model structure on cubical sets



Model category theory

model category



Universal constructions


Producing new model structures

Presentation of (,1)(\infty,1)-categories

Model structures

for \infty-groupoids

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for stable/spectrum objects

for (,1)(\infty,1)-categories

for stable (,1)(\infty,1)-categories

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Homotopy theory

homotopy theory, (∞,1)-category theory, homotopy type theory

flavors: stable, equivariant, rational, p-adic, proper, geometric, cohesive, directed

models: topological, simplicial, localic, …

see also algebraic topology



Paths and cylinders

Homotopy groups

Basic facts




There is a model category structure on the category [ op,Set][\Box^{op},Set] of cubical sets whose homotopy theory is that of the classical model structure on simplicial sets.

Using this version of the homotopy hypothesis-theorem, cubical sets are a way to describe the homotopy type of ∞-groupoids using of all the geometric shapes for higher structures the cube.


There is an evident simplicial set-valued functor

sSet \Box \to sSet

from the cube category to sSet, which sends the cubical nn-cube to the simplicial nn-cube

1 n(Δ[1]) ×n. \mathbf{1}^n \mapsto (\Delta[1])^{\times n} \,.

Similarly there is a canonical Top-valued functor

Top \Box \to Top
1 n(Δ Top 1) n. \mathbf{1}^n \mapsto (\Delta^1_{Top})^n \,.

The corresponding nerve and realization adjunction

(||Sing ):TopSing ||Set op (|-| \dashv Sing_\Box) : Top \stackrel{\overset{|-|}{\leftarrow}}{\underset{Sing_\Box}{\to}} Set^{\Box^{op}}

is the cubical analogue of the simplicial nerve and realization discussed above.


There is a model structure on cubical sets Set opSet^{\Box^{op}} whose

  • weak equivalences are the morphisms that become weak equivalences under geometric realization |||-|;

  • cofibrations are the monomorphisms.

This is (Jardine, section 3).

Explicitly, a set of generating cofibrations is given by the boundary inclusions n n\partial \Box^n \to \Box^n, and a set of generating acyclic cofibrations is given by the horn inclusions k,ϵ n n\sqcap_{k,\epsilon}^n \to \Box^n. This is (Cisinski, Thm 8.4.38). Thus, as a consequence of Cisinski’s work, the fibrations are exactly cubical Kan fibrations.


Homotopy theory

The following theorem establishes a form of the homotopy hypothesis for cubical sets.


The unit of the adjunction

ASing (|A|) A \to Sing_\Box(|A|)

is a weak equivalence in Set opSet^{{\Box}^{op}} for every cubical set AA.

The counit of the adjunction

|Sing X|X |Sing_\Box X| \to X

is a weak equivalence in TopTop for every topological space XX.

It follows that we have an equivalence of categories induced on the homotopy categories

Ho(Top)Ho(Set op). Ho(Top) \simeq Ho(Set^{\Box^{op}}) \,.

This is (Jardine, theorem 29, corollary 30).

In fact, by the discussion at adjoint (∞,1)-functor it follow that the derived functors of the adjunction exhibit the simplicial localizations of cubical sets equivalent to that of simplicial sets, hence makes their (∞,1)-categories equivalent (hence equivalent to ∞Grpd).

Other kinds of cubical sets

In cubical type theory one uses more structured notions of cubical set (symmetric, cartesian, De Morgan, etc.) In most cases such categories have both a test model structure, which is equivalent to spaces, and a cubical-type model structure that corresponds to the interpretation of type theory. In many cases these are not equivalent, and the cubical-type model structure does not model classical homotopy types. See cubical-type model structure for more discussion.


Using that the cube category is a test category a model structure on cubical sets follows as a special case of the model structure on presheaves over a test category, due to

Cisinski also derives explicit generating cofibrations and generating acyclic cofibrations using his theory of generalized Reedy category, or categories skelettiques. See Section 8.4.

The model structure on cubical sets as above is given in detail in

There is also the old work

  • Victor Gugenheim, On supercomplexes Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 85 (1957), 35–51 PDF

in which “supercomplexes” are discussed, that combine simplicial sets and cubical sets (def 5). There are functors from simplicial sets to supercomplexes (after Defn 5) and, implicitly, from supercomplexes to cubical sets (in Appendix II). This was written in 1956, long before people were thinking as formally as nowadays and long before Quillen model theory, but a comparison of the homotopy categories might be in there.

Last revised on February 3, 2021 at 10:37:59. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.