Deformation retract

# Deformation retract

Discussion

Encyclopedia
In topology
Topology
Topology is a major area of mathematics concerned with properties that are preserved under continuous deformations of objects, such as deformations that involve stretching, but no tearing or gluing...

, a branch of mathematics, a retraction , as the name suggests, "retracts" an entire space into a subspace
Subspace topology
In topology and related areas of mathematics, a subspace of a topological space X is a subset S of X which is equipped with a natural topology induced from that of X called the subspace topology .- Definition :Given a topological space and a subset S of X, the...

. A deformation retraction is a map
Function (mathematics)
In mathematics, a function associates one quantity, the argument of the function, also known as the input, with another quantity, the value of the function, also known as the output. A function assigns exactly one output to each input. The argument and the value may be real numbers, but they can...

which captures the idea of continuously
Continuous function
In mathematics, a continuous function is a function for which, intuitively, "small" changes in the input result in "small" changes in the output. Otherwise, a function is said to be "discontinuous". A continuous function with a continuous inverse function is called "bicontinuous".Continuity of...

shrinking
a space into a subspace.

### Retract

Let X be a topological space
Topological space
Topological spaces are mathematical structures that allow the formal definition of concepts such as convergence, connectedness, and continuity. They appear in virtually every branch of modern mathematics and are a central unifying notion...

and A a subspace of X. Then a continuous map

is a retraction if the restriction of r to A is the identity map
Identity function
In mathematics, an identity function, also called identity map or identity transformation, is a function that always returns the same value that was used as its argument...

on A; that is, r(a) = a for all a in A. Equivalently, denoting by

the inclusion
Inclusion map
In mathematics, if A is a subset of B, then the inclusion map is the function i that sends each element, x of A to x, treated as an element of B:i: A\rightarrow B, \qquad i=x....

, a retraction is a continuous map r such that

that is, the composition of r with the inclusion is the identity of A. Note that, by definition, a retraction maps X onto A. A subspace A is called a retract of X if such a retraction exists. For instance, any space retracts to a point in the obvious way (the constant map yields a retraction). If X is hausdorff, then A must be closed.

A space X is known as an absolute retract (or AR) if for every normal space
Normal space
In topology and related branches of mathematics, a normal space is a topological space X that satisfies Axiom T4: every two disjoint closed sets of X have disjoint open neighborhoods. A normal Hausdorff space is also called a T4 space...

Y that embeds X as a closed subset, X is a retract of Y. The unit cube In as well as the Hilbert cube
Hilbert cube
In mathematics, the Hilbert cube, named after David Hilbert, is a topological space that provides an instructive example of some ideas in topology...

Iω are absolute retracts.

### Neighborhood retract

If there exists an open set
Open set
The concept of an open set is fundamental to many areas of mathematics, especially point-set topology and metric topology. Intuitively speaking, a set U is open if any point x in U can be "moved" a small amount in any direction and still be in the set U...

U such that

and A is a retract of U, then A is called a neighborhood retract of X.

A space X is an absolute neighborhood retract (or ANR) if for every normal space Y that embeds X as a closed subset, X is a neighborhood retract of Y. The n-sphere Sn is an absolute neighborhood retract.

### Deformation retract and strong deformation retract

A continuous map

is a deformation retraction of a space X onto a subspace A if, for every x in X and a in A,

In other words, a deformation retraction is a homotopy
Homotopy
In topology, two continuous functions from one topological space to another are called homotopic if one can be "continuously deformed" into the other, such a deformation being called a homotopy between the two functions...

between a retraction and the identity map on X. The subspace A is called a deformation retract of X. A deformation retract is a special case of homotopy equivalence.

A retract need not be a deformation retract. For instance, having a single point as a deformation retract would imply a space is path connected (in fact, it would imply contractibility of the space).

Note: An equivalent definition of deformation retraction is the following. A continuous map r: XA is a deformation retraction if it is a retraction and its composition with the inclusion is homotopic to the identity map on X. In this formulation, a deformation retraction carries with it a homotopy between the identity map on X and itself.

If, in the definition of a deformation retraction, we add the requirement that

for all t in [0, 1], F is called a strong deformation retraction. In other words, a strong deformation retraction leaves points in A fixed throughout the homotopy. (Some authors, such as Allen Hatcher
Allen Hatcher
Allen Edward Hatcher is an American topologist and also a noted author. His book Algebraic Topology, which is the first in a series, is considered by many to be one of the best introductions to the subject....

, take this as the definition of deformation retraction.)

## Neighborhood deformation retract

A pair of spaces in U is an NDR-pair if there exists a map such that and a homotopy
such that for all , for all
, and for all . The pair is said to
be a representation of as an NDR-pair.

## Properties

Deformation retraction is a particular case of homotopy equivalence. In fact, two spaces are homotopy equivalent if and only if
If and only if
In logic and related fields such as mathematics and philosophy, if and only if is a biconditional logical connective between statements....

they are both deformation retracts of a single larger space.

Any topological space which deformation retracts to a point is contractible
Contractible space
In mathematics, a topological space X is contractible if the identity map on X is null-homotopic, i.e. if it is homotopic to some constant map. Intuitively, a contractible space is one that can be continuously shrunk to a point....

. Contractibility, however, is a weaker condition, as contractible spaces exist which do not deformation retract to a point .