versión On-line ISSN 1669-9637
Rev. Unión Mat. Argent. v.48 n.2 Bahía Blanca jul./dic. 2007
Group actions on algebras and module categories
J. A. de la Peña
Introduction and notations
Let be a field and a finite dimensional (associative with ) -algebra. By we denote the category of finite dimensional left -modules. In many important situations we may suppose that is presented as a quiver with relations (e.g. if is algebraically closed, then is Morita equivalent to ). We recall that if is presented by , then is a finite quiver and is an admissible ideal of the path algebra , that is, for some , where is the ideal of generated by the arrows of , see .
It is convenient to consider as a -linear category with objects (= vertices of ) and morphisms given by linear maps , where is the trivial path at (for ). In this categorical approach we do not need to assume that is finite (therefore the -algebra may not have unity). Ocasionally we write if we do not need to explicit the quiver .
The purpose of these notes is to present an introduction to the study of actions of groups on algebras and their module categories and to consider associated constructions that have proved useful in the Representation Theory of Algebras.
A symmetry of the quiver is a permutation of the set of vertices inducing an automorphism of . We denote by the group of all symmetries of . Those symmetries inducing a morphism such that form the group . In natural way, any induces an automorphism of the module category and on the Auslander-Reiten quiver of (since the action commutes with the Auslander-Reiten translation of ).
In section 1, we present some basic facts about the actions of groups on (orbits, stabilizers, Burnside's lemma) and show that for a representation-finite standard algebra , we have , where is formed by the symmetris of commuting with the translation . We recall that is standard if is representation-finite and for a choice of representatives of the isoclasses of indecomposables, the induced full subcategory of (denoted by ) is equivalent to which is the quotient of the path algebra by the ideal generated by the meshes of the almost split sequences . We recall that for , any representation-finite algebra is standard.
In section 2 we consider relations between the structure of and the Coxeter polynomial of (recall that, is the Coxeter polynomial associated to the Coxeter matrix which is -invertible in case ).
In section 3 we present the main constructions associated to groups acting on algebras:
if acts freely on (that is, and for a vertex , implies ), then the Galois covering is a -invariant functor of -categories.
if is a -graded -category, the smash product is a -category accepting the free action of . Moreover, .
Galois coverings were introduced by Bongartz and Gabriel [6, 7, 2] for the study of representation type of algebras. Smash products is a well-known construction in ring theory (see ), but only recently was observed by Cibils and Marcos  that it yields the inverse operation to Galois coverings. Indeed, if acts freely on , then is a -graded category such that .
In section 4, following , we introduce functors relating the module categories of and when acts freely on . The main results in these notes (section 5) relate the representation types of and (which was the original purpose of the introduction of Galois coverings). Indeed, given a Galois covering with a finite dimensional -algebra, then is representation-finite if and only if is locally representation-finite (that is, for each , there are only finitely many indecomposable -modules , up to isomorphism, with ). The proof of this result was partially given in  and completed in , and provides an efficient tool to deal with representation-finite algebras.
The representation-infinite situation is more involved. We recall that is said to be tame if for every there are finitely many -bimodules wich are free finitely generated as right -modules and such that any indecomposable -module with dimension is of the form for some and some . We say that a tame algebra is domestic (resp. of polynomial growth) if can be chosen (resp. for some ) for all . It is not hard to show that is tame if is tame for a group acting freely on . The converse was shown to be false in ; nevertheless there are many interesting, general situations where it holds true.
In section 5 we give examples of results [5, 12] showing that for a Galois covering , the category is tame if and only if is tame, provided certain restrictions on the group or on the category are satisfied.
We denote by the Grothendieck group of , freely generated by representatives of the simple -modules, where is the number of vertices of . We denote (resp. ) the projective cover (resp. injective envelope) of . With the categorical approach an -module is a functor , and a morphism is a natural transformation. In case , the Coxeter matrix is defined by .
These notes follow closely the lectures given at the Workshop on Representation Theory in Mar del Plata, Argentina in March 2006. The intention of the lectures was to present an elementary introduction to the topic which would serve as a source of motivation and information on the techniques used. While we cannot provide complete proofs of every result, we tried to sketch some representative arguments. We thank the organizers of the Workshop for his hospitality.
denotes the group of automorphisms of . By we denote the group of symmetries of and by the group of symmetries of fixing (that is, induces such that ).
- is a subgroup of .
Each symmetry gives rise to a matrix sending to . This representation is called the canonical representation.
- The mapping , is a bijection from the orbit to the set of left cosets .
Let be a set of representatives of the irreducible -representations of (here is the number of conjugacy classes of ). Let be the trivial representation.
Consider the character corresponding to (that is, , ). The characters form an orthonormal basis of the class group , with the scalar product .
- [Burnside's lemma]. where , is the character of the canonical representation .
Proof. Observe that is the number of fixed points of .
Clearly, this action preserves indecomposable modules and induces an action of of the Auslander-Reiten quiver , satisfying:
- the action preserves projective, injective and simple modules;
- the action preserves Auslander-Reiten sequences (in particular, );
- is a subgroup of , the group of automorphisms of the quiver (commuting with the -structure).
For (c), let be an element inducing a trivial action on ; we shall prove . Indeed, implies for every vertex .
Let , be all arrows between and , then establishes a permutation of the . Let be the dimensional -module with . Since is indecomposable, or . Therefore .
