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4. Chow Groups

embedded points, we have

[X] [X0 ] = [D],

as claimed.

There are many other interesting examples of flows t for which we

could make similar constructions, such as the one-parameter subgroups

Gm Aut(P n ). Since every representation of the multiplicative group Gm

can be diagonalized over an algebraically closed field, one can write such

an action, in suitable coordinates, in the form

Gm 3 t : (x0 , . . . , xn ) 7 (tw0 x0 , . . . , twn xn )

for some integral weights wn . An example is given in Exercise 4.42.

Another important way to construct rational equivalences is by using rational functions on subvarieties of X (in fact, Corollary 4.18 shows that

this method can be used to construct all rational equivalences, and thus

gives an alternate presentation of A(X).) ****insert picture**** To set

the stage, we review the definition of the divisor associated to a nonzero

rational function on an arbitrary variety.

Consider first the affine case, and the divisor associated to a nonzero

principal ideal in a domain. Let U be an affine variety with coordinate ring

A, and let f A be a nonzero function. Krulls Principle Ideal Theorem 0.1

asserts that each irreducible component Y of the subscheme V (f ) defined

by f is of codimension 1 in X. Thus the local ring R = OU,Y of the generic

point of Y is 1-dimensional, so, as above, the factor ring R/(f ) is of finite

length. We define the order of f at Y to be this length, for which we will

write ordR (f ) or ordY /U (f ), so that

ordR (f ) = ordY /U (f ) = length OU,Y /f OU,Y .

We define the divisor of f to be the divisor of the subscheme defined by f ,

X

Div(f ) :=

ordY (f ) Y.

{Y |Y is a

component of V (f )}

Note that, by Krulls Principal Ideal Theorem all the components of V (f )

have codimension exactly 1 in U .

What makes the case of a principal ideal special is that the association

f 7 Div(f ) turns multiplication into addition: that is,

169

of dimension 1, then

DivX (f g) = Div(f ) + Div(g).

Proof. Since g is a nonzerodivisor, multiplication by g defines an isomorphism R/(f ) (g)/(f g). The resulting exact sequence

0

- R/(f )

- R/(f g)

- R/(g)

- 0,

This additivity has a crucially important consequence: we can define

the divisor not just of a regular function, but also of a rational function.

Suppose that K(X) is a rational function on a (not necessarily affine)

variety X, and Y is any codimension 1 subvariety in X, then we can choose

nonzero f, g R := OX,Y such that = f /g. The number ordR (f )

ordR (g) does not depend on the choice of f and g, since if f /g = f 0 /g 0 we

will have f g 0 = f 0 g, whence by additivity ordR (f ) + ordR (g 0 ) = ordR (f 0 ) +

ordR (g), so that ordR (f ) ordR (g) = ordR (f 0 ) ordR (g 0 ). Thus we can

unambiguously define ordY () = ordR (f ) ordR (g).

We claim that, for any nonzero rational function , there are only finitely

many codimension 1 subvarieties Y X such that ordY () 6= 0. To see

this, take a finite covering by affine open subsets Ui . For each i, write

|Ui = fi /gi with fi , gi OX (Ui ). If Y appears with a nonzero coefficient

in Div(), and Ui is one of the open sets such that Y Ui is dense, then

Y Ui must be among the finitely many irreducible components of V (fi )

or V (gi ). This leaves only finitely many possibilities for Y .

Proposition 4.10. Let X be a variety of dimension n. There is a homomorphism of groups

Div : K(X) Ratn1 (X) Zn1 (X)

taking K(X) to

Div() =

ordY ()Y.

is a

codimension 1

subvariety of X.}

{Y |Y

Proof. The argument above shows that the map Div : K(X) Zn1 (X)

is well-defined. To see that its image is in Ratn1 (X), let be a rational

function on X. The element defines a rational map : X P 1 and the

graph of is a subset of X P 1 birational to X. What we have called

Div() is, under this isomorphism, precisely 1 (0) 1 ().

170

4. Chow Groups

of degree d, are rationally equivalent in P and thus in P 3 : for if g = 0 and

g 0 = 0 are the equations of D and D0 respectively, then the ratio = g/g 0

is a rational function on P because g and g 0 are homogeneous of the same

degree. Further, Div() = [D] [D0 ].

