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ABSTRACT. Let G be a simple algebraic group. Labelled trivalent graphs called

webs can be used to product invariants in tensor products of minuscule represen-

tations. For each web, we construct a conguration space of points in the afne

Grassmannian. Via the geometric Satake correspondence, we relate these cong-

uration spaces to the invariant vectors coming from webs. In the case G=SL(3),

non-elliptic webs yield a basis for the invariant spaces. The non-elliptic condi-

tion, which is equivalent to the condition that the dual diskoid of the web is

CAT(0), is explained by the fact that afne buildings are CAT(0).

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1. Spiders. Let G be a simple, simply-connected complex algebraic group. In

previous work [25], the third author dened a tensor category with generators and

relations called a spider, for G of rank 2. (The term spider was originally in-

tended to mean any pivotal category, but in common usage only these categories are

called spiders.) The Karoubi envelope of this category is equivalent to the category

rep(G) of nite-dimensional representations of G. (Actually, the spider comes with

a parameter q making it equivalent to the quantum deformation rep

q

(G).) These

results in rank 2 are analogous to the inuential result of Kauffman [19] and Pen-

rose [35] that the Karoubi envelope of the Temperley-Lieb category (the category

of planar matchings) is equivalent to rep

q

(SL(2)). The Temperley-Lieb category

can thus be called the SL(2) spider. Conjectural generalizations of spiders were

proposed for SL(4) by Kim [23] and for SL(n) by Morrison [33].

In this article, for any G as above, we will dene the free spider for G generated

by the minuscule representations of G. A morphism in the free spider is given by a

(linear combination) of labelled trivalent graphs called webs. For each web w with

boundary edges labelled

(w) Inv(V(

)) = Inv

G

(V(

1

) V(

2

) V(

n

)).

In the case where G has rank 1 or 2, the vectors (w) coming from non-elliptic

webs w (those whose faces have non-positive combinatorial curvature) form a basis

of each invariant space Inv(V(

SL(2) is well-known as the basis of planar matchings and it is known to be the

same as Lusztigs dual canonical basis [6]. On the other hand, the SL(3) web

The rst and second authors were partly supported by NSERC.

The third author was partly supported by NSF grants DMS-0606795 and CCF-1013079.

1

a

r

X

i

v

:

1

1

0

3

.

3

5

1

9

v

1

[

m

a

t

h

.

Q

A

]

1

7

M

a

r

2

0

1

1

2 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

bases are eventually not dual canonical [22], even though many basis vectors are

dual canonical.

1.2. Afne Grassmannians. The goal of this article is to introduce a new geomet-

ric interpretation of webs and spiders using the geometry of afne Grassmannians.

Let O = C[[t]] and K = C((t)). In order to study the representation theory of

G, we will consider the afne Grassmannian of its Langlands dual group

Gr = Gr(G

) = G

(K )/G

(O).

The geometric Satake correspondence of Lusztig [27], Ginzburg [11], and Mirkovi c-

Vilonen [31] will be our main tool in this article.

Theorem 1.1. The representation category rep(G) is equivalent as a pivotal cat-

egory to the category of equivariant perverse sheaves on the afne Grassmannian

Gr.

As a consequence of this theorem, every invariant space Inv(V(

)) for every G

can be constructed from the geometry of Gr. Given a vector

of dominant weights

of G, there is a convolution morphism

m

: Gr(

) = Gr(

1

)

Gr(

2

)

Gr(

n

) Gr,

where each Gr() is a sphere of radius (in the sense of weight-valued distances

[17]) in Gr. The ber F(

) = m

1

(t

0

) is a projective variety that we call the

Satake ber. In particular, we will use the following corollary of the geometric

Satake correspondence.

Theorem1.2. Every invariant space in rep(G) is canonically isomorphic to the top

homology of the corresponding geometric Satake ber with complex coefcients:

Inv(V(

))

= H

top

(F(

), C).

Each top-dimensional component Z F(

)).

These vectors form a basis, the Satake basis.

A goal of this article is to understand how the invariant vectors coming from

webs expand in this basis. (Throughout, we will assume complex coefcients for

homology and cohomology.)

1.3. Diskoids. The orbits of G(K ) on the afne Grassmannian denes a notion

of distance on Gr with values in the set of dominant weights for G. Thus, we can

interpret F(

polygon P(

= (

1

,

2

, . . . ,

n

).

One of our ideas is to generalize this type of conguration space from polygons

to diskoids. For us, a diskoid D is a contractible piecewise linear region in the

plane; in many cases it is a disk. (See Section 3.2.) If D is tiled by polygons and

its edges are labelled by dominant weights, then its vertices are a weight-valued

metric space. We will dene a (based) conguration space Q(D) which consists of

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 3

maps from the vertices of D to Gr that preserves the lengths of edges of D. We will

also dene a special subset Q

g

(D) that consists of maps that preserve all distances

(globally isometric embeddings).

Assume that

boundary

, then it has a dual diskoid D = D(w) (or possibly a diskoid with bub-

bles). The boundary of this diskoid is a polygon P(

conguration spaces : Q(D) F(

the vector (w) using this geometry.

Theorem1.3. There exists a homology class c(w) H

(c(w))

H

top

(F(

We prove this theorem as an application of the geometric Satake correspon-

dence. In many cases, the class c(w) is the fundamental class of Q(D), so that the

coefcients of

(c(w)) (and hence (w)) in the Satake basis are just the degrees

of the map over the components of F(

).

1.4. Buildings. The afne Grassmannian Gr embeds isometrically into the afne

building = (G

variety Q(D).

If G=SL(2), then a basis web is a planar matching (or cup diagram) and its dual

diskoid D is a nite tree. The afne Grassmannian Gr is the set of vertices of the

afne building , which is an innite tree with innite valence. The conguration

space Q(D) is the space of colored, based simplicial maps f : D; see Figure 1.

It is known that

Q(D) =P

1

P

1

P

1

is a twisted product of P

1

s, and that these twisted products are the components of

the Satake ber F(

). Moreover, Q

g

(D) is the open dense subvariety of points in

Q(D) which are contained in no other component of F(

). Figure 1 is an illustra-

tion of the construction.

Our other main results are a generalization of this fact to G = SL(3). In this

case, Gr is again the vertex set of . If w is a non-elliptic web with boundary

,

then Q(D(w)) is again the space of colored, based simplicial maps f : D , as

in Figure 2. Then:

Theorem 1.4. Let G = SL(3) = A

2

and let w be a non-elliptic web with minuscule

boundary

and dual diskoid D. Then the global isometry conguration space

Q

g

(D) is mapped isomorphically by to a dense subset of a component of the

Satake ber F(

the components of F(

).

Our construction can be viewed as an explanation of why basis webs are non-

elliptic. A web is non-elliptic if and only if its diskoid is CAT(0), essentially

by denition. It is well-known that every afne buildings is a CAT(0) space [2].

Moreover, every convex subset of a CAT(0) space, such as a diskoid which is

isometrically embedded in a building, is necessarily CAT(0). We will also show

4 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

FIGURE 1. From a non-elliptic A

1

web, to a tree, to part of an

afne A

1

building.

FIGURE 2. From a non-elliptic A

2

web, to a CAT(0) diskoid, to

part of an afne A

2

building.

that the image of each diskoid embedding f : D in Q

g

(D) has a least area

property. Likewise, the elliptic relations of the A

2

spider can be viewed as area-

decreasing transformations.

Meanwhile, if w is non-elliptic, then Q(D) is sometimes the closure of Q

g

(D)

and hence maps to a single component of F(

ponents and maps to more than one component of F(

seem related to the phenomenon that web bases are not dual canonical. However:

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 5

Theorem 1.5. The change of basis in Inv(V(

Satake basis is unitriangular, relative to a partial ordering of non-elliptic webs

given by cut weights.

Also, in Section 5.4, we will show that the web basis, the Satake basis, and the

dual canonical basis for SL(3) are all eventually different.

Finally, in Section 6, we will propose a different formulation of the geomet-

ric Satake correspondence based on convolution of constructible functions rather

than convolution of homology classes. (In Theorem Theorem 4.5, we reinterpret

geometric Satake in terms of convolution in homology). We will prove that this

conjecture in the case of a tensor product of minuscule representations of SL(3).

1.5. Satake bers and Springer bers. When G = SL(m) and

= (

1

, . . . ,

1

)

is an n = mk tuple consisting of

1

(the highest weight of the standard represen-

tation), then F(

F(

n

invariant under a nilpotent endomorphism with m

Jordan blocks all of size kk. We have already mentioned the well-known descrip-

tion of the components of the Springer or Satake ber in terms of planar matchings

when m=2. This Springer ber formalismand this description of it have been used

as a model of Khovanov homology [20, 39]. One motivation for the present work

is to generalize this result to case m=3 and obtain a description of the components

of the Springer or Satake ber using non-elliptic webs. Theorem 1.4 accomplishes

this task. (See also the end of the introduction of [40].)

FIGURE 3. Spiders and buildings.

6 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors would like to thank Dave Anderson, Charles Frohman, Dennis

Gaitsgory, Andr e Henriques, Misha Kapovich, Anthony Licata, John Millson, Scott

Morrison, Hiraku Nakajima, Alistair Savage, Petra Schwer, and Juliana Tymoczko

for useful discussions.

Another motivation for our work is shown in Figure 3.

2. SPIDERS

2.1. Pivotal categories. A pivotal category C is a monoidal tensor category such

that each object A has a two-sided dual object A

A A

should also be an order-reversing tensor functor, i.e.,

(AB)

= B

.

Moreover, for each object A, there are cup and cap morphisms

b

A

: I A

A d

A

: A

A I

where I denotes the unit object, such that

(1

A

d

A

)(b

A

1

A

) = (d

A

1

A

)(1

A

b

A

) = 1

A

,

or, graphically,

(1)

d

A

b

A

A

=

d

A

b

A

A

=

A

.

A pivotal functor is a tensor functor that preserves the above structure.

Every object A in a monoidal category has an invariant space

Inv(A)

def

= Hom(I, A).

If the category is pivotal, then each invariant space has two other important prop-

erties. First, every space of morphisms is an invariant space by the relation

Hom(A, B)

= Inv(A

B).

Second, the relation

Inv(AB)

= Inv(BA)

induces a cyclic action on the invariant spaces of tensor products.

Another way to describe a pivotal category (already suggested in equation (1))

is that it has the structure to evaluate a planar graph w drawn in a disk, if the edges

of w are oriented and labelled by objects and the vertices are labelled by invariants.

(The literature uses the words labelled and colored interchangeably here.) The

value of such a graph w is another invariant, taking values in the invariant space

of the boundary of w. The graph is considered up to isotopy rel boundary, and an

edge labelled by A is equivalent to the opposite edge labelled by A

. It is possible

to write axioms for a pivotal category using invariants and planar graphs rather

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 7

than morphisms. From this viewpoint, a word in a pivotal category is such a graph

and it can be called a web. A web is a special case of a ribbon graph [36], the

difference being that a ribbon graph can also have crossings; a ribbon category is

a pivotal category with distinguished morphisms for crossings.

