# nLab crossed complex

### Context

#### Higher category theory

higher category theory

## 1-categorical presentations

#### Homological algebra

homological algebra

and

nonabelian homological algebra

diagram chasing

# Contents

## Idea

A crossed complex (of groupoids) is a nonabelian and many object generalization of a chain complex of abelian groups.

Crossed complexes are an equivalent way to encode the information contained in strict ω-groupoids: the groups appearing in the crossed complex in degree $n\ge 2$ are the source-fibers of the collection of $n$-morphisms of the $\omega$-groupoid.

One way to think of a crossed complex is as a chain complex in which the bottom part is a crossed module and the rest is a chain complex of modules over the fundamental group of the crossed complex (that is its cokernel). This is easy to think of in the case where there is a single object (crossed complex of groups), and it is a simple step to extend to the many object case.

Later on we will look in a bit more detail at the fundamental crossed complex of a filtered space, and that is a good example to keep in mind. For simplicity assume we have a CW-complex, or similar space, together with a filtration by some nice subspaces. We have the fundamental groupoid, ${\Pi }_{1}\left({X}_{1},{X}_{0}\right)$, of the ‘1-skeleton’ based at the vertices. For any vertex $x$, we then have ${\pi }_{2}\left({X}_{2},{X}_{1},x\right)$, the relative homotopy group of the 2-dimensional stuff relative to the 1-dimensional stuff, based at $x$. Varying $x$ we get a family of groups which we think of as a groupoid having just vertex groups without any arrows joining distinct vertices. In the next dimension we have ${\pi }_{3}\left({X}_{3},{X}_{2},x\right)$, which is the relative homotopy group taking account of the 3-cells modulo the 2-cells, (which is abelian), and so on. Change of base point gives an action of ${\Pi }_{1}\left({X}_{1},{X}_{0}\right)$ on all of these. It was studying these groups , actions etc. that gave the abstract definition that follows.

## Definition

### As sequences of groups and groupoids

###### Definition

A crossed complex (“of groupoids”) $C$ is

• a groupoid ${C}_{1}\stackrel{\stackrel{{\delta }_{t}}{\to }}{\underset{{\delta }_{s}}{\to }}{C}_{0}$

• together with a sequence of skeletal groupoids $\left({C}_{k}{\right)}_{k=2}^{\infty }$ over ${C}_{0}$, i.e. of bundles ${C}_{k}={\coprod }_{x\in {C}_{0}}\left({C}_{k}{\right)}_{x}$ of groups over ${C}_{0}$, abelian for $k\ge 3$, sitting in a diagram

$\begin{array}{ccccccccc}\cdots & \to & {C}_{3}& \stackrel{\delta }{\to }& {C}_{2}& \stackrel{\delta }{\to }& {C}_{1}& \stackrel{\stackrel{{\delta }_{t}}{\to }}{\underset{{\delta }_{s}}{\to }}& {C}_{0}\\ & & ↓& & ↓& & {↓}^{{\delta }_{s}}& & {↓}^{=}\\ \cdots & \to & {C}_{0}& \stackrel{=}{\to }& {C}_{0}& \stackrel{=}{\to }& {C}_{0}& \stackrel{=}{\to }& {C}_{0}\end{array}$\array{ \cdots &\to& C_3 &\stackrel{\delta}{\to}& C_2 &\stackrel{\delta}{\to}& C_1 & \stackrel{\overset{\delta_t}{\to}}{\underset{\delta_s} {\to}} & C_0 \\ && \downarrow && \downarrow && \downarrow^{\mathrlap{\delta_s}} && \downarrow^{\mathrlap{=}} \\ \cdots &\to& C_0 &\stackrel{=}{\to}& C_0 &\stackrel{=}{\to}& C_0 &\stackrel{=}{\to}& C_0 }
• together with an action of ${C}_{1}$ on ${C}_{k}$ for $k\ge 0$

such that

• the morphisms ${\delta }_{k}$ for $k\ge 2$ are morphisms of groupoids over ${C}_{0}$, compatible with the action by ${C}_{1}$

• $\mathrm{im}\left({\delta }_{2}\right)\subset {C}_{1}$ acts by conjugation on ${C}_{2}$ and trivially on ${C}_{k}$ for $k\ge 3$

• ${\delta }_{k-1}\circ {\delta }_{k}=0$ for $k\ge 3$.