Here are some observations that will help us with further examples:

Proposition 4.12. Let X be a scheme.

(a) A(X) = A(Xred ).

(b) If X is a variety of dimension d, then Ad (X)

= Z, with generator [X],

called the fundamental class of X. More generally, if X is reduced, then

Ad (X) is the free abelian group on the classes [Xi ] of the irreducible

components of X that have dimension d.

(c) If Y X is a closed subscheme and U = X \ Y is the complementary

open subscheme, then there is a right-exact sequence

A(Y )

- A(X)

- A(U )

- 0.

A(X1 X2 )

- A(X1 ) A(X2 )

- A(X1 X2 )

- 0.

varieties in X, and since they are reduced they are contained in Xred . The

same argument shows that Z(X P 1 ) = Z(Xred P 1 ), so the cokernel of

is unchanged if we replace X by Xred .

(b) Since X P 1 is the only subvariety of X P 1 of dimension d + 1, the

map X : Zd+1 (X P 1 ) Zd (X) is zero, so Ad (X) = Zd (X) = Z [X].

For the second statement, let X1 , . . . , Xm be the distinct irreducible

components of X of dimension d. By definition, Ad (X) is generated by

[X1 ], . . . , [Xm ]. Any relation among the [Xi ] comes from a variety W

X P 1 dominating P 1 and containing Xi {0}.

S

Since W = i (W (Xi P 1 )) and W is irreducible, we must have

W Xi P 1 . Since W dominates P 1 , it is strictly larger than Xi 0, so

dim W 1+dim Xi = dim(Xi P 1 ). Thus W = Xi P 1 . Thus the relation

on Ad (X) provided by W is of the form [Xi ] = [Xi ]the trivial relation.

171

- Z(Y P 1 ) - Z(X P 1 ) - Z(U P 1 )

Y

0

- 0

?

- Z(Y )

?

- Z(X)

?

- Z(U )

?

A(Y )

?

- A(X)

?

- A(U )

?

0

?

0

?

0

- 0

where the map Z(Y ) Z(X) takes the class [A] Z(Y ), where A is a

subvariety of Y , to [A] itself, considered as a class in X, and similarly for

Z(Y P 1 ) Z(X P 1 ). The map Z(X) Z(U ) takes each free generator

[A] to the generator [A U ], and similarly for Z(X P 1 ) Z(U P 1 ).

The two middle rows and all three columns are evidently exact. A diagram

chase shows that the map A(X) A(U ) is surjective, and the bottom row

of the diagram above is right exact, yielding part (c).

(d) Let Y = X1 X2 . We may assume X = X1 X2 . We may argue

exactly as before from the diagram

0 - Z(Y P 1 ) - Z(X1 P 1 ) Z(X2 P 1 ) - Z(X P 1 ) - 0

?

- Z(Y )

?

- Z(X1 ) Z(X2 )

?

- Z(X)

- 0

?

A(Y )

?

- A(X1 ) A(X2 )

?

- A(X)

- 0

ator [A] Z(Y ) to ([A], [A]) Z(X1 ) Z(X2 ) and the map Z(X1 )

Z(X2 ) - Z(X) is addition.

Proposition 4.12 allows us to answer Keynote Question (b) in the negative. Indeed, we can generalize as follows.

Corollary 4.13. If X P n is a variety of dimension m and degree d,

then Am (P n \ X)

= Z/(d), while if m < m0 n then Am0 (P n \ X) = Z. In

particular, m and d are determined by the isomorphism class of P n \X.

Proof. Part (c) of Proposition 4.12 shows that there are exact sequences

Ai (X) Ai (P n Ai (P n \X 0. Furthermore Am (X) = Z by Part ?? of

Proposition 4.12, while Am0 (X) = 0 for m < m0 n. By Theorem 1.20 we

172

4. Chow Groups

in Am (P n ) is d times the generator of Ai (P n ) . The results of the Corollary

follow.

To get much further we need stronger tools. One of them is very compactly

expressed below by saying that A(X) behaves like a covariant functor with

respect to proper maps, and this preserves the grading by dimension. This

can be used to prove, for example, that the class of a given cycle is nonzerowe just exhibit a proper map that takes it to a cycle whose class we

already know to be nonzero. We will see examples of this below.

