Cocycle categories, by J.F. Jardine

A cocycle category H(X,Y) is defined for objects X and Y in a model category, and it is shown that the set of morphisms [X,Y] is isomorphic to the set of path components of H(X,Y) provided the ambient model category is right proper and satisfies the extra condition that weak equivalences are closed under finite products. Various applications of this result are displayed, including the homotopy classification of torsors, abelian cohomology groups, group extensions and gerbes. The older classification results have simple new proofs involving canonically defined cocycles.


J.F. Jardine <jardine@uwo.ca>