There is an obvious notion of morphisms $f:C\to D$ of crossed complexes, being sequences of maps $\left({f}_{k}:{C}_{k}\to {D}_{k}\right)$ preserving all the above structure. The resulting category is often denoted $\mathrm{Crs}$ or $\mathrm{CrsCpx}$.

### From strict $\infty$-groupoids

While the above definition of a crossed complex may seem slightly ‘baroque’, it can naturally be understood as being precisely the data obtained from a globular strict ∞-groupoid by retaining for $k\ge 2$ precisely only those k-morphisms whose source is a an identity $k-1$-morphisms on an object.

###### Definition

(crossed complex associated to a strict $\infty$-groupoid)

For $𝒢$ a globular strict ∞-groupoid

$\cdots \stackrel{\stackrel{t}{\to }}{\underset{s}{\to }}{𝒢}_{3}\stackrel{\stackrel{t}{\to }}{\underset{s}{\to }}{𝒢}_{2}\stackrel{\stackrel{t}{\to }}{\underset{s}{\to }}{𝒢}_{1}\stackrel{\stackrel{t}{\to }}{\underset{s}{\to }}{𝒢}_{0}$\cdots \stackrel{\overset{t}{\to}}{\underset{s}{\to}} \mathcal{G}_3 \stackrel{\overset{t}{\to}}{\underset{s}{\to}} \mathcal{G}_2 \stackrel{\overset{t}{\to}}{\underset{s}{\to}} \mathcal{G}_1 \stackrel{\overset{t}{\to}}{\underset{s}{\to}} \mathcal{G}_0

the corresponding crossed complex $\left[𝒢\right]$ is defined as follows:

• the groupoid $\left[𝒢{\right]}_{1}\stackrel{\to }{\to }\left[𝒢{\right]}_{0}$ is just the groupoid ${𝒢}_{1}\stackrel{\to }{\to }{𝒢}_{0}$; underlying $𝒢$ by forgetting all k-morphisms for $k\ge 2$

• for $k\ge 2$ the bundle of groups $\left[𝒢{\right]}_{k}$ is over $x\in {𝒢}_{0}$ the group of k-morphisms of $𝒢$ whose source is the the identity on $x$:

$\left[𝒢{\right]}_{k}:=\coprod _{x}{s}_{k}^{-1}\left({\mathrm{Id}}_{x}\right)\phantom{\rule{thinmathspace}{0ex}},$[\mathcal{G}]_k := \coprod_x s_k^{-1}(Id_x) \,,

where the group operation is given by the horizontal composition of k-morphisms (along objects). By the Eckmann-Hilton argument this is indeed an abelian group structure for $k\ge 3$.

• The action of $\left[𝒢{\right]}_{1}$ on $\left[𝒢{\right]}_{k}$ is given by whiskering/conjugation of k-morphisms by 1-morphisms in $𝒢$.

• The boundary maps $\delta :=t:\left[𝒢{\right]}_{k}\to \left[𝒢{\right]}_{k-1}$ are the restrictions of the target maps $t:{𝒢}_{k}\to {𝒢}_{k-1}$, sending a $k$-morphisms with source an identity on an object to its target $k-1$-morphism.

Write $\mathrm{Str}\infty \mathrm{Grpd}$ for the 1-category of globular strict ∞-groupoids. The above construction defines an evident functor

$\left[-\right]:\mathrm{Str}\infty \mathrm{Grpd}\to \mathrm{CrsCplx}\phantom{\rule{thinmathspace}{0ex}}.$[-] : Str \infty Grpd \to CrsCplx \,.
###### Proposition

The functor

$\left[-\right]:\mathrm{Str}\infty \mathrm{Grpd}\to \mathrm{CrsCplx}$[-] : Str \infty Grpd \to CrsCplx
###### Proof

The idea of the proof is that a strict ∞-groupoid may completely be reconstructed from its objects, 1-morphisms and those $\left(k\ge 2\right)$-morphisms that start at an identity by using the action of the 1-morphisms on the higher morphisms induced by conjugation.