If f : X X 0 is a proper map of schemes, then the image of a subvariety

Y X is a subvariety f (Y ) X 0 . This would make it possible to define

a push-forward map f on cycles by taking any subvariety to its image.

However, this map gives no information about the Chow groups because it

does not preserve rational equivalence (see Exercise ??). But if we introduce

certain multiplicities, rational equivalence will be preserved, and we get a

map on Chow groups. Here is how this is done:

Definition 4.14. Let f : X X 0 be a proper map of schemes, and let

Y X be a subvariety.

(a) If f (Y ) has lower dimension than Y , then we define f (hY i) = 0.

(b) If dim f (Y ) = dim Y , then the map f |Y : Y f (Y ) is generically

finite. If n := [K(Y ) : K(f (Y ))] is the degree of the extension of fields

of rational functions, we say that f is generically a cover of degree n,

and we define f hY i = nhf (Y )i.

P

(c) If z =

ni hYi i Z(X) is a P

formal Z-linear combination of subvarieties, then we define f (z) = ni f hYi i.

Theorem 4.15. If f : X X 0 is a proper map of schemes, then the map

f : Z(X) Z(X 0 ) defined above preserves rational equivalence, and thus

induces a map f : A(X) A(X 0 ).

We will prove Theorem 4.15 and the closely related Theorem 4.17 below

after developing an important algebraic tool in Lemma 4.19.

Before starting the proof of Theorem 4.15 we discuss some geometric

consequences. A first hint of the importance of the apparently bland statement of the theorem is that it makes possible the existence of a degree

function A0 (X) Z when X is projective over a field. In particular, it

allows us to prove that A0 (P nK ) = Z [p] for any closed K-rational point

p P n , something we could not prove in the last section.

173

a + b + c d + e + f 2g + h

c

X

b

a

X0

a0 b0

c0

d0

g0

h0

a0 + b0 + c0 3d0 2g 0 + h0

FIGURE 4.4. Pushforwards of equivalent cycles are equivalent

over Spec K. There is a map A0 (X) Z that sends the class [Y ] of a

zero-dimensional subscheme Y X to deg Y := dimK OY . In particular

A0 (X) 6= 0.

Proof. First, the definition of deg : Z0 (X) Z makes sense because any

zero-dimensional scheme, proper over Spec K, is finite over Spec K. Let

f : X Spec K be the constant map. If p is a closed point of X then,

by definition, f (hpi) = dimK (p) hSpec Ki, so deg(hpi) = deg f (hpi) =

dimk (p). By Theorem 4.15, the map deg f is well-defined on A0 (X).

The idea of this proof also shows that we cannot drop the assumption of

properness in Theorem 4.15: for example, if we could define f on A0 (A nK )

when f : A nK Spec K, we would deduce, as above, that A0 (A nk ) 6= 0 and

we have already seen that A0 (A nK ) = 0. See Exercises 4.29 and 4.30 for

further examples.

The statement of Theorem 4.15 is obvious when f is a closed immersion since in this case any rational equivalence in Z(X) is also a rational

equivalence in Z(X 0 ). But already in this case, we can use the result to

answer Keynote Question (a) in the negative: If X P 3 is a surface with

a map : X P 1 then the fibers of are rationally equivalent in X. By

Theorem 4.15 they are also rationally equivalent in P 3 . By Theorem 4.4

this implies that they have the same degree as projective curves.

We can sharpen Theorem 4.15, in the generically finite case, by giving an

explicit formula for the push-forward of the divisor of a rational function.

174

4. Chow Groups

a

a0

ha0 i = hai

hai + hai = N hai

FIGURE 4.5. The pushforward of the divisor of a function is the divisor of its

norm

Theorem 4.17. Let f : X Y be a proper, dominant, generically finite morphism of varieties, and let be a rational function on X. If

N : K(X) K(Y ) denotes the norm function,

then f (Div()) = Div(N ()) Z(Y ). In particular, the push-forward of

the divisor of a rational function under a generically finite morphism is

again the divisor of a rational function.

We saw (just before Proposition 4.12) that if W is a subvariety of X

and is a rational function on W , then Div(), regarded as a cycle on X,

is rationally equivalent to zero. As a consequence of Theorem 4.17 we can

show that the divisors of rational functions suffice to generate the relation

of rational equivalence:

Corollary 4.18. For any scheme X, the kernel of the map Z(X) A(X)

is generated by the divisors of the form Div() where ranges over rational

functions on subvarieties of X.

