of GACR). The research by U. W. was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF Projects 200021-125309, 200020-138230, and PP00P2-138948).
Volume
61
Issue
3
Article Number
17
IST-REx-ID

Cite this

Čadek M, Krcál M, Matoušek J, Sergeraert F, Vokřínek L, Wagner U. Computing all maps into a sphere. Journal of the ACM. 2014;61(3). doi:10.1145/2597629
Čadek, M., Krcál, M., Matoušek, J., Sergeraert, F., Vokřínek, L., & Wagner, U. (2014). Computing all maps into a sphere. Journal of the ACM, 61(3). https://doi.org/10.1145/2597629
Čadek, Martin, Marek Krcál, Jiří Matoušek, Francis Sergeraert, Lukáš Vokřínek, and Uli Wagner. “Computing All Maps into a Sphere.” Journal of the ACM 61, no. 3 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1145/2597629.
M. Čadek, M. Krcál, J. Matoušek, F. Sergeraert, L. Vokřínek, and U. Wagner, “Computing all maps into a sphere,” Journal of the ACM, vol. 61, no. 3, 2014.
Čadek M, Krcál M, Matoušek J, Sergeraert F, Vokřínek L, Wagner U. 2014. Computing all maps into a sphere. Journal of the ACM. 61(3).
Čadek, Martin, et al. “Computing All Maps into a Sphere.” Journal of the ACM, vol. 61, no. 3, 17, ACM, 2014, doi:10.1145/2597629.

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