Resolution of Singularities

Volume 181 of the series Progress in Mathematics pp 485-505

Equisingularity and Simultaneous Resolution of Singularities

  • Joseph LipmanAffiliated withDept. of Mathematics, Purdue University

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Zariski defined equisingularity on an n-dimensional hypersurface V via stratification by “dimensionality type,” an integer associated to a point by means of a generic local projection to affine n-space. A possibly more intuitive concept of equisingularity can be based on stratification by simultaneous resolvability of singularities. The two approaches are known to be equivalent for families of plane curve singularities. In higher dimension we ask whether constancy of dimensionality type along a smooth subvariety W of V implies the existence of a simultaneous resolution of the singularities of V along W. (The converse is false.)

The underlying idea is to follow the classical inductive strategy of Jung —begin by desingularizing the discriminant of a generic projection — to reduce to asking if there is a canonical resolution process which when applied to quasi-ordinary singularities depends only on their characteristic monomials. This appears to be so in dimension 2. In higher dimensions the question is quite open.