Proof of Corollary 4.18. We already know that such Div() are in the kernel. On the other hand, the kernel is generated by elements of the form

hV0 i hV i where the Vi are subschemes of X such that there exists a

variety V X P 1 generically finite over its image in X, and dominating

P 1 , with V X {0} = V0 and V X {} = V . As a cycle on V we

have hV0 {0}i hV {}i = Div(), where is the rational function

corresponding to the projection map V P 1 .

175

cycles on X we have V0 = f (hV0 {0}i), and similarly for V . Thus

hV0 i hV i = f (Div()) = Div(N ()), the divisor of a rational function

on V 0 , completing the argument.

4.3.1

The proof of Theorems 4.15 and 4.17 rely on a fundamental result in commutative algebra relating a homomorphism to its determinant.

Suppose that R is a domain with quotient field K. If M is a finitelygenerated torsion-free R-module and : M M is an endomorphism,

then R K is an endomorphism of the finite dimensional vector space

M R K. We define the determinant det() of to be the usual determinant

of R K, an element of K.

For example, if r R and is multiplication by r, then det = rrank M ;

this is because the endomorphism R K of M R K = K rank M is also

multiplication by r, represented by a diagonal matrix

r 0 ... 0

0 r . . . 0

..

.

0 0 ... r

Lemma 4.19 (Determinant Lemma). Suppose that R is a 1-dimensional

local Noetherian domain, and let : M M be an endomorphism of

a finitely generated torsion-free R-module M . If det is nonzero, then

coker is a module of finite length, and its length is equal to ordR (det ).

In particular, if r R and M has rank n, then

length(M/rM ) = n length(R/rR).

The Lemma implies, in particular, that ordR det 0, even when det

is not in R. This comes about because det is always in the integral closure

of R (use, for example, Eisenbud [1995], Corollary 4.6).

When M is free and the endomorphism is defined by a diagonal matrix,

the result says that

Y

X

length R/( xi ) =

length R/(xi ),

i

an easy special case of Proposition 4.9. The idea of the proof we will give

is to reduce to this situation by moving to the integral closure of R and

then localizing so that R becomes a discrete valuation ring. We can then

use the structure of matrices over such rings.

176

4. Chow Groups

Proof of Lemma 4.19. The second statement follows from the first because,

taking to be multiplication by r on M , the remark just before the lemma

shows that det = rn .

In the remainder of the proof we will assume that the domain R is a

localization of an algebra finitely generated over a field, so that the integral

closure R0 of R is a finite R-module. This suffices for the applications we

will make. See the remarks after the proof for various ways of removing

this restriction and generalizing the lemma further.

Let : M M be an endomorphism with nonzero determinant D.

Since R has dimension 1, the cokernel of is a module of dimension zero,

and thus finite length. Let R0 be the integral closure of R in its quotient

field K, and let M 0 = M R R0 /(torsion), so that M M 0 K R M (in

fact, M 0 is the image of M R R0 in M R K).

We will use three properties of this construction. First, the endomorphism extends to 1 : M R R0 M R R0 , and preserves the torsion

submodule, so it induces a map 0 : M 0 M 0 extending the map on M .

Second, since M 0 M R K, the quotient M 0 /M is torsion, and thus of

finite length. Of course 0 induces an endomorphism of M 0 /M , which we

will call 0 . Finally, since M R K = M 0 R K = M R0 K, the maps

and 0 have the same determinant D = det = det 0 . We will reduce to

the case where R = R0 , and then use the structure theorem for modules

over a principal ideal domain.

With these points in mind, consider the diagram

0

Ker 0

?

- M

?

- M0

?

- M 0 /M

- 0

?

- M

0

?

- M0

0

?

- M 0 /M

- 0

?

?

?

coker - coker 0 - coker 0

- 0.

0 Ker 0 coker coker 0 coker 0 0,

from which we deduce that

length coker 0 length coker

= length coker 0 length Ker 0 .

177

0 Ker 0 M 0 /M

- M 0 /M coker 0 0,

0 = length M/M 0 length M/M 0

= length coker 0 length Ker 0 ,

proving that length coker = length coker 0 .