For instance a 2-morphism

$\begin{array}{cc}& ↗{↘}^{f}\\ x& ⇓& y\\ & ↘{↗}_{g}\end{array}$\array{ & \nearrow \searrow^{\mathrlap{f}} \\ x &\Downarrow& y \\ & \searrow \nearrow_{\mathllap{g}} }

is, by the exchange law, equal to the horizontal composite of the 2-morphism

$\begin{array}{cc}& ↗{↘}^{f}\\ x& ⇓& y& \stackrel{{f}^{-1}}{\to }& x\\ & ↘{↗}_{g}\end{array}$\array{ & \nearrow \searrow^{\mathrlap{f}} \\ x &\Downarrow& y & \stackrel{f^{-1}}{\to} & x \\ & \searrow \nearrow_{\mathllap{g}} }

(whose source is the identity on $x$) with the 1-morphisms $f$.

A detailed proof is in

• Ronnie Brown, Philip Higgins, The equivalence of $\infty$-groupoids and crossed complexes , Cah. Top. Géom. Diff. 22, 371-386, 1981. (pdf)

Notice that this article says ”$\infty$-groupoid” for strict globular $\infty$-groupoid and ”$\omega$-groupoid” for strict cubical $\infty$-groupoid .

This is a nonabelian and globular version of the Dold-Kan correspondence.

### From chain complexes of modules

We describe a functorial construction of a crossed complex starting with a chain complex of modules over a groupoid $\left({A}_{n},ℋ\right)$. As a special case it in particular gives an functor sending ordinary chain complexes of abelian groups into the category of crossed complexes, and hence into strict ω-groupoids. See also Nonabelian Algebraic Topology.

Recall the definition of the semidirect product groupoid $ℋ⋉{A}_{n}$.

###### Definition

(crossed complex from a chain complex)

For $A$ a chain complex of modules over a groupoid $ℋ$, let $\Theta A\in \mathrm{Crs}$ be the crossed complex

$\Theta A:={\kappa }^{*}\Theta \prime A\phantom{\rule{thinmathspace}{0ex}},$\Theta A := \kappa^* \Theta' A \,,

where

$\Theta \prime A:=\left[{A}_{n}\stackrel{{\partial }_{n}}{\to }{A}_{n-1}\stackrel{}{\to }\cdots \stackrel{}{\to }{A}_{3}\stackrel{{\partial }_{3}}{\to }{A}_{2}\stackrel{\left(0,{\partial }_{2}\right)}{\to }ℋ⋉{A}_{1}\right]$\Theta' A := \left[ A_n \stackrel{\partial_n}{\to} A_{n-1} \stackrel{}{\to} \cdots \stackrel{}{\to} A_{3} \stackrel{\partial_3}{\to} A_2 \stackrel{(0,\partial_2)}{\to} \mathcal{H}\ltimes A_1 \right]

and where

$\kappa :P\left({A}_{0},ℋ\right)\to ℋ⋉{A}_{0}$\kappa : P(A_0, \mathcal{H}) \to \mathcal{H} \ltimes A_0

is the canonical covering morphism from above.

$\begin{array}{cccccccc}\cdots \to & \left(\Theta A{\right)}_{3}& \to & \left(\Theta A{\right)}_{2}& \to & \left(\Theta A{\right)}_{1}& \to & P\left({A}_{0},ℋ\right)\\ & ↓& & ↓& & ↓& & ↓\\ \cdots \to & {A}_{3}& \stackrel{{\partial }_{3}}{\to }& {A}_{2}& \stackrel{\left(0,{\partial }_{2}\right)}{\to }& ℋ⋉{A}_{1}& \stackrel{\left(1,{\partial }_{1}\right)}{\to }& ℋ⋉{A}_{0}\end{array}\phantom{\rule{thinmathspace}{0ex}}.$\array{ \cdots \to & (\Theta A)_3 &\to& (\Theta A)_2 &\to& (\Theta A)_1 &\to& P(A_0, \mathcal{H}) \\ & \downarrow && \downarrow && \downarrow && \downarrow \\ \cdots \to & A_3 &\stackrel{\partial_3}{\to}& A_2 &\stackrel{(0,\partial_2)}{\to}& \mathcal{H} \ltimes A_1 &\stackrel{(1, \partial_1)}{\to}& \mathcal{H} \ltimes A_0 } \,.