There is a circumstance in which a type of edge in w can be unoriented. Suppose

that A

= A

)

is cyclically invariant if interpreted as an element of Inv(AA). Then an unori-

ented edge can be dened by a replacement:

A def

=

A A

.

This replacement is necessary for understanding the A

1

spider as a pivotal category;

but see the discussion after Theorem 2.1.

A fundamental example of a pivotal category is the category vect(k) of nite-

dimensional vector spaces over a eld k. In this example, a web can be interpreted

as the graph of a tensor calculus expression (or a spin network). For example, if

abc

is a trilinear determinant form on a 3-dimensional vector space V, and if

abc

is the dual form on V

abc

cde

(with repeated indices summed)

can be drawn as

a

b

d

e

,

with the convention in this case that the vertex labels can be inferred from context.

If G is a group (or a Lie group, Lie algebra, or algebraic group), then rep(G, k),

the category of nite-dimensional representations (or continuous or algebraic rep-

resentations) over k is a pivotal category with a pivotal functor to vect(k). For the

remainder of the article, we let G be a simple, simply connected algebraic group

over C (and later we will specialize to G = SL(3)). We will study the pivotal

category rep(G) = rep(G, C).

There is a deformation rep

q

(G) of rep(G) = rep

1

(G) that consists of represen-

tations of the quantum group U

q

(g), when the parameter q is not a root of unity.

(The deformation also exists when q is a root of unity, but there is more than one

standard choice for it.) This deformation is also a pivotal category, although it

has no pivotal functor to vect, because the cup and cap morphisms deform. Even

though many ideas in this article are clearly related to quantum representations, we

will concentrate on rep

1

(G).

We are interested in one more variation of rep(G). Recall that the irreducible

representations V() of G are labelled by the set of dominant weights. For a dom-

inant weight , we write

= V(

).

From now on, we x an isomorphism between these two representations. Recall

that a dominant weight is called minuscule if

coroot

representation. These representations have the special property that all of their

weights are in the Weyl orbit of the highest weight. We dene rep(G)

min

to be the

8 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

pivotal subcategory generated by minuscule representations (it is neither an addi-

tive nor an abelian category). So the objects of rep(G)

min

are tensor products of

minuscule representations. In this case of G = SL(n), rep(G) can be recovered as

the Karoubi envelope of rep(G)

min

, although we will not use this reconstruction in

this article.

The other main pivotal category which we will study in this paper is the cate-

gory of G

geometric Satake correspondence as an equivalence of pivotal categories between

perv(Gr) and rep(G). Thus, we are ignoring the (more delicate) commutativity

constraint or braiding on perv(Gr) which was dened by Ginzburg [11] and

Mirkovi c-Vilonen [31] in two different ways. We will actually be more interested

in the minuscule analog of perv(Gr), which we will explore in Section 4.3.

2.2. Free spiders and presentations. Pivotal categories can also be presented by

generators and relations. If the pivotal category is additive-linear over a ring or a

eld, then it can presented in the same sense, using linear combinations of words

in the generators. In general there are generating objects (or edges) and generat-

ing morphisms (or invariants or vertices), while the relations are all morphisms.

Relations in a pivotal category are also known as planar skein relations.

We now dene the free spider fsp(G) to be the free C-linear pivotal category

generated by an edge for each minuscule representation of G and a vertex for every

triple , , of minuscule dominant weights such that

Inv

G

(V(, , )) ,= 0.

Note that the minuscule condition forces this vector space to be at most one-

dimensional. In fsp(G), we also impose that the dual of the edge is

. In

[33], fsp(SL(n)) was denoted Sym

n

.

A free spider has the same relationship to webs as a free group has to words

in its generators. Namely, two webs are equal in fsp(G) if and only if they are

isotopic rel boundary.

Let us x q C, non-zero and not a root of unity (but possibly equal to 1). There

is a pivotal functor

: fsp(G) rep

q

(G)

min

,

which is dened by choosing a non-zero element in each invariant space

Inv

U

q

(g)

(V(, , )).

In particular, for each web w with boundary

, we obtain an element

(w) Inv

U

q

(g)

(V(

)).

Actually, since webs are a notation for words in any pivotal category, we could say

also say that w is (w), or that its value is (w). But the distinction between

w and (w) will be useful for us. The rst result is that is surjective when

G = SL(n) [33, Prop. 3.5.8]. (This follows from Weyls fundamental theorem of

invariant theory.) Thus, the vectors (w) of webs w span the invariant spaces.

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 9

It is an open problem to generate the kernel of with planar skein relations in

fsp(G). This problem has been solved when G has rank 1 or 2 by the third author

[25]. Kim [23] has conjectured an answer for SL(4) in [23] and Morrison [33] has

done so for SL(n). Once these planar skein relations (which must depend on q) are

determined, then the resulting presented pivotal category can be called a spider and

we denote it spd

q

(G).

We now review the known solutions for SL(2) and SL(3). The Temperley-Lieb

category or A

1

spider spd

q

(SL(2)) is the quotient of fsp(SL(2)) by the single

relation

(2) = qq

1

.

(Since SL(2) has a single, self-dual minuscule representation, fsp(SL(2)) and

spd

q

(SL(2)) have unoriented edges with a single color or label.) The A

2

spider

spd

q

(SL(3)) is the quotient of fsp(SL(3)) by the relations

= q

2

+1+q

2

= (qq

1

) (3)

= + .

(Since SL(3) has two minuscule representations which are dual to each other,

fsp(SL(3)) and spd

q

(SL(3)) have oriented edges with one label or color. By con-

vention, the edge is labelled by the rst fundamental representation

1

in the di-

rection that it is oriented.) The other two known spiders, spd

q

(B

2

) and spd

q

(G

2

),

have similar but more complicated presentations.

Theorem 2.1 (Kauffman [19]). If q is not a root of unity, then spd

q

(SL(2)) is

equivalent to the pivotal category rep

/

q

(SL(2))

min

of minuscule representations.

In the statement of Theorem2.1, it is necessary to modify rep

q

(SL(2))

min

slightly

to make rep

/

q

(SL(2))

min

. The alteration is to make the minuscule representation V

an odd-graded vector space, so that it becomes symmetrically self-dual rather than

anti-symmetrically self-dual. This allows its edge in spd

q

(SL(2)) to be unoriented.

Theorem 2.2. [25] If q is not a root of unity, then spd

q

(SL(3)) is equivalent to the

pivotal category rep

q

(SL(3))

min

of minuscule representations.

A main property of the spider relations (3) is that they are conuent or Gr obner

type. In the free pivotal category generated by the generating edges and vertices,

each web can be graded by the number of its faces. Then each relation has exactly

one leading term, an elliptic face. (In the A

2

spider, a face is elliptic if it has fewer

than six sides. In the other two rank 2 spiders, a face is elliptic if the total angle

of the corresponding dual vertex is less than 2, so that the vertex is CAT(0); see

Section 3.3.) A web that has that face can be expressed, modulo the relation, as a

10 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

linear combination of lower-degree webs. The Gr obner property, proved using a

diamond lemma, is that any two sequences of simplications of the same web lead

to the same nal expression. This means that the webs that cannot be simplied,

i.e., the webs without elliptic faces or the non-elliptic webs, form a basis of each

invariant space. There is an extended version of this result, but we will restrict our

attention to the minuscule case, summarized in the following theorem.

Theorem 2.3. [25] If

is a sequence of minuscule weights of SL(3), then the

non-elliptic type A

2

webs with boundary

)).

Theorem 1.5 implies Theorem 2.3 as a corollary. However, it is much more

complicated than other proofs of Theorem 2.3 [42, 22].

3. AFFINE GEOMETRY

3.1. Weight-valued metrics and linkages. In the usual denition of a metric

space, distances take values in the non-negative real numbers R

0

. However,

Kapovich, Leeb, Millson [17] have a theory of metric spaces in which distances

take values in the dominant Weyl chamber of G. Two of the axioms of such a

generalized metric space are easy to state:

d(x, x) = 0 d(x, y) = d(y, x)

.

The third axiom, the triangle inequality, is different. The main results of Kapovich,

Leeb, and Millson are generalized triangle inequalities that are satised in build-

ings and generalized symmetric spaces. On the one hand, the triangle inequalities

in the A

1

case are the usual triangle inequality. On the other hand, the inequalities

in higher rank cases are decidedly non-trivial.

In this article, we will adopt the viewpoint of weight-valued metric spaces in

order to discuss isometries and distance comparisons. We will not need the gener-

alized triangle inequalities, but we will need isometries and distance comparisons.

The denition of an isometry is straightforward. As for distance comparisons, we

will say that as a distance if and only if in the usual partial ordering

on dominant weights, namely that is a non-negative integer combination of

simple roots. Thus, a ball of radius is then a nite union of spheres of radius

. For one construction we will dene distances that take values in the domi-

nant Weyl chamber, instead of integral weights; and then we say that when

is a non-negative real combination of simple roots.

In addition to isometries, we will be interested in partial isometries in which

only some distances are preserved. For this purpose, we dene a linkage to be an

oriented graph whose edges are labelled by dominant weights. As with webs, an

edge labelled by is equivalent to the opposite edge labelled by

. Let v() be

the set of vertices of . Then one may attempt to dene a distance d(p, q) between

any two points p, q v() by taking the shortest total distance of a connecting

path. However, since weights are only partially ordered, this minimum may not

be unique. We will say that has coherent geodesics if the minimum distance

min(d(p, q)) between any two vertices p and q is unique, and if that minimum

distance is the length of the edge (p, q) when has that edge. In this case can be

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 11

completed to another linkage

g

which is a complete graph, using all distances as

weights.

3.2. Conguration spaces. Let X be a weight-valued metric space, and let be a

linkage as in Section 3.1. Let v() be the set of vertices of . Then we dene the

linkage conguration space Q(, X) to be the set of maps

f : v() X

such that d( f (p), f (q)) equals the weight of the edge from p to q, when there

is such an edge. If X and both have a base point, then Q(, X) is instead the

conguration space of based maps. Another possibility is that has a base edge

of length and X has two base points at distance ; then Q(, X) is again the

conguration space of based maps. We will be interested in four types of linkages

:

1: A path or polyline.

2: A cycle or polygon.

3: The 1-skeleton (D) of a tiled diskoid D (Section 3.3) with edges labelled

by weights.

4: The complete linkage

g

(D), if (D) has coherent geodesics.

There is one nal type of conguration space that is sometimes useful. If an

edge (p, q) has weight , then we can ask that

d( f (p), f (q))

instead of

d( f (p), f (q)) = .

The result is the contractive conguration space Q

c

(, X).

Suppose that X = G/H for some group G with a subgroup H, and that each

sphere X() around the base point is a double coset of H. Let be a linkage and

let

0

be the same linkage with a chosen base point 0. Then there is a bration

Q(

0

, X) Q(, X) X.

Similarly, if

e

denotes the same linkage with a base edge e of length incident to

0, then there is also a bration

(4) Q(

e

, X) Q(

0

, X) X(),

where X() = Q(, X) is the sphere of radius around the (rst) base point of X,

and the second base point is an arbitrary point in X().