As a special case, we may take M = R, and we see that length R/D =

length R0 /D. Thus it suffices to prove the lemma in the case R = R0 ;

that is, we may assume that the 1-dimensional ring R is integrally closed.

By the Chinese Remainder Theorem, any R-module of finite length is the

direct sum of its localizations at various maximal ideals, so we may further

assume that R is a discrete valuation ring, with parameter , say.

Any finitely-generated torsion-free module over such a ring R is free, so

the endomorphism is defined by a square matrix of elements of R. After

row and column operations, we can reduce this matrix to a diagonal matrix

with powers of on the diagonal,

a

0

1

.. .

..

= ...

.

.

0

am

length coker = length

m

M

(R/ ai ) =

m

X

ai

i=1

i=1

while

length R/(det ) = length R/(

m

Y

i=1

ai ) =

m

X

ai

i=1

as required.

As we remarked in the beginning of the proof, the restriction to algebras

essentially of finite type over a field, made in order to guarantee the

finiteness of the integral closure, is unnecessary. One way to avoid it is

to pass to the completion, and use the result that the integral closure of

any complete local Noetherian ring is finite. This is the path taken by

Grothendieck [1967] 21.10.17.2. There is an attractive direct proof along

very different lines in Fulton [1984], Appendix A1A3. But the result given

here and in these references is actually a special case of a far more general

story involving multiplicity: the essential point is that two modules with

the same multiplicity will have the same length after factoring out a regular

sequence modulo which they have finite length. This idea can be used to

178

4. Chow Groups

ring R of dimension p q + 1 and the cokernel of has finite length, then

its length is the same as that of R/I, where I is the ideal generated by all

the q q minors of ; our Lemma 4.19 contains the case p = q. This result

is attributed in Bruns and Vetter [1986] to Angeniol and Giusti, though

the paper by Angeniol and Giusti seems never to have appeared. In any

case the result is generalized in the cited paper. The proof by multiplicities

and specialization was given by Hochster and Huneke (also unpublished).

Example 4.20. The second statement of Lemma 4.19 is already interesting

when the rank n is 1; a good example is the case where M = K[t], R =

K[t2 , t5 ] and r = t5 . In this case the length is simply the dimension as a

K-vector space. It is easy to see that the length of

M/rM = K[t]/ < t5 , t6 , t7 , >

is 5. The reader may check that the quotient

R/rR = K[t2 , t4 , t5 , t6 , . . . ]/ < t5 , t7 , t9 , t10 , t11 , > .

is generated as a vector space by 1, t2 , t4 , t6 , and t8 , so the length is 5 in

this case too, though the two vector spaces are not related in a very obvious

way.

Proof of Theorem 4.15. It suffices to show that the diagram

Z(X P 1 )

(f 1)

Z(X 0 P 1 )

X

?

Z(X)

X 0

f

?

- Z(X 0 )

P 1 , and let W 0 = (f 1)(W ). Since f is proper, W 0 is a subvariety of

X 0 P 1 . Of course the projection W P 1 factors through W 0 , so W 0

dominates P 1 if and only if W does. Write W0 and W00 for the preimages of

0 P 1 in the varieties W and W 0 . We may think of W0 as a subvariety of

X = (X P 1 )0 and similarly for W00 and X 0 , and from this point of view,

W0 = f 1 (W00 ) as schemes.

****insert picture****

Suppose first that W 0 has strictly smaller dimension than W , so that

(f 1) hW i = 0. By the Principal Ideal Theorem, every component of

W0 or of W has dimension one less than that of W , and similarly the

0

components of W00 and W

have dimension one less than that of W 0 , so

f (hW0 i hW i) = 0 as well.

Thus we may assume that dim W 0 = dim W , so that W W 0 is generically finite. Write n for its degree, so that (f 1) hW i = nhW 0 i.

179

Let V 0 be an irreducible component of W00 , and suppose that hV 0 i appears in the cycle associated to W00 with multiplicity p. We will show that

hV 0 i appears in the cycle f (hW0 i) with multiplicity np. Summing over the

contributions of all the components of W00 we see that f (hW0 i) = nhW00 i.

The same argument will of course apply to W , proving the Theorem.