Here $ℋ⋉{A}_{1}$ acts on ${A}_{n}$ for $n\ge 2$ via the projection $ℋ⋉{A}_{1}\to ℋ$, i.e. ${A}_{1}$ acts trivially. (…)

Finally set $\Theta \left(A{\right)}_{0}:={A}_{0}$.

We spell out what this boils down to explicitly.

Explicit description

Let ${A}_{•}$ be a chain complex of modules over the groupoid $ℋ$. Then the crossed complex $\Theta \left(A\right)$ is the following.

• Its set of objects is $\Theta \left(A{\right)}_{0}={A}_{0}$.

Remember that ${A}_{0}$ itself is a module over $matcalH=\left({ℋ}_{1}\stackrel{\to }{\to }{ℋ}_{0}\right)$, so that ${A}_{0}={corpdod}_{p\in {ℋ}_{0}}\left({A}_{0}{\right)}_{p}$.

• For $x\in \left({A}_{0}{\right)}_{p}$ and $y\in \left({A}_{0}{\right)}_{q}$ a morphism in $\Theta \left(A{\right)}_{1}$ from $x$ to $y$ is labeled by $h\in {ℋ}_{1}$ and $a\in \left({A}_{1}{\right)}_{q}$

$x\stackrel{\left(h,a\right)}{\to }\left(y=\rho \left(h\right)\left(x\right)-\partial a\right)\phantom{\rule{thinmathspace}{0ex}},$x \stackrel{(h,a)}{\to} (y = \rho(h)(x) - \partial a) \,,

where $\rho$ denotes the action of $ℋ$ on ${A}_{0}$.

The composition law is given by

$\begin{array}{ccc}& & y\\ & {}^{\left({h}_{1},{a}_{1}\right)}↗& & {↘}^{\left({h}_{2},{a}_{2}\right)}\\ x& & \stackrel{\left({h}_{1}\circ {h}_{2},\rho \left({h}_{2}\right)\left({a}_{1}\right)+{a}_{2}\right)}{\to }& & z\end{array}\phantom{\rule{thinmathspace}{0ex}}.$\array{ && y \\ & {}^{\mathllap{(h_1, a_1)}}\nearrow && \searrow^{\mathrlap{(h_2,a_2)}} \\ x &&\stackrel{(h_1 \circ h_2, \rho(h_2)(a_1) + a_2)}{\to}&& z } \,.
• For $k\ge 2$ the family of groups $\Theta \left(A{\right)}_{k}$ is over $x\in \left({A}_{0}{\right)}_{p}$ the group $\left({A}_{k}{\right)}_{q}$

$\Theta \left(A{\right)}_{k\ge 2}=\coprod _{p\in {ℋ}_{0}}\coprod _{x\in \left({A}_{0}{\right)}_{q}}\left({A}_{k}\right)q$\Theta(A)_{k \geq 2} = \coprod_{p \in \mathcal{H}_0} \coprod_{x\in (A_0)_q} (A_k)q
• The boundary maps and actions are the obvious ones…

###### Example

(ordinary abelian chain complex as crossed complex)

Let ${C}_{•}$ be an ordinary chain complex of abelian groups, i.e. a chain complex of modules over the trivial groupoid.

Then $\left(\Theta C{\right)}_{1}$ is the groupoid with objects ${C}_{0}$ and morphisms $\left\{x\stackrel{b}{\to }\left(x+\partial b\right)\right\}$. And for $n\ge 2$ we have that $\left(\Theta C{\right)}_{n}$ is ${\coprod }_{x\in {C}_{0}}{C}_{n}$.

