A dividing line within simple unstable theories

by Malliaris and Shelah. [MiSh:999]
Advances in Math, 2013
We give the first (ZFC) dividing line in Keisler's order among

the unstable theories, specifically among the simple unstable theories. That is, for any infinite cardinal lambda for which there is mu < lambda <= 2^mu, we construct a regular ultrafilter {D} on lambda so that (i) for any model M of a stable theory or of

the random graph, M^lambda / {D} is lambda^+-saturated but (ii) if Th(N) is not simple or not low then N^lambda / {d} is not lambda^+-saturated. The non-saturation result relies on the notion of flexible ultrafilters. To prove the saturation result we develop a property of a class of simple theories, called Qr_1,

generalizing the fact that whenever B is a set of parameters in some sufficiently saturated model of the random graph, |B| = lambda and mu < lambda <= 2^mu, then there is a set A with |A| = mu so that any nonalgebraic p in S(B) is finitely realized in A . In addition to giving information about simple unstable theories, our proof reframes the problem of saturation of ultrapowers in several key ways. We give a new characterization of good filters in terms of ``excellence,'' a measure of the accuracy of the quotient Boolean

algebra. We introduce and develop the notion of {moral} ultrafilters

on Boolean algebras. We prove a so-called ``separation of variables''

result which shows how the problem of constructing ultrafilters to have a precise degree of saturation may be profitably separated into a more set-theoretic stage, building an excellent filter, followed by a more model-theoretic stage: building so-called moral ultrafilters on the quotient Boolean algebra, a process which highlights the complexity of certain patterns, arising from first-order formulas, in certain Boolean algebras.


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