If f :

2

1

is a map between linkages, then there is a restriction map,

(5)

2

: Q(

1

, X) Q(

2

, X)

between their conguration spaces. We will be particularly interested in this map

when

1

is a sublinkage of

2

(for example its boundary).

Suppose now that =

1

2

, and that

1

2

is either an edge or a vertex. If

we base

2

(but not

1

) at this intersection, then the conguration space Q(, X) is

a twisted product:

Q(, X) = Q(

1

, X)

Q(

2

, X).

12 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

Informally,

2

is either an arm attached to

1

at a point which can swing freely

in any direction, or a ap attached to

1

along a 1-dimensional hinge which can

swing freely in the remaining directions.

3.3. Diskoids. Recall that a piecewise-linear diskoid is a contractible, compact,

piecewise-linear region in the plane. (We will not need diskoids that are not

piecewise-linear. But if one were to consider them, the most natural denition

could be to make it a planar, cell-like continuum.) Any diskoid D has a polygonal

boundary P with a boundary map P D, which however is not an inclusion unless

D is either a point or a disk. Figure 4 shows an example of a diskoid D with its

boundary P.

D

P

FIGURE 4. A diskoid D with boundary P.

Note that since a diskoid comes with an embedding in the plane, its boundary

P is implicitly oriented, so that the edges of P are cyclically ordered. We will

assume a clockwise orientation in this article. Trees are diskoids, and Figure 1 has

an example of the polygonal boundary of a tree; the polygon traverses each edge

twice.

A diskoid D can be tiled by polygons. Formally, a tiling of D is a piecewise-

linear CW complex structure on D with embedded 2-cells. If D is decorated in this

way, then we dene the graph (D) to be its 1-skeleton. Then, as above, (D) can

be made into a linkage, which means, explicitly, that the edges of D are labelled

by distances. In this article we will not need to the label the faces (or 2-cells) of a

tiled diskoid to dene its conguration space, but only because the corresponding

representation theory is multiplicity-free. In future work, the faces could also be

labelled in order to dene more restrictive conguration spaces. We will write

Q(D) for Q((D)) and Q

g

(D) for Q(

g

(D)).

In some cases, although not the most important cases, we will be interested in

diskoids with bubbles. By denition, a diskoid with bubbles is, inductively, either

a diskoid, or a one-point union of a smaller diskoid with bubbles and either a line

segment or a piecewise linear 2-sphere. The extra line segments and 2-spheres are

not embedded in the plane and do not affect the boundary of the diskoid, even if

the attachment point is on the boundary. The discussion of the previous paragraph

applies equally well to diskoids with bubbles.

Our interest in diskoids arises from the fact that they are geometrically dual to

webs. As in the introduction, let w be a web in fsp(G) with boundary

. Then it

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 13

has a dual diskoid D = D(w), with bubbles if w has closed components, and with

a natural base point. To be precise, D has a vertex for every internal or external

face of w; two vertices are connected by an edge when the faces of w are adjacent;

and there is a triangle glued to three edges whenever the dual edges of w meet at

a vertex. We label the edges of D using the labels of the corresponding edges of

w; also, if an edge of w is oriented, we transfer it to an orientation of the dual edge

of D by rotating it counterclockwise. As a result, the boundary of the diskoid D is

the polygon P(

1

web and its dual diskoid,

which in the A

1

case is always a tree. Figure 2 shows an example of an A

2

web

and its dual diskoid, which happens to be a disk because the corresponding web is

connected.

In this construction, D is always triangulated because w is always trivalent. The

vertices of D are a weight-valued metric space, and by linear extension the whole

of D is a Weyl-chamber-valued metric space. We can also simplify this metric to an

ordinary metric space by taking the Euclidean length of the vector-valued distance.

Finally, suppose that w is an A

2

web (or a B

2

or G

2

web). Then w is non-elliptic

if and only if D, in its ordinary metric, is CAT(0) in the sense of Gromov [12].

This follows from the fact that D is contractible and the condition that all complete

angles in D are at least 2.

3.4. Afne Grassmannians and buildings. As before, let G be a simple, simply-

connected complex algebraic group and let G

O = C[[t]] be the ring of formal power series over C and let K = C((t)) be its

fraction eld. Then

Gr = Gr(G

) = G

(K )/G

(O)

is the afne Grassmannian for G

meaning that it is a direct limit of algebraic varieties (of increasing dimension). The

afne Grassmannian Gr is also a weight-valued metric space: The double cosets

G

(O)G

(K )/G

+

of dominant coweights of

G

, which the same as the cone of dominant weights of G. More precisely, for each

coweight of G

are two arbitrary points of the afne Grassmannian, then we can nd g G

(K )

such that gp = t

0

and gq = t

circumstance, we write d(p, q) = . So the action of G

(K ) preserves distances

and d(t

0

, t

The afne Grassmannian Gr is also a subset of the vertices Gr

/

= v() of an as-

sociated simplicial complex called an afne building =(G

the extended Dynkin type of G

parahoric subgroups of the afne Kac-Moody group

G

of afne buildings from this perspective, see [10].

An afne building satises the following axioms:

1: The building is a non-disjoint union of apartments, each of which is a

copy of the Weyl alcove simplicial complex of G

.

2: Any two simplices of of any dimension are both contained in at least

one apartment .

14 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

3: Given two apartments and

/

and two simplices ,

/

/

, there is

an isomorphism f :

/

that xes and

/

pointwise.

The axioms imply that the vertices of , denoted Gr

/

, are canonically colored by

the vertices of the extended Dynkin diagram

I = I .0 of G

, or equivalently the

vertices of the standard Weyl alcove of G

of is a copy of ; it has exactly one vertex of each color. The afne Grassman-

nian consists of those vertices colored by 0 and by minuscule nodes of the Dynkin

diagram of G

.

The axioms also imply that v(), and more generally the realization [[ of ,

have a metric taking values in Weyl chamber. (But not necessarily integral weights

as one sees in Gr.) Namely, if p, q [[, then p, q [[ for an apartment , and

after a suitable automorphism p = q+ for some vector in the dominant Weyl

chamber. We then dene d(p, q) = . (The metric has coherent geodesics, and it

extends the metric dened above for Gr.) We will need the following fact.

Lemma 3.1. If p, q [[, then every geodesic path from p to q is contained in

every apartment such that p, q [[.

A subtle feature of the above afne building is that it has two very different

geometries. As an ordinary simplicial complex, its vertex set Gr

/

is discrete, and

Gr

/

has a combinatorial, weight-valued metric. The vertex set Gr

/

is also naturally

an algebraic ind-variety over C, as is the set of vertices of any given color or the set

of simplices of of any given type. This second geometry endows Gr

/

with both a

Zariski topology and an analytic topology. Among the relations between these two

geometries, we will need the following fact.

Proposition 3.2. The algebraic-geometric closure Gr

/

() of the sphere Gr

/

() of

radius is the set of all points in the metric ball of radius that have the same

color as .

An afne building has a third geometry which is related to the weight-valued

metric but is not the same. Namely, we can give the Weyl alcove its standard

Euclidean structure, and consider the induced metric on the realization [[ of .

This locally Euclidean metric can also be dened as [[d(p, q)[[

2

, where d(p, q) is

the weight-valued metric on [[.

Theorem 3.3 (Bruhat-Tits [2]). Every afne building is a CAT(0) space with re-

spect to its locally Euclidean metric.

If G = SL(n) and thus G

= PSL(n), then Gr = Gr

/

, and there is a simple de-

scription of . Namely, a nite set of vertices in Gr subtends a simplex if and only

if the distances between them are all minuscule.

Finally, to close a circle, let L(

= (

1

,

2

, . . . ,

n

),

based at the beginning. Let P(

n

and

1

. Then the contractive polyline conguration space

Gr(

) = Q

c

(L(

), Gr)

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 15

is the domain of the convolution morphism. The restriction map coming from the

projection onto the boundary L(

) pt, or

L(

)

pt

: Q

c

(L(

), Gr) Gr,

is the convolution morphism. In keeping with the standard notation, we will denote

it by

m

=

L(

)

pt

.

Meanwhile the contractive polygon conguration space

Q

c

(P(

), Gr) = F(

) = m

1

(t

0

)

is the Satake ber. As another bit of notation, if is a linkage, we will elide the Gr

and write Q() for Q(, Gr), etc.

4. GEOMETRIC SATAKE FOR TENSOR PRODUCTS OF MINUSCULE

REPRESENTATIONS

4.1. Minuscule paths and components of Satake bres. The full geometric Sa-

take correspondence, Theorem 1.1, simplies considerably when the weights are

minuscule. In this special case, Haines [13, Thm. 3.1] showed that all compo-

nents of F(

description of these components using minuscule paths. In addition to previous

notation, let W be the Weyl group of G.

Let be a minuscule dominant weight. Then there are no dominant weights

less than , so the sphere of radius equals the ball of radius . Hence the sphere

Gr() is closed in the algebraic geometry of Gr by Proposition 3.2, and thus it is

projective and smooth. In fact, G

is M(), the opposite maximal proper parabolic subgroup corresponding to the mi-

nuscule weight . Thus Gr() is isomorphic to the partial ag variety G

/M().

More generally, if is a minuscule linkage, meaning that all of its edges are

minuscule, then

Q() = Q

c

() = Q().

Let

= (

1

, . . . ,

n

)

be a sequence of minuscule dominant weights. A minuscule path (ending at 0) of

type

= (

0

,

1

,

2

, . . . ,

n

)

such that

k

k1

W

k

for every k, and such that

0

=

n

= 0.

In other words, the kth step of the path is a weight of V(

k

), and the path is

restricted to the dominant Weyl chamber

+

. Minuscule paths are a special case of

Littelmann paths [26], but it was much earlier folklore knowledge that the number

of minuscule paths of type

Ex. 24.9], and use induction.)

16 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

1

=

1

n1

n

=

n1

n2

FIGURE 5. The fan diskoid A(

,).

Given a minuscule path of type

,) in the

shape of a fan, whose the boundary is the polygon P(

by , as in Figure 5. Then there is a natural inclusion

Q(A(

,)) F(

).

The following result is implicit in the work of Haines [13].

Theorem 4.1. For each minuscule path , the fan conguration space Q(A(

,))

is a dense subset of one component of F(

bijection between minuscule paths and components of F(

).

The key to the proof of this theorem is the following lemma.

Lemma 4.2. Let

T

e

(, , ) =

Q(T

e

(, , )) is non-empty if there exists w W such that +w = . If it is

non-empty, then it is smooth and has complex dimension +, .

Proof. Let W() denote the stabilizer of in the Weyl group. It is a parabolic

subgroup of W.

Let us choose the base edge in Gr to be the edge connecting t

and t

0

. Then

the edge based conguration space Q(T

e

(, , )) is a subvariety of Gr() since

there is only one free vertex. In fact

Q(T

e

(, , )) =p Gr()[d(t

, p) = .