###### Proposition

These form a pair of adjoint functors

$\left(\nabla ⊣\Theta \right):\mathrm{Chn}\stackrel{\stackrel{\nabla }{←}}{\underset{\Theta }{\to }}\mathrm{Crs}$(\nabla \dashv \Theta) : Chn \stackrel{\overset{\nabla}{\leftarrow}}{\underset{\Theta}{\to}} Crs

where…

This is proposition 7.4.29.

(…)

## Examples

### In low degree

Say that a crossed complex $C$ is $n$-truncated if ${C}_{k}$ is trivial for $k>k$.

Then

• 0-truncated crossed complexes are canonically equivalent to sets, equivalent to homotopy 0-types.

• 1-truncated crossed complexes are canonically equivalently to groupoids, equivalent to homotopy 1-types).

• 2-truncated crossed complexes are equivalent to strict 2-groupoids equivalent to homotopy 2-types.

2-truncated and 0-connected crossed complex, i.e. a 2-truncated one for which ${C}_{0}=*$ is the point is the same as a crossed module of groups. The equivalence of these to strict 2-groups is due to

R. Brown and C.B. Spencer, G-groupoids, crossed modules and the fundamental groupoid of a topological group, Proc. Kon. Ned. Akad. v. Wet, 79, (1976), 296 – 302.)

A discussion of the kind of homotopy types generally modelled by crossed complexes, namely a linear model is in homotopy n-type.

### Abelian chain complexes

The notion of crossed complex generalizes the notion of chain complex of abelian groups. Clearly in degree $k\ge 3$ a crossed complex with ${C}_{0}=*$ is a chain complex of abelian groups. To regard the first 2 degrees ${A}_{1}\stackrel{\delta }{\to }{A}_{0}$ of a chain complex of abelian groups as a crossed module, form the groupoid

${A}_{0}×{A}_{1}\stackrel{\stackrel{{p}_{1}+\delta }{\to }}{\underset{{p}_{1}}{\to }}{A}_{0}$A_0 \times A_1 \stackrel{\overset{p_1 + \delta}{\to}}{\underset{p_1}{\to}} A_0

and take the action of this groupoid on all ${C}_{k}$ to be trivial. This yields a functor

$\theta :\mathrm{ChainCplx}\left(\mathrm{Ab}\right)\to \mathrm{CrsCpl}$\theta : ChainCplx(Ab) \to CrsCpl

that embeds chain complexes of abelian groups into crossed complexes.

### Complex of modules over a groupoid

The embedding of chain complexes of abelian groups into crossed complexes generalizes to an embedding of chain complexs of modules over a groupoid

$\theta :\mathrm{ChainCplx}\left(\mathrm{GrpdMod}\right)\to \mathrm{CrsCplx}\phantom{\rule{thinmathspace}{0ex}}.$\theta : ChainCplx(GrpdMod) \to CrsCplx \,.

For details see Nonabelian Algebraic Topology, section 7.4.v.

### Fundamental crossed complex

If ${X}_{*}$ is a filtered space, there is a crossed complex $\Pi {X}_{*}$ – the fundamental crossed complex which corresponds to a (filtered and) strict ∞-groupoid version of the fundamental ∞-groupoid of $X$. In degree 1 it is the subgroupoid ${\Pi }_{1}\left({X}_{1},{X}_{0}\right)$ of the fundamental groupoid ${\Pi }_{1}\left({X}_{1}\right)$ of ${X}_{1}$ on objects in ${X}_{0}$. In degree $n>1$ it is the family of relative homotopy group?s $\left\{{\pi }_{n}\left({X}_{n},{X}_{n-1},p\right):p\in {X}_{0}\right\}$.

This gives a functor $\Pi$ from filtered spaces to crossed complexes, which may be used to construct the generalisation of the Dold-Kan correspondence, which in this case goes between crossed complexes and simplicial T-complexes.

