Factorization homology of topological manifolds


David Ayala, John Francis


Journal of Topology


Factorization homology theories of topological manifolds, after Beilinson, Drinfeld, and Lurie, are homology-type theories for topological n-manifolds whose coefficient systems are n-disk algebras or n-disk stacks. In this work, we prove a precise formulation of this idea, giving an axiomatic characterization of factorization homology with coefficients in n-disk algebras in terms of a generalization of the Eilenberg–Steenrod axioms for singular homology. Each such theory gives rise to a kind of topological quantum field theory, for which observables can be defined on general n-manifolds and not only closed n-manifolds. For n-disk algebra coefficients, these field theories are characterized by the condition that global observables are determined by local observables in a strong sense. Our axiomatic point of view has a number of applications. In particular, we give a concise proof of the non-abelian Poincaré duality of Salvatore, Segal, and Lurie. We present some essential classes of calculations of factorization homology, such as for free n-disk algebras and enveloping algebras of Lie algebras, several of which have a conceptual meaning in terms of Koszul duality.



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