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Publication - Dr Mark Hagen

    Hierarchically hyperbolic spaces II

    Combination theorems and the distance formula


    Behrstock, J, Hagen, M & Sisto, A, 2019, ‘Hierarchically hyperbolic spaces II: Combination theorems and the distance formula’. Pacific Journal of Mathematics, vol 299., pp. 257-338


    We introduce a number of tools for finding and studying hierarchically hyperbolic spaces (HHS), a rich class of spaces including mapping class groups of surfaces, Teichmüller space with either the Teichmüller or Weil-Petersson metrics, right-angled Artin groups, and the universal cover of any compact special cube complex. We begin by introducing a streamlined set of axioms defining an HHS. We prove that all HHS satisfy a Masur-Minsky-style distance formula, thereby obtaining a new proof of the distance formula in the mapping class group without relying on the Masur-Minsky hierarchy machinery. We then study examples of HHS; for instance, we prove that when M is a closed irreducible 3-manifold then π1M is an HHS if and only if it is neither Nil nor Sol. We establish this by proving a general combination theorem for trees of HHS (and graphs of HH groups). We also introduce a notion of \hierarchical quasiconvexity", which in the study of HHS is analogous to the role played by quasiconvexity in the study of Gromov-hyperbolic spaces.

    Full details in the University publications repository