- Let be an algebra satisfying:
(a) is representation finite, (b) is standard
Proof. We already know that is a subgroup of . Let and consider the induced automorphism of the mesh category . Clearly, restricts to an automorphism of (considering the full embedding , ). By definition there is an automorphism inducing , and therefore inducing . □
Recall that , is the Coxeter matrix if , which is -invertible. In case (i.e. ), then for any non-projective indecomposable .
The characteristic polynomial is called the Coxeter polynomial.
- Dynkin type, then .
- extended Dynkin type, then and is a root of multiplicity .
is irreducible (over ).
- Proposition .
- is an automorphism of the representation .
- If is not trivial, then is not irreducible.
Proof. (a): It suffices to observe that for any .
(b): Let be a set of representatives of the irreducible -representations of . Let be the trivial representation. Up to conjugation (with )
By Schur's lemma , where is an automorphism. Hence . Therefore if is irreducible then for .
If , then . Moreover, the characters
Finally, , with implies the existence of with . Therefore is not irreducible. □
Consider and the canonical representation. It is not hard to calculate the character table of :
- Let be a group acting freely on . Then there exists a -category and a functor satisfying:
- (-invariant): for every
- (universal -invariant): for any functor which is -invariant, there exists a unique functor such that
- is formed by the -orbits of vertices in and for any and
Proof. Let be defined as in (c) with composition maps
We say that a -category is -graded if for each pair of objects there is a vector space decomposition such that the composition induces linear maps
- is a -graded -category.
- . The category accepts a free action of such that .
Moreover, if acts freely on , then .
Proof. Clearly there is a -invariant functor inducing a functor which is the identity on objects. Check that is an isomorphism.
Assume acts freely on and let be the induced Galois covering.
Since acts freely, there is a bijection which commutes with the -action. Moreover, if , , then
In other words, smash products and Galois quotients are inverse operations in the class of -categories.
( Galois covering defined by ) group grading , such that for any
two Galois coverings defined by and defined by , there exist a commutative diagram
A Galois triple of is a Galois covering defined by the (free) action of a group . There is a universal object in this set of Galois triples. Indeed, let and consider the set of all walks in starting and ending at a fixed vertex . Let be the equivalence relation induced by the following elementary relations:
- and for any arrow ;
- if with , such that for any we have , then for ;
- if , then , whenever the products are defined.
Then has a group structure such that is -graded. The group is called the fundamental group of .
- . Let and be defined by . The triple is a universal Galois covering, that is, for any Galois covering defined by the action of a group , there exists a covering defined by such that .
- the category of left -modules;
- those with for every ;
- those with .
There are naturally defined functors:
Recall that acts on and is -stable if for every . The category of -stable -modules is denoted by .
- The categories and are equivalent.
- For any and , we have . Moreover,
- Let be a subgroup of and . Then has a natural structure as -module. If is a finite group and , then decomposes as a direct sum of at least factors.
Proof. (a): clear.
(b): Observe that canonically.
Hence and correspondingly in morphisms.
(c): Choose a set of representatives in of the right cosets . Then and correspondingly in morphisms.
Hence we get a group homomorphism such that for each idempotent of , is idempotent and there is a factorization of .
In case is a finite group with , by Mashké theorem, the group algebra is semisimple (with idempotents). The result follows. □
Let , the stabilizer is the subgroup of formed by those such that . That is, if .
- Proposition .
- If and is torsion free, then .
- If and , then is indecomposable and for any module with , then for some .
Proof. (a): Let for some , then establishes a permutation of (a finite set). Then for some , on . Since acts freely on , then . Since is torsion free, then and .
(b): Assume , then . Assume is a direct summand of , then and . Therefore is indecomposable.
If , then is indecomposable and for some . □
Let be the infinite -category with quiver
and generated by all relations of the form . Then we get a Galois covering defined by the action of on .
It is stable under the action of , .
The universal Galois covering of is given by
where the free group in two generators acts on . The normal subgroup of acts on inducing the covering .
Observe that for , we have and therefore .
(b)  Let be a standard -algebra of finite representation type. Then the Auslander-Reiten quiver is finite and equipped with the mesh relations: , for each almost split sequence .
There is an universal Galois cover of translation quivers defined by the action of a free group . Moreover, is the Auslander-Reiten quiver of a -category such that .
We illustrate the situation in the following example:
A full subcategory of is convex in if for a quiver which is path closed in (i.e. with implies ).
- Let be a representation-finite -algebra. Then
-  There exists a universal Galois covering defined by the action of a free group . Moreover for a -category . If is standard, then is a universal Galois covering.
-  For every finite convex subcategory of , we have and is representation-directed (i.e. is representation-finite and is a preprojective component).
- Let be a Galois covering defined by a group
-  If acts freely on indecomposable classes of -modules, then induces an injection ( and preserves Auslander-Reiten sequences.
- [2, 10] If is finite (hence a -algebra), then is representation-finite if and only if (i) acts freely on and (ii) is locally representation-finite (i.e. for each , is finite). In that case, .
Proof. (a): Let , then we know and . Moreover implies for some . For an almost split sequence with we get an exact sequence
(b): Assume is representation-finite and are representatives of . Let and suppose is such that . We shall prove that . Let be a covering defined by a free group as in (5.1), that is, we get commutative diagrams:
Then induces an automorphism on such that and for some with . We get an automorphism of acting freely (since acts freely on ).
Let be the full subcategory of formed by . It is easy to see that is convex in and therefore is a preprojective component. Since , then we get with . Since commutes with , there is a projective -module with , which is a contradiction unless .
We check that is locally representation-finite: let and let