Let A denote the set W/W(), which we regard as a poset using the opposite

Bruhat ordering. With this ordering, A becomes the poset of B-orbits on Gr() =

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 17

G

tion of W() on A by left multiplication. The quotient W() A is the set of

M

+

() orbits on Gr(), where M

+

() = Stab

G

(t

corresponding to the minuscule weight .

Hence we can write any point p of Gr() as p = gt

a

where g M

+

() and

a A is chosen to be a maximal length representative for the orbit of W(). The

action of M

+

() on Gr stabilizes t

so

d(t

, gt

a

) = d(t

, t

a

) = d(t

0

, t

+a

).

Now, we claim that +a is always dominant. Let us write a = [w] for w W.

We must check that

+w,

i

=,

i

+, w

i

0

for all simple coroots

i

. We break this calculation into two cases.

First, suppose that s

i

= . Then ,

i

= 0. On the other hand s

i

w > w (in

the usual Bruhat order) by the maximality of a in the W()-orbit. This implies that

w

i

is a positive coroot, which implies that , w

i

is non-negative (since is

dominant). Hence

,

i

+, w

i

0.

Next, suppose that s

i

,= . Then since is dominant, ,

i

1. On the

other hand, [, w

i

[ 1 since w

i

is a coroot and is minuscule. Hence

,

i

+, w

i

0

in this case as well.

Since +a is always dominant, we conclude that

d(t

, gt

a

) = +a.

Hence, Q(T

e

(, , )) is non-empty iff there exists w W such that +w = .

(The above argument shows that [w] will necessarily be a maximal length repre-

sentative for the W() action on A.) If such w exists, then the conguration space

Q(T

e

(, , )) is simply the M()-orbit through t

w

. Hence it is smooth and its di-

mension is given by the length of [w] in A because it is of the same dimension as the

B-orbit through t

w

. Since is minuscule, this equals w +, as desired.

Proof of Theorem 4.1. It is easy to show by induction that the fan conguration

space

Q(A(

,)) = Q(P

e

(

0

, ,

1

))

Q(P

e

(

n1

,

n

,

n

))

is an iterated twisted product of triangle conguration spaces. Since each factor

has a minuscule edge, Lemma 4.2 tells us that Q(A(

Moreover, the dimensions add to tell us that

dim

C

Q(A(

,)) =

1

+ +

n

, = dim

C

F(

).

On the other hand, F(

) = Q(P(

Q(A(

) and the

origin. If X is any algebraic variety with an equidimensional partition into smooth

18 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

varieties X

1

, . . . , X

N

, then X has pure dimension and its components are the closures

of the parts X

k

. In our case, X = F(

).

It will be convenient later to abbreviate the dimension of F(

) as:

d(

)

def

=

1

+ +

n

, = dim

C

F(

).

The same integers also arise in a different dimension formula:

dim

C

Gr(

) = 2d(

).

(Indeed, Gr(

) is a top-dimensional component of F(

), given by collapsing

the polygon P(

).)

Another important corollary of Lemma 4.2 is the following:

Theorem 4.3. Suppose that D is a diskoid with boundary

tices, and suppose that all edges of D (including the terms of

) are minuscule.

Then Q(D) is smooth and projective, and therefore a single component of F(

).

Proof. Let T

e

(, , ) be a triangle of D with three minuscule edges, and let the

base edge e be any of the edges. Then by Lemma 4.2, Q(T

e

(, , )) is smooth.

Likewise T

p

(, , ), based at a point p instead, is smooth. By construction, Q(D)

is a twisted product of conguration spaces of this form, so it is also smooth. It is

also projective since D is a minuscule linkage.

There is one delicate point in the inference that Q(D) is a component of F(

):

Is the restriction map Q(D) F(

restriction map

: Q(T

e

(, , )) Gr()

is injective, and so is the restriction map

: Q(T(, , )) Gr(, ).

The diskoid D must have a triangle with at least two edges on the boundary, so by

induction its restriction map to F(

) is also injective.

4.2. A homological state model. The pivotal category isomorphism of Theo-

rem 1.1 is in spirit a type of state model or counting model to evaluate webs in

rep(G). If w is a web with dual diskoid D, then there is a map of linkages

P(

) = D (D)

given by the inclusion of the boundary. This gives rise to a restriction map

=

(D)

P(

)

: Q(D) F(

).

A point in Q(D) is a state of D in the sense of mathematical physics, in which

each vertex of D (or each face of w) is assigned an element of Gr. We would like

to count the number of states of D with some xed boundary, or in other words the

cardinality of a diskoid ber

1

( f ) for f F(

). If f is chosen generically in

a top-dimensional component of F(

the coefcient of (w) in the Satake basis.

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 19

However, this sketch is naive. The diskoid ber

1

( f ) often has a complicated

geometry for which it is hard to dene counting. The rst and main solution

for us is to replace counting by a homological intersection. (In Section 6 we will

propose a second solution, in which we count by taking the Euler characteristic of

the ber.) In particular, for each web w, we will dene a homology class c(w)

H

top

(Q(D)) such that

4.3. The homology convolution category. If M is an algebraic variety over C,

we will consider its intersection cohomology sheaf IC

M

as a simple object in the

category of perverse sheaves on M. If M is smooth, then IC

M

is isomorphic to

C

M

[dim

C

M], the constant sheaf shifted by the complex dimension of M. For

brevity, we will write this perverse sheaf as C[M].

The geometric Satake correspondence is a tensor functor that takes the usual

product on rep(G) to the convolution tensor product on perv(Gr). In particular, the

tensor product V(

convolution tensor product of the simple perverse sheaves C[Gr(

i

)] on minuscule

spheres, which are closed in the algebraic geometry. By denition, this convolution

tensor product is given by the pushforward (m

(C[Gr(

morphism.

Let perv(Gr)

min

denote the subpivotal category of perv(Gr) consisting of such

pushforwards. By construction, perv(Gr)

min

is equivalent to rep(G)

min

. Our

goal is to study perv(Gr)

min

using convolutions in homology, following ideas of

Ginzburg. We begin by reviewing some generalities, following [4, Sec. 2.7].

Let M

i

be a set of connected, smooth complex varieties and let M

0

be a pos-

sibly singular, stratied variety with strata U

i

: M

i

M

0

be

a proper semismall map. In this context, the statement that

i

is semismall means

that

i

restricts to a ber bundle over each stratum U

these bers is given by

dim

C

1

i

(u) =

dim

C

M

i

dim

C

U

2

for u U

. Let d

i

= dim

C

M

i

.

With this setup, let Z

i j

= M

i

M

0

M

j

. The semismallness condition implies that

dim

C

Z

i j

= d

i

+d

j

. Let

H

top

(Z

i j

) = H

2d

i

+2d

j

(Z

i j

)

be the top homology of Z

i j

. If the M

i

are proper, which they will be in our situ-

ation, then we will obtain a valid denition of the convolution product using the

ordinary singular homology of Z

i j

. (Otherwise the correct type of homology would

be Borel-Moore homology.)

Dene a homological convolution product

: H

top

(Z

i j

) H

top

(Z

jk

) H

top

(Z

ik

)

by the formula

c

1

c

2

= (

ik

)

i j

(c

1

)

jk

(c

2

)),

where denotes the intersection product (with support), relative to the ambient

smooth manifold M

i

M

j

M

k

. This may be dened using the cup product in

20 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

cohomology via Poincar e duality. For more details about this construction, see [4,

Sec. 2.6.15] or [8, Sec. 19.2]. Note that because

dim

C

Z

i j

= d

i

+d

j

=

dim

C

M

i

+dim

C

M

j

2

,

the correct homological degree is preserved by the convolution product.

This construction is relevant for us because of a theorem of Ginzburg that relates

H

top

(Z

i j

) to morphisms in the category perv(M

0

) of perverse sheaves on M

0

.

Theorem 4.4. [4, Thm. 8.6.7] With the above setup, there is an isomorphism

H

top

(Z

i j

)

= Hom

perv(M

0

)

(

i

)

C[M

i

], (

j

)

C[M

j

]

.

This isomorphism identies convolution products on the left side with compositions

of morphisms on the right side.

We will apply this setup by letting M

0

= Gr and by letting each M

i

be Gr(

)

for a sequence

:

Gr(

) Gr is semismall. (See [31, Lem. 4.4]; it also follows from the proof of

Theorem 4.1.) Then Z

i j

becomes

Z(

,) = Gr(

)

Gr

Gr() = Q(P(

.)),

where P(

.) is this polygon:

P(

.) =

objects in hconv(Gr) are the polyline varieties Gr(

), where

is a sequence mi-

nuscule weights. The tensor product on objects is, by denition, given by convolu-

tion on objects, so

Gr(

) Gr()

def

= Gr(

.),

where . denotes concatenation of sequences. So the identity object is the point

Gr(/ 0). Finally the dual object Gr(

= Gr(

) of Gr(

) is given by reversing

We dene the morphism spaces of hconv(Gr) as

Hom

hconv(Gr)

(Gr(

), Gr())

def

= H

top

(Z(

,)).

The composition of morphisms is given by the convolution product. Note that

the identity morphism 1

H

top

(Z(

] of the

diagonal

Gr(

Z(

) Gr(

) Gr(

),

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 21

i.e., it is the congurations in which the polygon P(

polyline L(

).

To describe the tensor structure on morphisms, it is enough to describe how to

tensor with the identity morphism. So let

minuscule weights and let c H

top

(Z(,)). Our goal is to construct a class

1

c H

top

(Z(

.,

.))

For the moment, let be a -shaped graph with a tail of type

and a loop of

type

=

Let X = Q() be its based conguration space. We describe two bration con-

structions related to X. First, there is a restriction map

L(

.)

L(

).pt

: Gr(

.) Gr(

) Gr

given by restricting to the polyline L(

.). Then

X is the bered product

X = Gr(

.)

Gr(

)Gr

Gr(

.).

Second, there is a projection

L(

)

: X Gr(

)

given by restricting from to L(

Since Gr(

H

top

(X)

= H

top

(Gr(

)) H

top

(Z(,))

and thus we obtain an isomorphism

H

top

(Z(,))

=

H

top

(X)

given by c [Gr(

)] c.

There is also an inclusion

i =

P(

..

)

: X Z(

.,

.),

using the polygon which travels twice along the tail of and around the loop of .

Combining all this structure, we dene

1

c

def

= i

(c [Gr(

)]).

22 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

Tensoring by the identity morphism on the other side is similar and we leave the

construction to the reader.

Finally, to dene the cap and cup morphisms for any

a single minuscule weight . Note that

Z( .

, / 0) = Z(/ 0, .

) = F(,

= Gr().

We dene the cup b

hom spaces.

Theorem 4.5. There is an equivalence of pivotal categories

hconv(Gr)

=perv(Gr)

min

.

Combining this with the geometric Satake equivalence, we obtain an equiv-

alence of pivotal category rep(G)

min

= hconv(Gr). Applying this to invariant

spaces, we obtain an isomorphism

Inv(V(

))

= Hom

hconv(Gr)

(Gr(/ 0), Gr(

))

= H

top

(Z(/ 0,

)) = H

top

(F(

)),

which is Theorem 1.2.