### Fundamental crossed complex of the $n$-simplex

An important special case of the above is when the filtered space is a CW-complex and the filtration is by skeleta. Particularly useful instances of this are the $n$-cubes and $n$-simplices, with their CW-filtration. We obtain $\Pi \left({I}^{n}\right)$ and $\Pi \left({\Delta }^{n}\right)$. These are used to define cubical and simplicial nerves of a crossed complex and these in turn define the Dold-Kan correspondence mentioned above. For instance if $C$ is a crossed complex, then its simplicial nerve is the simplicial set with $\mathrm{Ner}\left(C{\right)}_{n}=\mathrm{Crs}\left(\Pi \left({\Delta }^{n}\right),C\right)$ in dimension $n$.

###### Example

(fundamental crossed complex of the $n$-simplex)

The topological $n$-simplex ${\Delta }^{n}$ is canonically a filtered space with $\left({\Delta }^{n}{\right)}_{k}$ being the union of its $k$-faces.

Then we have that ${\Pi }_{1}\left(\left({\Delta }^{n}{\right)}_{1},\left({\Delta }^{n}{\right)}_{0}\right)$ is the groupoid whose objects are the $n+1$ vertices of ${\Delta }^{n}$ and which has precisely one morphism ${x}_{i}\to {x}_{j}$ for each ordered pair ${x}_{i},{x}_{j}\in \left({\Delta }^{n}{\right)}_{0}$ (all of them being isomorphisms)

${\Pi }_{1}\left(\left({\Delta }^{2}{\right)}_{1},\left({\Delta }^{2}{\right)}_{0}\right)=\left\{\begin{array}{ccc}& & {x}_{1}\\ & ↗↙& & ↘↖\\ {x}_{0}& & \stackrel{←}{\to }& & {x}_{2}\end{array}\right\}\phantom{\rule{thinmathspace}{0ex}}.$\Pi_1((\Delta^2)_1,(\Delta^2)_0) = \left\{ \array{ && x_1 \\ & \nearrow\swarrow && \searrow \nwarrow \\ x_0 &&\stackrel{\leftarrow}{\to}&& x_2 } \right\} \,.

At any ${x}_{i}$ the relative homotopy group ${\pi }_{2}\left(\left({\Delta }^{n}{\right)}_{2},\left({\Delta }^{n}{\right)}_{1},{x}_{i}\right)$ is a group on the set of 2-faces that have ${x}_{i}$ as a 0-face: there is a unique homotopy class of disks in ${\Delta }^{n}$ that sits in the 2-faces $\left({\Delta }^{n}{\right)}_{2}$, whose base point is at ${x}_{j}$ and whose boundary runs along the boundary of a given 2-face of ${\Delta }^{n}$.

So (using the equivalence of crossed complexes with strict $\omega$-groupoids) for instance $\Pi {\Delta }^{2}$ is generated from ${\Pi }_{1}\left(\left({\Delta }^{2}{\right)}_{1},\left({\Delta }^{2}{\right)}_{0}\right)$ as above and a 2-cell

$\begin{array}{ccc}& & {x}_{1}\\ & ↙& ⇓& ↖\\ {x}_{0}& & \to & & {x}_{2}\end{array}$\array{ && x_1 \\ & \swarrow &\Downarrow& \nwarrow \\ x_0 &&\to&& x_2 }

under whiskering and composition. For instance whiskering this with ${x}_{1}\to {x}_{2}$ yields the 2-morphism

$\begin{array}{ccc}& & {x}_{1}\\ & ↙& ⇙& ↘\\ {x}_{0}& & \to & & {x}_{2}\end{array}\phantom{\rule{thinmathspace}{0ex}}.$\array{ && x_1 \\ & \swarrow &\swArrow& \searrow \\ x_0 &&\to&& x_2 } \,.

One sees that $\Pi {\Delta }^{2}$ is the strict groupoidification of the second oriental.

Generally, $\Pi {\Delta }^{n}$ is the $n$-groupoid freely generated from $k$-morphisms for each $k$-face of ${\Delta }^{n}$.

