The Outer Space of a Free Product

  title={The Outer Space of a Free Product},
  author={Gilbert Levitt},
We associate a contractible “outer space” to any free product of groups G = G1 ∗ · · · ∗ Gq. It equals Culler-Vogtmann space when G is free, McCulloughMiller space when no Gi is Z. Our proof of contractibility (given when G is not free) is based on Skora’s idea of deforming morphisms between trees. Using the action of Out(G) on this space, we show that Out(G) has finite virtual cohomological dimension, or is VFL (it has a finite index subgroup with a finite classifying space), if the groups Gi… CONTINUE READING

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