Proof. By the denition, the objects in both categories are parameterized by se-

quences

is given by the isomorphisms from Theorem 4.4. By this theorem, the functor is

fully faithful and is compatible with composition on both sides. (I.e., it is a func-

tor.) To complete the proof this theorem, we need only to show that the functor is

compatible with the tensor product and with pivotal duality.

To see that it is compatible with the tensor product, we use the same notation as

above. If

c Hom((m

C[Gr()], (m

C[Gr()]),

then with respect to the tensor structure in perv(Gr), I

(m

C[Gr(

)]

c is given by

the image of c under the map

Hom

perv(Gr)

(m

C[Gr()], (m

C[Gr()]

=

Hom

perv(Gr(

)Gr)

(

L(

.)

L(

).pt

)

C[Gr(

.)], (

L(

.)

L(

).pt

)

C[Gr(

.)]

Hom

perv(Gr)

.

)

C[Gr(

.)], (m

.

)

C[Gr(

.)]

.

Here p : Gr(

seen to match our above denition.

To check compatibility with the pivotal duality, we must show that the cap and

cup morphisms are preserved by the functor. It sufces to check this for the simple

objects of our category. Hence we need to check that the cap morphism

C[Gr(/ 0)] C[Gr(,

)]

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 23

is given by

[F(,

)] H

top

(F(,

))

under the isomorphism from Theorem 4.4 (and similarly for the cup morphism).

To see this, note that the cap morphism is actually dened over Z and hence corre-

sponds to a generator of H

top

(F(,

)]

or its negative. Let us assume that it actually corresponds to [F(,

)]. If it ac-

tually corresponds to the negative, then the rest of the paper is unaffected with the

exception of the introduction of some signs.

4.4. From the free spider to the convolution category. Section 2 describes a

pivotal functor

: fsp(G) rep(G)

min

.

On the other hand, the geometric Satake correspondence and Theorem 4.5 yield

equivalences

rep(G)

min

=perv(Gr)

min

=hconv(Gr).

The composition is a functor fsp(G) hconv(Gr) which we will also denote by

. Our goal now is to describe this functor and in particular its action on invariant

vectors.

Let , , be a triple of dominant minuscule weights such that

Inv

G

(V(, , )) ,= 0.

There is a simple web wInv

fsp(G)

(, , ) which contains a single vertex. On the

other hand,

Inv

hconv(Gr)

(, , )

= H

top

(F(, , ))

is one-dimensional with canonical generator [F(, , )]. Recall, from Section 2,

that in the construction of the functor fsp(G) rep(G)

min

, there was some free-

dom to choose the image of the simple web w (it was only dened up to a non-zero

scalar). Now, we x this choice by setting

(w)

def

= [F(, , )].

The functor is now determined by what it does on vertices and the fact that it

preserves the pivotal structure on both sides.

We are now in a position to prove Theorem 1.3, which we will restate as follows.

Recall that

d(

) = dim

C

F(

).

Theorem 4.6. Let w be a web with boundary

: Q(D) F(

)

be the boundary restriction map. There exists a homology class c(w) H

d(

)

(Q(D))

such that

) and is re-

duced as a scheme, then c(w) is the fundamental class [Q(D)].

24 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

Proof. We begin by picking a isotopy representative for w such that the height

function is a Morse function and so that the boundary of w is at the top level. We

assume a sequence of horizontal lines

0

, . . . ,

m

such that in between each pair, w

has only a single cap, cup, or a vertex. We assume further that each vertex is either

an ascending Y (it is in the shape of a Y) or a descending Y (an upside-down Y).

5

4

5

FIGURE 6. A web for SL(9) in Morse position.

Let

(k)

be the vector of labels of the edges cut by the horizontal line

k

. Then

(0)

= / 0 and

(m)

=

position, with edges labelled by its minuscule weights

k

with 1 k 8. In this

example,

(1)

=

4

,

5

(3)

=

7

,

6

,

1

,

4

.

(Note that in SL(n) in general,

k

=

nk

; if an edge points down as it crosses a

line, then we must take the dual weight.)

Let

w

k

Hom

fsp(G)

(

(k1)

,

(k)

)

denote the web in the horizontal strip between the lines

k1

and

k

. By examining

the above denition, we see that for each 1 k m, there exists a component X

k

Z(

(k1)

,

(k)

) such that (w

k

) = [X

k

]. We would like to describe this component

explicitly. For convenience, if

p = (p

0

, p

1

, . . . , p

m

) Gr

m+1

(with p

0

=t

0

for us), dene

i

(p) by omitting the term p

i

.

(i) If w

k

is an ascending Y vertex that connects the ith point on

k1

to the ith

and i +1st points on

k

, then

X

k

=(p,p

/

) Z(

(k1)

,

(k)

)[p =

i

(p

/

).

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 25

(ii) If w

k

is a descending Y vertex that connects the ith and i +1st points on

k1

to the ith point on

k

, then

X

k

=(p,p

/

) Z(

(k1)

,

(k)

)[p

/

=

i

(p).

(iii) If w

k

is a cup that connects the ith and i +1st points on

k

, then

X

k

=(p,p

/

) Z(

(k1)

,

(k)

)[p =

i

(

i

(p

/

)).

(iv) If w

k

is a cap that connects the ith and i +1st points on

k1

, then

X

k

=(p,p

/

) Z(

(k1)

,

(k)

)[p

/

=

i

(

i

(p)).

Then w = w

m

w

1

. Since is a functor,

(w) =(w

m

) (w

1

) = [X

m

] [X

1

].

Now, compositions of convolutions can be computed as a single convolution as

[X

m

] [X

1

] = (

0,m

)

0,1

[X

1

]

m1,m

[X

m

]),

where the intersection products take place in the ambient smooth manifold

X = Gr(

(0)

) Gr(

(m)

).

Here

k1,k

denotes the projection from X to Gr(

(k1)

,

(k)

).

From the denitions, we see that the diskoid conguration spaces Q(D) can be

obtained as

Q(D) =

1

0,1

(X

1

)

1

m1,m

(X

m

).

Let

c(w) =

0,1

[X

1

]

m1,m

[X

m

]

= [

1

0,1

(X

1

)] [

1

m1,m

(X

m

)].

Because we are using the intersection product with support, c(w) lives in H

d(

)

(Q(D)),

the homology of the intersection. When Q(D) is reduced of the expected dimen-

sion, then the intersection product of the homology classes corresponds to the fun-

damental class of the intersection (see [8, Sec. 8.2]), so c(w) = [Q(D)].

Finally, : Q(D) F(

) is the restriction of

0,m

to Q(D). Hence we conclude

that (w) =

(c(w)).

Because

ing.

Corollary 4.7. (w) is a linear combination of the fundamental classes of the

components of F(

It may not seem clear that c(w) depends only on the web w, and not on the Morse

position of w used to construct it. However, a posteriori, this must be veried by

checking that it is invariant under basic isotopy moves (for example, straightening

out a cup/cap pair).

26 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

5. SL(3) RESULTS

In this section, we will prove Theorem 1.4 and Theorem 1.5. In preparation for

this result, we need to use and extend the geometry of non-elliptic webs. To review,

if w is an A

2

web and D = D(w) is its dual diskoid, then w is non-elliptic if and

only if D is CAT(0).

5.1. Geodesics in CAT(0) diskoids. We will be interested in combinatorial (mean-

ing edge-travelling) geodesics in a type A

2

diskoid D. These are equivalent to

minimal cut paths of the dual web [25], when the endpoints of the geodesic are

boundary vertices D. Here we will consider geodesics between vertices that may

be in the interior or on the boundary. If both vertices are on the boundary, then the

geodesic is called complete.

/

FIGURE 7. Two geodesics and

/

connected by a diamond move.

Geodesics in an A

2

diskoid are often not unique. Dene a diamond move of a

geodesic to be a move in which the geodesic crosses two triangles, as in Figure 7.

(This is equivalent to an H-move on a cut path of a non-elliptic web.) We say that

two geodesics are isotopic if they are equivalent with respect to diamond moves.

Theorem 5.1. Let p, q be two vertices of a CAT(0), type A

2

diskoid D. Then the

geodesics between p and q subtend a diskoid which is a skew Young diagram, with

each square split into two triangles. In particular, all geodesics are isotopic, D is

geodesically coherent, and all geodesics lie between two extremal geodesics. Both

of the extremal geodesics are concave on the outside.

Here a skew Young diagram is the same as the usual object in combinatorics

with that name, namely the diskoid lying between two geodesic lattice paths in Z

2

.

Figure 8 shows an example in which the squares have been split so that it becomes

an A

2

diskoid.

Theorem 5.1 is proven in [25] in the case when p and q are on the boundary. If

they are not on the boundary, then we can reduce to previous case by the removing

the simplices of D that do not lie between two geodesics. The nal statement, that

an extremal geodesic is concave outside of the skew Young diagram, is easy to

check: If has an angle of /3, then it is not a geodesic. If it has an angle of 2/3,

then an isotopy is available and it is not extremal.

Lemma 5.2. If p and q are two vertices of a CAT(0) diskoid D, then every geodesic

between them extends to a complete geodesic.

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 27

p

q

/

FIGURE 8. A skew partition bounded by extremal geodesics and

/

.

Proof. The argument is based on a geodesic sweep-out construction. We claim that

we can make a sequence of geodesics

= (

0

,

1

, . . . ,

m1

)

from p to the boundary D with certain additional properties. We require that each

consecutive pair

k

and

k+1

differ by either an elementary isotopy or an elementary

boundary isotopy (for each k Z/m). The latter consists either of appending an

edge to

k

or removing the last edge, or a triangle move as in Figure 9.

r

k

r

k+1

k+1

FIGURE 9. A triangle move connecting geodesics

k

and

k+1

.

We require that the other endpoint r

k

of

k

travel all the way around D in the

counterclockwise direction, as in Figure 10.

p

r

k

k

D

FIGURE 10. Making a sequence of geodesics that sweep out D.

28 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

If p is on the boundary, then r

0

= p, but this is okay. It is easy to see that if

exists, then it uses every vertex in D. There is thus a geodesic from p to r D

that contains q. We can then repeat the argument with r replacing p, to obtain a

geodesic

/

from r to some s D that contains p. The geodesic

/

might not

contain q, much less all of . However, because D is geodesically coherent, the

path

//

=

/

(s, p) . .(q, r)

is a geodesic and satises the lemma, as in Figure 11.

p

q

r

s

//

FIGURE 11. A geodesic replacement argument.

To prove the claim, let

0

be the geodesic of length 0 if p D, and otherwise

let

0

be the geodesic from p to any r

0

D which is counterclockwise extremal.

We construct iteratively. Given

k

, we apply a diamond move to make

k+1

if

such a move is possible. If such a move is not possible, then let r

k+1

be the next

boundary vertex after r

k

, and let

k+1

be the clockwise-extremal geodesic from p

to r

k+1

, among geodesics that do not cross

k

. (In other words, cut D along

k

to

make D

/

, then let

k+1

be clockwise-extremal in D

/

.) By geodesic coherence, the

region between

k

and

k+1

is either empty or connected; otherwise we could splice

k+1

with

k

, so that

k+1

would not be clockwise-extremal.