## Crossed complexes as Moore complexes

Crossed complexes (of groups) correspond to group T-complexes. Any group $T$-complex is a simplicial group and in the entry for them it is mentioned that a simplicial group has a group $T$-complex structure if and only if $𝒩G\cap D$ is the trivial graded subgroup, where $D=\left({D}_{n}{\right)}_{n\ge 1}$ is the graded subgroup of $G$ generated by the degenerate elements. If $G$ is such a group $T$-complex then its Moore complex has a natural structure of a crossed complex. In general the obstruction to a given simplicial group to have Moore complex which is a crossed complex is exactly that graded subgroup, $𝒩G\cap D$. (The Whitehead products for $G$ live in this graded subgroup, so this provides one way of showing that the homotopy types representable by crossed complexes have trivial Whitehead products.)

Conversely, for any crossed complex, $C$, there is a simplicial group, $K\left(C\right)$, constructed using an analogue of the inverse in the Dold-Kan correspondence, which is a group $T$-complex and whose Moore complex is isomorphic to $C$.

The generalisation to general crossed complexes (of groupoids) and simplicially enriched groupoids if quite easy to do. We will usually state results below for the group case, leaving the general case to the ‘reader’.

## From simplicial group(oid)s to crossed complexes

It is fairly clear that crossed complexes / group(oid) $T$-complexes correspond to simplicial group(oid)s in which certain equations hold. It therefore is reasonable that they are equivalent to a variety / reflective subcategory in the category, $\mathrm{SSet}\mathrm{Grpd}$, of simplicially enriched groupoids. (The discussion in the entry on group T-complex is relevant here.)

There is a functor $C\left(-\right)$ from simplicial groups to crossed complexes given by

$C\left(G{\right)}_{n+1}=\frac{𝒩{G}_{n}}{\left(𝒩{G}_{n}\cap {D}_{n}\right){d}_{0}\left(𝒩{G}_{n+1}\cap {D}_{n+1}\right)},${C}(G)_{n+1} = \frac{\mathcal{N}G_n}{(\mathcal{N}G_n\cap D_n)d_0(\mathcal{N}G_{n+1}\cap D_{n+1})},

in higher dimensions with at its ‘bottom end’, the crossed module,

$\frac{𝒩{G}_{1}}{{d}_{0}\left(𝒩{G}_{2}\cap {D}_{2}\right)}\to 𝒩{G}_{0}$\frac{\mathcal{N}G_1}{d_0(\mathcal{N}G_2\cap D_2)} \to \mathcal{N}G_0

with $\partial$ induced from the boundary in the Moore complex.

The category of crossed complexes form a variety in the category of all hypercrossed complexes. Alternatively, groupoid T-complexes (the groupoid version of group T-complex) form a variety in the category of all simplicial groups.

## References

Crossed complexes were defined by Blakers in 1948 (following a suggestion of Samuel Eilenberg) and developed by Whitehead in 1949 and 1950 (but these authors used different terminology). They were applied by Johannes Huebschmann to group cohomology in 1980. They were further developed in series of articles by Ronnie Brown and collaborators in the context of nonabelian algebraic topology, and partly because they were found equivalent to form of (strict) cubical $\omega$-groupoid with connections. This equivalence enabled a number of new results, including van Kampen type theorems and monoidal closed structures for crossed complexes.

Textbook treatment is in

A survey of the use of crossed complexes is in

• Ronnie Brown, Crossed complexes and homotopy groupoids as non commutative tools for higher dimensional local-to-global problems, to appear in Michiel Hazewinkel (ed.), Handbook of Algebra, volume 6, Elsevier, 2008/2009. (arxiv:math.AT/0212274 v7).

The equivalence of strict omega-groupoids and crossed complexes is discussed in

• Ronnie Brown, Philip Higgins, The equivalence of $\infty$-groupoids and crossed complexes , Cah. Top. Géom. Diff. 22, 371-386, 1981. (pdf)

Notice that this article says ”$\infty$-groupoid” for strict globular $\infty$-groupoid and ”$\omega$-groupoid” for strict cubical $\infty$-groupoid .

For the relation to group cohomology see

• Johannes Huebschmann, Crossed $n$-fold extensions and group cohomology (web)

Revised on April 18, 2013 17:40:39 by Urs Schreiber (131.174.41.88)