Daniel Berlyne

University of Bristol

Non-positive curvature in graph braid groups

Geometry and Topology Seminar

23rd November 2021, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Online seminar, Please email the organisers to get a zoom link

Consider a finite collection of particles lying on a finite graph. The configuration space of these particles is the collection of all possible ways the particles can be arranged on the graph with no two particles at the same point. As we move through the configuration space, the particles move along the graph, without colliding. The braid group on our graph is then defined to be the fundamental group of this configuration space. By discretising the motion of the particles, we obtain a combinatorial version of the configuration space, which can be shown to be a special cube complex. Moreover, this cube complex deformation retracts onto the original configuration space, meaning the braid group is unchanged. In particular, this implies graph braid groups are hierarchically hyperbolic groups. I use this hierarchically hyperbolic structure to obtain characterisations of Gromov hyperbolicity and acylindrical hyperbolicity for graph braid groups, recovering two theorems of Genevois. I also provide evidence for a conjectural characterisation of relative hyperbolicity.

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