If the region between

k

and

k+1

is empty, then either

k

k+1

or

k+1

k

.

If it is not empty, then there are two geodesic segments

k

(s, r

k

) and

k+1

(s, r

k+1

)

make a topological triangle T together with the edge (r

k

, r

k+1

), as in Figure 12.

r

k

r

k+1

s

k+1

k

T

FIGURE 12. A topological triangle T made from geodesics.

We summarize the properties of the topological triangle T: It is CAT(0), all

three sides are concave, and its angles at the corners are at least /3. Thus T is

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 29

at, all three sides are at (unlike in the gure), and all three angles equal /3.

Thus, T is a face of D and

k

and

k+1

differ by a triangle move.

As k increases, eventually r

k

= r

0

. Once the diamond moves are exhausted for

this choice of r

k

(there are none if p is on the boundary), the sequence of geodesics

returns to the beginning.

The sweep-out construction in the proof of Lemma 5.2 also yields this lemma.

Lemma 5.3. Let D be a CAT(0) diskoid with a boundary vertex p. Then every

edge of D either lies on a complete geodesic from p to some q D, or it lies in a

diamond move or a triangle move between two geodesics from p.

Finally, there is a relation between fans as described in Section 4.1 and non-

elliptic webs. Given a diskoid D with boundary

distances d(p, q

k

), where p is the base point of D and q

k

is the sequence of bound-

ary vertices of D. Then:

Theorem 5.4. [25] Given a sequence of A

2

minuscule weights

, the map D

(D) is a bijection between CAT(0) diskoids and minuscule paths of type

.

So we can write D(

and minuscule

path .

5.2. Unitriangularity. We apply Section 5.1 to prove the following result. It is a

bridge result, based on the geometry of afne buildings, that we will use to relate

web bases to the geometric Satake correspondence; in particular, to prove Theo-

rem 1.5.

Theorem 5.5. Let

2

and let be a minuscule

path of type

. If f Q(A(

to a diskoid conguration f Q(D(

,)).

Proof. The construction derives fromthe constraints that make the extension unique.

Let p be the base vertex of D, so that f (p) = 0 Gr. Suppose that q is the kth

boundary vertex of D, and that is a geodesic from p to q. Then d( f (p), f (q)) =

k

, and by denition

k

is also the length of . If is an apartment containing

f (p) and f (q), then f (q) =

k

in suitable coordinates in . It follows that there

is a unique geodesic in with the same sequence of edge weights as , and which

connects f (p) with f (q). Thus f extends uniquely to .

We claim that this extension of f is consistent for vertices of D. First, every

vertex of D is contained in some complete geodesic from p since by Lemma 5.2

any geodesic from p to a vertex extends to a complete geodesic. Suppose that and

/

are two geodesics from p to q D and q

/

D, respectively. Suppose further

that r

/

. Then every apartment that contains p and r contains both geodesics

(p, r) and

/

(p, r). In particular, each apartment and

/

/

does. It follows

that the choices for f (r) induced by and

/

are the same.

We claim that if (r, s) is an edge in D, then

(6) d(r, s) = d( f (r), f (s)).

30 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

By Lemma 5.3, there are three cases: Either (r, s) occurs in a complete geodesic

from p to some q, or it occurs in a diamond move between two such geodesics

and

/

, or r and s are both on the boundary and (r, s) occurs in a triangle move

between two geodesics and

/

. In the rst case, (6) is true by construction. In

the second case, f () and f (

/

) are contained in a single apartment, because every

apartment contains all geodesics from f (p) to f (q). In the third case, there is an

apartment containing p and (r, s) by the axioms for a building, since they are both

simplices. In both cases, the existence of this common apartment implies (6).

Now let

type

D(

,)) of F(

).

We have two bases for H

top

(F(

given by (w(

,)), and both bases are indexed by the minuscule path . Under

the isomorphism

H

top

(F(

))

= Inv(V(

)),

these become the Satake and web bases, respectively, the rst by denition and

the second by Theorem 4.6. Our purpose in this section is to prove that the transi-

tion matrix between these two basis is unitriangular, i.e., Theorem 1.5. Given two

minuscule paths, and, we dene a partial order by , if

i

i

for all i.

Lemma 5.6. Suppose that ,. Then the coefcient of [Q(A(

,))] in (w(

,))

is 0.

Proof. By Corollary 4.7, it sufces to show that if Q(A(

,)) is contained in

(Q(D(

,))), then .

Let f Q(D(

,)). If q

i

is the ith boundary vertex of the diskoid D(

,), then

f (q

i

) Gr(

i

). On the other hand, if ( f ) Q(A(

,)), then f (q

i

) Gr(

i

) .

Thus

i

i

for all i as desired.

Lemma 5.7. The coefcient of [Q(A(

,))] in (w(

,)) is 1.

Proof. Let Z =

1

(Q(A(

dimension d(

) by Theorem 5.5. Recall that from Theorem 4.6, that we have a ho-

mology class c(w) H

d(

)

(Q(D)) such that

of the proof of Theorem 4.6,

Q(D(

,)) =

1

0,1

(X

1

)

1

n1,n

(X

n

)

and

c(w) = [

1

0,1

(X

1

)] [

1

n1,n

(X

n

)]

Since Z is a component of the expected dimension, we see that the coefcient of

[Z] in c(w) is the length of the local ring of Q(D(

sition 8.2). This length equals 1 since following lemma shows that the scheme

1

(Q(A(

,)).

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 31

The degree [

Z

is 1, so

([Z]) = [Q(A(

nent of Q(D(

cient of [Q(A(

,))] in

Lemma 5.8. The restriction of the map : Q(D(

,)) F(

) to

1

(Q(A(

,))

is an isomorphism of schemes onto the reduced scheme Q(A(

,)).

Proof. First note that Q(A(

bered product of varieties by the proof of Theorem 4.1.

Let X =

1

(Q(A(

,)),Y = Q(A(

rem 5.5 that the map : X Y gives a bijection at the C-points. Now, let S be

any scheme of nite-type over C. The proof of Theorem 5.5 uses some building-

theoretic arguments which dont obviously work for S-points. However, the argu-

ment in the rst paragraph of the proof does work for any S, as follows. Following

the notation in that paragraph, let be a geodesic in from the base point p of

D(

,) to the k-th boundary vertex q and let be the lengths along this geo-

desic (by denition

i

=

k

). Let f X(S). Then the restriction of the map

m : Gr() Gr to m

1

(Gr(

k

)) is an isomorphism of schemes, and in particu-

lar is an injection on S-points. Hence we see that f (r) is determined by f (q) for

all r along the geodesic. Since every internal vertex of the diskoid lies on some

geodesic, f X(S) is determined its restriction to the boundary. Thus, the map

X(S) Y(S) is injective.

So we have a map from a scheme to a smooth variety which is a bijection on

C-points and is an injection on S-points. By the following lemma, the map is an

isomorphism.

Lemma 5.9. Let X,Y be nite-type schemes over C. Assume that Y is reduced and

normal. Let : X Y be a morphism which induces a bijection on C-points and

an injection on S-points for all nite-type C-schemes S. Then is an isomorphism.

Proof. Consider the maps

X

red

X Y.

The composition X

red

Y is a bijection on C-points and hence it is an isomorphism

[24, Thm. A.11]. This allows us to construct a map : Y X such that = id

Y

.

The fact that induces an injection on S-points means that the map

Hom

Sch

(X, X)

Hom

Sch

(X,Y)

is injective. Consider what happens to id

X

and under this map. They are sent to

and respectively. But since = id

Y

, these two elements of Hom

Sch

(X,Y)

are equal. Hence by the injectivity, id

X

= and hence is an isomorphism.

5.3. Consequences of the cyclic action. The goal of this section is to prove The-

orem 1.4 and then derive some corollaries. The proof is based Theorem 5.5. How-

ever, we rst need to understand the cyclic action on webs and Satake bers, i.e.,

the action that results from changing the base point of a polygon or a diskoid.

32 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

Fix a minuscule sequence

= (

1

, . . . ,

n

) and consider the corresponding Sa-

take ber F(

each i Z/n, we dene

(i)

= (

i+1

,

i+2

, . . . ,

n

=

0

,

1

, . . . ,

i

)

to be the ith cyclic permutation of

(so that

(0)

=

).

We now want to make a correspondence between F(

(i1)

) and F(

(i)

). To

do so, we write P

i

(

based at the edge

labelled

i

. Let us introduce two edge based conguration spaces Q(P

i

(

)) and

Q

/

(P

i

(

)). In Q(P

i

(

i

(

)

are sent to t

0

, t

i

, whereas in Q(P

i

(

t

i

, t

0

. Clearly, multiplication by t

i

denes an isomorphism between these two

conguration spaces.

We have two brations coming from the general setup (4):

Q(P

i

(

)) F(

(i1)

) Gr(

i

)

Q(P

i

(

))

= Q

/

(P

i

(

)) F(

(i)

) Gr(

i

).

Since Gr(

i

) and Gr(

i

) are simply connected and irreducible, this gives us bijec-

tions between the irreducible components

(7) Irr(F(

(i1)

))

= Irr(Q(P

i

(

))), Irr(F(

(i)

))

= Irr(Q(P

i

(

)))

and compatible isomorphisms of vector spaces

H

top

(F(

(i1)

))

= H

top

(Q(P

i

(

))) H

top

(F(

(i)

))

= H

top

(Q(P

i

(

))).

From the denition of duality in the category perv(Gr), we deduce that the

diagram

(8)

H

top

(F(

(i1)

)) Inv(V(

(i1)

))

H

top

(P

i

(

)) Hom(V(

i

)

,V(

i+1

, . . . ,

i1

))

H

top

(F(

(i)

)) Inv(V(

(i)

))

commutes, where the horizontal edges come fromthe composition of the geometric

Satake correspondence with the equivalence between perv(Gr)

min

and hconv(Gr).

Now let Z F(

components Z

i

F(

(i)

) for all i Z/n.

On the other hand, by Theorem 4.1, Z = Q(A(

of type

. From (

from the base point to the other boundary vertices are given by . Now for each

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 33

i Z/n, let

(i)

denote the sequence of distances from the ith boundary vertex to

the rest of the boundary. Since a rotated CAT(0) diskoid is still a CAT(0) diskoid,

we see that D = D(

(i)

,

(i)

) as well.

Lemma 5.10. For each i, Z

i

= Q(A(

(i)

,

(i)

)).

Although this lemma may look purely formal, it is (as far as we know) a non-

trivial identication of two different cyclic actions. The cyclic action used to dene

Z

i

is dened directly from the geometric Satake correspondence; it comes from the

fact that the unbased conguration space of P(

way. The cyclic action on the right, in particular the denition of

(i)

, comes in-

stead from rotating webs. The two cyclic actions should be the same because the

diagram analogous to (8) for webs immediately commutes. However, the lemma is

non-trivial because it is not true that the invariant vector (w(

the web equals the fundamental class of the corresponding component.