Since f induces a surjective map W W 0 , and V 0 W 0 has codimension

1, the map W W 0 must be finite over the generic point of V 0 (otherwise

the preimage of V 0 would have dimension at least that of W , so W would

be reducible). Because the map f is proper, the induced injection

f : R0 := OW 0 ,V 0 f OW OW 0 OW 0 ,V 0 = OW,f 1 V 0 =: R0

is finite.

Both R0 and R have dimension 1. Saying that V 0 occurs with multiplicity

p in W00 means that p = lengthR0 (R0 /xR0 ), where x is a coordinate on P 1

that vanishes at 0. Since f 1 : W W 0 has degree n, the ring R has

rank n as an R0 -module. The Determinant Lemma tells us that

lengthR0 (R/xR) = n lengthR0 (R0 /xR0 ) = np.

The maximal ideals m1 , . . . , mk of R correspond precisely to the subvarieties V1 , . . . , Vs W0 . If the multiplicity of x at mP

i is ei , then the Chinese

Remainder Theorem shows that lengthR0 R/xR = i ei ni , where ni is the

degree of the field extension K(Vi ) : K(V 0 ). From the definition of f we

see that f (hVi i) = ni hV 0 i. Putting this together we compute that the

multiplicity of hV 0 i in f (hW0 i) is

X

X

f (

ei hVi i) =

ei ni hV 0 i = nphV 0 i

i

as required.

P

Proof of Theorem 4.17. Write Div() = ai hVi i, where the Vi are subvarieties. The cycle f (Div()) is the sum of the terms ai f (hVi i). By definition, such a term is zero unless dim f (Vi ) = dim(Vi ), in which case the

restriction f |Vi is generically finite. Since the dimension of X is the same

as that of Y , the subset of X over which f has finite fibers must contain

an open set of any codimension 1 component of Y . Thus we may restrict

to this set and assume, without loss of generality, that f is finite.

The components of f (Div()) and Div(N ()) are all of codimension 1,

so it suffices to prove the equality of the theorem at the generic point of

a codimension 1 subvariety V 0 Y . That is, we may suppose that Y is

the spectrum of a one-dimensional local ring R = OY,V 0 with quotient field

K(Y ). Since X is finite over Spec(R) it is also affine, say X = Spec(S),

where S = OX,f 1 (V 0 ) is a one-dimensional ring with quotient field K(X),

finite over R.

180

4. Chow Groups

We may write = r/s for some elements r, s S. Since the norm is multiplicative, N () = N (r)/N (s). Further, since Div takes multiplication to

addition, it suffices to show that f (Div(x)) = Div(N (x)) for any element

x S.

The components Vi of Div(x) that map onto V 0 correspond to the maximal ideals Pi of S that contain x, and f hVi i = [K(Vi ) : K(V 0 )]hV 0 i. By the

Chinese Remainder Theorem, S/xS = i SPi /xSPi , so lengthR (S/xS) =

P

ordVi (x)0 [K(Vi ) : K(V 0 )]. Thus f Div(x) = lengthR (S/xS)hV 0 i.

We can now apply Lemma 4.19 to the endomorphism of S given by

multiplication by x. The determinant of this map is N (x), and we see

that lengthR (S/xS) = lengthR (R/N (x)), which is the coefficient of V 0 in

hDiv(N (x))i, as required.

In this section we will study and apply a different sort of functoriality of

the Chow groups:

Theorem 4.21 (Flat Pullback). If f : Y X be a flat map of equidimensional schemes, then there is a unique group homomorphism f : A(X)

A(Y ) satisfying

f ([A]) = [f 1 (A)]

for any variety A X. This homomorphism preserves codimension.

In the next chapter we will define an intersection product on the Chow

ring of a smooth quasiprojective variety, and it will follow from the methods

there that flat pullback between such varieties preserves products (Corollary 5.5).

We will use Theorem 4.21 in the next subsections to analyze affine and

projective bundles. It will also be useful as a step in the proof of existence

of pullbacks along arbitrary proper morphisms of smooth quasiprojective

varieties, a topic of Chapter 5.

Proof of Theorem 4.21. We first prove that the flat pullback preserves codimension. Suppose that W X is a subvariety, and that V is an irreducible

component of f 1 (W ).

Suppose that y V is a closed point not belonging to any other component of f 1 (W ), and x = f (y), which is again a closed point by the

Nullstellensatz. Because f |V : V W is flat in a neighborhood of y, the

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