Configuration Spaces and Imbedding Problems
The purpose of this talk is to present joint work with Clifford Taubes on a purely topological approach towards the recent physics-inspired self-linking invariants for knots described by Dror Bar-Natan  and Guadagnini, Martinelli, and Mintchev  . As I hope to show, the configuration spaces and their natural compactifications à la Fulton and MacPherson  are precisely the needed ingredients to explain these invariants and their generalizations.
DEFINITION 1. Let Z be a topological space. The configuration space of n points in Z, \(C_n^0\left( Z \right)\)
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