Proof. Our proof uses Theorem 1.5, the unitriangularity theorem. Let M be the

unitriangular change of basis matrix; the rows of M are labelled by the web basis,

while the columns are indexed by the geometric Satake basis. Since both bases are

cyclically invariant as in the diagram (8), there is a combinatorial cyclic action on

the rows and columns of M that takes M to itself.

Suppose for the moment that M is an abstractly unitriangular matrix whose rows

and columns are labelled by two sets A and B. In other words, there exists an

unspecied bijection A

= B, and a linear or partial ordering of A that makes M

unitriangular. Then the partial ordering may not be unique, but the bijection is. If

we choose any compatible linear ordering, then it is easy to see that the expansion

of det M has only one non-zero term. This term selects the unique compatible

bijection. Since it is unique, it intertwines the two cyclic actions in our case.

Lemma 5.10 allows a sharper version of Theorem 1.5 than the one proved in

Section 5.2. Say that

S

when

(i)

(i)

for all i Z/n. Then Theorem 1.5

also holds for the weaker partial ordering

S

. If D and E are the diskoids of w()

and w(), then this condition says that d

D

(p, q) d

E

(p, q) for every two vertices

on their common boundary.

Question 5.11. Suppose that D and E are two CAT(0) diskoids of type A

2

with the

same boundary, and suppose that d

D

(p, q) d

E

(p, q) for every two vertices p, q

on the common boundary, as in Theorem 1.5. Does it follow that either D = E or

D has fewer triangles than E?

We dene a subset U Z as follows:

U =(L

i

)

iZ/n

F(

)[d(L

i

, L

j

) =

(i)

j

.

Lemma 5.10 shows that U is dense in Z. The following proposition then completes

the proof of Theorem 1.4.

34 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

Proposition 5.12. Restricting the conguration to the boundary gives an isomor-

phism

: Q

g

(D)

=

U.

Proof. By denition, U consists of those congurations of D that preserve all dis-

tances between boundary vertices. By Lemma 5.2, these are exactly the congura-

tions that preserve all distances in D.

If f Q

g

(D) is a global isometry, then in particular it is an embedding of D into

the afne building . This has an interesting area consequence.

Lemma 5.13. Let K be a 2-dimensional simplicial complex with trivial homology,

H

(K, Z) =H

of a unique 2-chain .

Proof. If

1

and

2

are two such 2-chains, then

1

2

is closed and therefore

null-homologous. Since K has no 3-simplices, the only way for

1

and

2

to be

homologous is if they are equal.

Theorem5.14. If a CAT(0), type A

2

diskoid D is embedded in an afne building ,

then it is the unique least area diskoid that extends the embedding of its boundary

P.

Proof. Let f be the embedding. Then f

area of D. If f

/

: D

/

is another extension of P, then f

/

([D

/

]) = f

area of D

/

cannot be smaller than the area of D. Moreover, if they have equal area,

then f

1

f is a bijection between the faces of D

/

and the faces of D. The faces of

D

/

must be connected in the same way as those of D, and attached to P in the same

way, because each edge in has at most two faces of f (D).

By contrast, the A

2

spider relations (3) reduce the area of a diskoid. The follow-

ing proposition is easy to check, as well as inevitable given Proposition 5.13 and

Theorem 1.4:

Proposition 5.15. If w is a web with a face with 2 or 4 sides, so that the dual

diskoid D has a vertex with 2 or 4 triangles, then in any conguration f : D Gr

these triangles land on top of each other in pairs.

Proposition 5.15 thus motivates the relations (3) as moves that locally remove

area from a conguration f .

5.4. Web bases are not Satake. In Section 5.2, we showed that the transformation

between the web basis and the Satake basis is unitriangular with respect to the given

ordering. Thus it is reasonable to ask if this transformation is the identity. As with

Lustzigs dual canonical basis, there is an early agreement between the two. For

any web with no internal faces, that is, whose dual diskoid has no internal vertices,

the image of the map is Q(A(

from Corollary 4.7 and Lemma 5.7 that [Q(A(

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 35

Now consider the following web w(), with the indicated base point:

w() =

In [22], it was shown that this is the rst web whose invariant vector is not dual

canonical. This is the web associated with the minuscule path

= (0,

1

,

1

+

2

,

1

+2

2

, 3

2

,

1

+3

2

,

2

1

+2

2

, 3

1

+

2

, 3

1

, 2

1

+

2

,

1

+

2

,

2

, 0)

of type

= (

1

,

2

,

2

,

1

,

1

,

2

,

2

,

1

,

1

,

2

,

2

,

1

).

Let

= (0,

1

, 0,

2

, 0,

1

, 0,

2

, 0,

1

, 0,

2

, 0).

This is another minuscule path also of type

simpler and is both a Satake vector and a dual canonical vector:

w() =

In [22], it was shown that

(w()) = b() +b(),

where b() denotes the dual canonical basis vector indexed by .

Theorem 5.16. Let w(),

, , and be as above. Then the invariant vector

(w()) is not in the Satake basis. More precisely, it has a coefcient of 2 for the

basis vector [Q(A(

,))].

36 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

Proof. We will show that the general ber of over Q(A(

,)) is of size 2. We

give the faces of the web the following labels:

p

1

1

p

2

2

p

3

/

1

p

/

1

/

2

p

/

2

/

3

p

/

3

c

If f Q(D(

i

Gr(

1

) and

i

Gr(

2

) on those faces and assigns t

0

Gr(0) to all empty faces. In order to

determine the ber of over a point in Q(A(

choices for p

/

i

,

/

i

and c satisfying the appropriate conditions. Since p

i

Gr(

1

)

and

i

Gr(

2

), this forces p

/

i

Gr(

1

) and

/

i

Gr(

2

) and c Gr(

1

+

2

). We

can think of the points of Gr(

1

) and Gr(

2

) as, respectively, the points and lines

in CP

2

. Then the conditions given by the edges of the web are as following: p

/

i

is

a point on the line

i

and

/

i

is a line containing the points p

i

, p

/

i1

and p

/

i

.

/

1

/

2

/

3

p

/

1

p

/

2

p

/

3

e

1

e

2

e

3

p

1

p

2

p

3

(A)

/

1

/

2

/

3

p

/

1

p

/

2

p

/

3

e

1

e

2

e

3

p

1

p

2

p

3

(B)

FIGURE 13. The two solutions to the problem for the given

i

and p

i

.

Suppose that either the p

i

are not collinear and or the

i

are not concurrent. Then

by the duality of points and lines, we may assume that the

i

are not concurrent.

Let e

i

be the intersection of

i

and

i+1

. Then we can express the points p

/

i

in

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 37

barycentric coordinates given by e

i

:

p

/

1

= (t

1

, 0, 1t

1

)

p

/

2

= (1t

2

, t

2

, 0)

p

/

3

= (0, 1t

3

, t

3

).

Note that by doing this we restrict ourselves to an afne subspace of P

2

, so we may

lose, but we dont gain solutions. The collinearity condition results in the equations

p

i

= (1s

i

)p

/

i

+s

i

p

i1

.

Solving this problem amounts to solving

(1s

1

)t

1

= p

11

s

1

(1t

3

) = p

12

(1s

2

)t

2

= p

22

s

2

(1t

1

) = p

23

(1s

3

)t

3

= p

33

s

3

(1t

2

) = p

31

,

where p

i j

are the barycentric coordinates of the p

i

. If none of these coordinates are

0, then we can eliminate all but one variable to get the relation

t

1

=

p

11

1

p

12

1

p

33

1

p

31

1

p

22

1

p

23

1t

1

.

The right side of this equation is a composition of fractional linear transformations

that condenses to a single fractional linear transformation

t

1

=

11

t

1

+

12

21

t

1

+

22

with generic coefcients. Thus, generically, we obtain a quadratic equation for t

1

with 2 solutions.

It remains to determine the face c, which lies in Gr(

1

+

2

). If c , Gr(0), then

the conditions given by the edges of the web would be p

/

i

= p

/

j

and

/

i

=

/

j

for all i, j

which cannot happen since either p

i

are not collinear or

i

are not concurrent. Thus

for any solution of the above equations, we get exactly one element in Q(D(

,)).

And for any generic point p Q(A(

1

(p) has 2 points.

Let X denote the closure in Q(D(

1

(p) with 2

points. Then X is either a component of Q(D(

Moreover, X contains all components of Q(D(

,)).

Since the above argument shows that the scheme-theoretic ber of over a general

point of Q(A(

reduced. Hence the coefcient of [X] in the homology class c(w) from Theorem 4.6

is 1. Since the map : X Q(A(

components mapping to Q(A(

,))] in

(c(w)) is

2. In particular,

,))], as desired.

38 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

In fact, we suspect that Q(D(

imply that

(w()) = [Q(A(

,))] +2[Q(A(

,))].

Otherwise, (w()) has these two terms and perhaps others. Either way, the coef-

cient of 2 is different from what arises in the dual canonical basis [22]:

(w()) = b() +b().

Thus,

Theorem 5.17. The geometric Satake bases for invariants of G = SL(3) are even-

tually not dual canonical.

This is not such a surprising statement in light of the well-known fact that the

canonical and semicanonical basis do not coincide (as a consequence of the work of

Kashiwara-Saito [18]). In both Theorem 5.17 and in the canonical/semicanonical

situation, a homology basis does not coincide with a basis dened using a bar-

involution. The analogy between these two results could perhaps be made precise

using skew Howe duality (SL(3), SL(n)-duality).

It is known that (w()) is the rst basis web that is not dual canonical, i.e.,

the only basis web up to rotation with 12 or fewer minuscule tensor factors. We

conjecture that it is also the rst basis web for SL(3) that is not geometric Satake.

Equivalently, we conjecture that all three bases rst diverge at the same position.

Question 5.18. For arbitrary G, is the dual canonical basis of an invariant space

Inv

G

(V()) positive unitriangular in the geometric Satake basis?

6. EULER CONVOLUTION OF CONSTRUCTIBLE FUNCTIONS

In this section, we switch from convolution in homology to convolution in con-

structible functions. The idea of dening convolution algebras using constructible

functions is common in geometric representation theory (see for example [28]).

More specically, we will dene a new category econv(Gr)

0

which conjec-

turally is equivalent to rep(G)

min

, and we will prove this conjecture for G=SL(3).

When computing invariant vectors from webs, the construction is a state model as

in Section 4.2, where the counting is done using Euler characteristic.

6.1. Generalities on constructible functions. If X is a proper complex algebraic

variety over C and f : X C is a constructible function, then we dene the Euler

characteristic integral (see [30] or [15])

X

f d C

by linear extension starting with the characteristic functions of closed subvarieties.

Namely, if f = f

Y

is the characteristic function of a closed subvariety Y X, then

we dene

X

f

Y

d

def

= (Y).

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 39

If : X Y is a proper morphism between algebraic varieties and f : X C

is a constructible function on X, then we dene the push-forward of f under by

integration along bers:

(

f )(p)

def

=

1

(p)

f d.

