New dichotomies for borel equivalence relations

Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 3 (3):329-346 (1997)
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Abstract

We announce two new dichotomy theorems for Borel equivalence relations, and present the results in context by giving an overview of related recent developments.§1. Introduction. For X a Polish space and E a Borel equivalence relation on X, a classification of X up to E-equivalence consists of finding a set of invariants I and a map c : X → I such that xEy ⇔ c = c. To be of any value we would expect I and c to be “explicit” or “definable”. The theory of Borel equivalence relations investigates the nature of possible invariants and provides a hierarchy of notions of classification.The following partial ordering is fundamental in organizing this study. Given equivalence relations E and F on X and Y, resp., we say that E can be Borel reduced to F, in symbolsif there is a Borel map f : X → Y with xEy ⇔ fFf. Then if is an embedding of X/E into Y/F, which is “Borel”.Intuitively, E ≤BF might be interpreted in any one of the following ways: The classi.cation problem for E is simpler than that of F: any invariants for F work as well for E. One can classify E by using as invariants F-equivalence classes. The quotient space X/E has “Borel cardinality” less than or equal to that of Y/F, in the sense that there is a “Borel” embedding of X/E into Y/F.

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