On the obscure axiom for one-sided exact categories

Ruben Henrard, Adam Christiaan van Roosmalen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


One-sided exact categories are obtained via a weakening of a Quillen exact category. Such one-sided exact categories are homologically similar to Quillen exact categories: a one-sided exact category E can be (essentially uniquely) embedded into its exact hull Eex; this embedding induces a derived equivalence Db(E)→Db(Eex). Whereas it is well known that Quillen's obscure axioms are redundant for exact categories, some one-sided exact categories are known to not satisfy the corresponding obscure axiom. In fact, we show that the failure of the obscure axiom is controlled by the embedding of E into its exact hull Eex or, equivalently, into its derived category Db(E). We introduce three versions of the obscure axiom (these versions coincide when the category is weakly idempotent complete) and establish equivalent homological properties, such as the snake lemma and the nine lemma. We show that a one-sided exact category admits a closure under each of these obscure axioms, each of which preserves the bounded derived category up to triangle equivalence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107635
JournalJournal of Pure and Applied Algebra
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2024


  • Derived category
  • Exact category
  • Homological algebra
  • Weak idempotent completion


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