If C

c

(X) denotes the vector space of constructible functions on X, this pushforward

is then a linear map:

: C

c

(X) C

c

(Y).

The following result is well-known see for example [30, Prop. 1] and [15,

Thm. 3.8].

Theorem6.1. The Euler characteristic integral push-forward of constructible func-

tions is a well-dened covariant functor from the category of proper morphisms

between algebraic varieties over C, to the category of complex vector spaces.

6.2. Construction of the categories. Given G simple and simply-connected as

before, we can dene a pivotal category econv(Gr) in a similar fashion to hconv(Gr),

except that we will replace homology with constructible functions throughout.

The objects of econv(Gr) are the Gr(

), where

is a sequence of minuscule

weights. As in hconv(Gr), the tensor product is dened by convolution.

We dene the invariant space of Gr(

functions on the Satake ber:

Inv

econv(Gr)

(Gr(

))

def

= C

c

(F(

)).

The hom spaces are dened in an equivalent way:

Hom

econv(Gr)

(Gr(

), Gr())

def

= C

c

(Z(

,)).

We dene the convolution of two hom spaces by convolution as in hconv(Gr).

We could proceed exactly as in hconv(Gr), but the local nature of constructible

functions allows us a simpler denition.

Fix three minuscule sequences

theta () with three arcs that are polylines of type

point:

=

Then there are projections

,

: Q() Z(

,)

,

: Q() Z(

,)

,

: Q() Z(,)

Given

f Hom

econv(Gr)

(Gr(

), Gr())

g Hom

econv(Gr)

(Gr(), Gr()),

we can dene their composition by Euler characteristic integration over congura-

tions of the middle polyline L(), and using the fact that constructible functions

pull back and multiply as well as push forward:

g f

def

= (

,

)

,

( f )

,

(g)).

It is routine to check that these structures dene a pivotal category.

The hom spaces in the category econv(Gr) are too large for our purposes. We

will restrict them by just looking at those constructible functions generated by the

constant functions on the Satake bers corresponding to trivalent vertices. More

precisely, dene a pivotal functor

E : fsp(G) econv(Gr)

which takes the generating vertex in

Inv

fsp(G)

(, , ),

to the identity function on F(, , ). Again, , , and are all minuscule and we

are assuming that there is a vertex, so

Inv

G

(V(, , )) ,= 0.

Let econv(Gr)

0

denote the image of the functor E; it has the same objects as

econv(Gr), but smaller hom spaces.

6.3. Equivalence with the representation category. Before stating the main con-

jecture and result, we can describe more explicitly how the functor E expresses

an Euler characteristic state model. The following result can be seen by chasing

through the denitions.

Proposition 6.2. Given a web w fsp(G) with boundary

and dual diskoid

D, E(w) is the function on the Satake ber F(

) whose value at p F(

) is

(

1

(p)). (Here : Q(D) F(

guration to its boundary.)

So we are indeed producing a function which counts (using Euler characteristic)

ways to extend the boundary conguration to a diskoid conguration.

We are now ready to formulate our alternate version of the geometric Satake

correspondence.

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 41

Conjecture 6.3. There is an equivalence of pivotal categories:

econv(Gr(G

))

0

=rep(G)

min

.

Theorem 6.4. This conjecture holds when G = SL(2) and G = SL(3).

Proof. We will rst argue the more difcult case G=SL(3). We argue by checking

the skein relations of spd(SL(3)), with a small adjustment. (Recall that we have

set q = 1.) The adjustment is to negate either of the generating vertices to remove

the sign in the second equation in (3). Then the rst two skein relations,

= 3

= 2

are straightforward, because the relevant bers are always, respectively, P

2

and P

1

.

The third skein relation,

= + ,

is a little bit more work. The diskoid dual to the left side consists of four triangles.

The conguration space of the quadrilateral P(

1

,

2

,

1

,

2

) has two components,

corresponding to the two ways to collapse the quadrilateral to two edges. In each

case, there is a unique extension to the diskoid in which the diskoid collapses to

two triangles. The remaining case that should be checked is the intersection of the

two components in which the quadrilateral collapses to a single edge. In this case

the ber is P

1

, because there is a P

1

of ways to extend the edge to a triangle, and

the diskoid can collapse onto this triangle. Thus the local Euler characteristic at the

intersection is 2, which matches the sum on the right side of the skein relation.

Thus, the image of E is either equivalent to rep(SL(3))

min

, or it is a quotient.

However, rep(SL(3))

min

is simple as a linear-additive, pivotal category, because

the pairing of dual invariant spaces is non-degenerate. (Or, Theorem 1.5 also im-

plies that basis webs are linearly independent after applying E because of unitrian-

gularity.) Therefore the image of E is equivalent to rep(SL(3))

min

itself.

In the case G = SL(2), we only need to check the skein relation (2) with q = 1:

= 2.

In this case the diskoid of the left side is a based edge, the diskoid of the right side

is a point, the ber is P

1

, and its Euler characteristic is 2. The skein coefcient is

2, which is the same but with the wrong sign. The sign discrepancy can be traced

to the fact that spd(SL(2)) is isomorphic to the modied category rep

/

(SL(2))

min

in which the minuscule representation V is odd-graded and therefore had graded

dimension 2. In rep(SL(2))

min

, the correct answer is dimV = 2.

42 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

It should also be possible to prove Conjecture 6.3 when G = SL(m). The idea

is to use the geometric skew Howe duality of Mirkovi c and Vybornov [32] and the

ideas in [16, Sec. 6] to express this conjecture in terms of constructible functions

on quiver varieties for the Howe dual SL(n). Then we are in a position to apply

Nakajimas work from [34, Sec. 10]. Note that this approach does not make use of

the geometric Satake correspondence.

6.4. Relationship with homological convolutions. A constructible function is

constant on a dense open subset of any irreducible variety. If X is an irreducible

variety, we write f (X) for the value of f on this dense open subset.

We can dene a non-functor from econv(Gr) to hconv(Gr) as follows. On ob-

jects, it is the identity, while on morphisms we dene

C

c

(Z(

,)) H

top

(Z(

,))

by the formula

f

XIrr(Z(

,))

f (X)[X].

Now, this is not a functor because it does not respect convolution (as some sim-

ple examples show). However, we can make the following tentative conjecture.

Conjecture 6.5. The above map between hom spaces restricts to an equivalence

of categories from econv(Gr)

0

to hconv(Gr).

This conjecture implies Conjecture 6.3 one because this conjectured equivalence

is compatible with the functors from fsp(G). This conjecture would also imply the

following simple formula for the expansion of the invariant vectors coming from

webs in the Satake basis.

Conjecture 6.6 (Corollary of Conjecture 6.5). Let w be a minuscule web with

boundary

and dual diskoid D. Then we can expand (w) in the Satake basis as

(w) =

XIrr(F(

))

(

1

(x))[X],

where x is a generic point of each X, and : Q(D) F(

from a diskoid conguration to its boundary.

As slight evidence for Conjecture 6.5, we note that a similar result has been

conjectured in the quiver variety setting.

7. FUTURE WORK

This article is hopefully only the beginning of an investigation into conguration

spaces of diskoids and their relations to presented pivotal categories, or spiders.

BUILDINGS, SPIDERS, AND GEOMETRIC SATAKE 43

7.1. Basis webs for SL(n). In future work, the rst author will establish the fol-

lowing generalization of Theorem 2.3 and Theorem 1.5 to SL(n).

Theorem 7.1. Given a sequence of minuscule weights

of SL(n), there is a

map w() from minuscule path of type

in Inv(V(

)) are a basis, and the change of basis to the Satake basis is upper

unitriangular with respect to the partial ordering on minuscule paths.

The geometric results of the current article are used to establish that the webs

w() form a basis and as far as we are aware no elementary proof is available. This

is in sharp contrast to the SL(3) case where the basis webs were originally estab-

lished by elementary means. The webs w() themselves are constructed combina-

torially using the idea of Westbury triangles [43] and [41]. Recently, Westbury has

combinatorially obtained Theorem 7.1 for the case of a tensor product of standard

representation and their duals.

Kim [23] (for n = 4) and Morrison [33] (for general n) conjecture a set of gen-

erating relations for kernel of fsp(SL(n)) rep(SL(n))

min

. Using Theorem 7.1,

we hope to show that Kims and Morrisons conjectures are true.

7.2. Other rank 2 groups. Since there are established denitions of spiders for B

2

and G

2

, it seems quite possible that the results in this paper could be generalized

to these two cases, but there are two important problems to resolve. First, the

vertex set of the corresponding afne buildings are no longer simply the points

of the afne Grassmannian. Second, since we want to study rep(G) rather than

rep(G)

min

, it is necessary to look at webs labelled not just by minuscule weights

but by fundamental weights. When G is not SL(n), it is no longer the case that all

fundamental weights are minuscule; thus the results of this paper would need to be

extended to cover this case.

7.3. Other discrete valuation rings. Our results in this article apply only to the

afne Grassmannians of the discrete valuation ring O = C[[t]]. In fact, the afne

Grassmannian Gr exists (as a set) and Bruhat-Tits building exists and is CAT(0)

for any complete discrete valuation ring O. It is a well-known open problemto state

and prove a geometric Satake correspondence in this setting, it is only known in the

equal characteristic case O = k[[t]] for a eld k. Since the building geometry is so

similar for all choices of O, our results could be interpreted as (further) evidence

that a geometric Satake correspondence exists for all O.

7.4. Webs in surfaces. Another possible generalization is from webs in disks to

webs in surfaces. If is a closed surface and G has rank 1 or 2, there is an analo-

gous basis of non-elliptic webs on [38], which are equivalent to CAT(0) triangu-

lations. (Or, can have boundary circles with marked points, but the closed case is

especially interesting.) This web basis is a basis of the skein module of [0, 1],

which is also the coordinate ring of the variety of representations

1

() G. Our

results suggest an interpretation of this coordinate ring in terms of certain simpli-

cial maps from the universal cover of to the afne building . This should be

related to the conjectures of Fock-Goncharov [5].

44 BRUCE FONTAINE, JOEL KAMNITZER, AND GREG KUPERBERG

7.5. Categorication. We would also like to apply our results to categorication

and knot homology. According to the philosophy of [3], to each web w with dual

diskoid D and boundary

egory of coherent sheaves on Gr(

expected dimension, then A(w) should be the pushforward

(O

Q(D)

) of the struc-

ture sheaf of Q(D). It would also be nice to understand foams (as introduced by

Khovanov [21]) in this language. In particular, it would be interesting to consider

the conguration spaces of duals of foams. Some ideas in this direction have been

pursued by Frohman.

7.6. Quantum groups. Finally, developing a q-analogue of our theory is also an

open problem. As mentioned earlier there is a functor from the free spider fsp(G)

to rep

q

(G), the representation category of the quantum group for any q not a root

of unity. However, our geometric Satake machinery only applies in the case when

q = 1. Hopefully, we can extend to general q using the quantum geometric Satake

developed by Gaitsgory [9].

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